Effectiveness and Impact of ADB Assistance to the Reform of Public Expenditure Management

Evaluation Document | 31 March 2000
This special evaluation study was designed to analyze which aspects of the public expenditure management cycle ADB's technical assistance addresses and which approaches it uses for building capacities.

Public expenditure management is a key instrument for ensuring sound development management and good governance. This study analyzes which aspects of the public expenditure management cycle ADB's technical assistance addresses, and which approaches it uses for building capacities.

The study evaluates a cross-section of ADB technical assistance to Bhutan, India, Kiribati and Lao People's Democratic Republic. Despite success in some areas in some countries, the study found that overall ADB's understanding of capacity building has not evolved to fit the modern concept of capacity building, which goes beyond institutional development and training.

Technical assistance in the reviewed country projects did not develop comprehensive action plans for implementing change, which should have included setting priorities (reforms that are needed before others can be introduced effectively), sequencing, and interim targets.

None of the technical assistance operations took a comprehensive approach to analyzing budget cycles and assessing them against ADB's governance criteria. As a result, technical assistance overlooked ways in which public expenditure management could be improved.

The study recommends that ADB devise an approach for developing public sector management capacities to ensure that interventions take place in a strategic framework that offers optimal sequencing, synergy, and impact for technical assistance operations.

It also draws attention to the importance of capacity mapping to develop better understanding of existing local capacities and the bottlenecks that hinder them from working effectively.

Contents 

  • Executive Summary
  • Background
  • Evaluation Design
  • Capacity Building
  • Governance: Public Expenditure Management
  • Conclusions
  • Appendixes