Facility-Type Technical Assistance in the People’s Republic of China

Date: April 2013
Type: Evaluation Reports
Country:
Subject:
ADB funds and products; Evaluation
Series: Technical Assistance Performance Evaluation Reports

Description

This technical assistance performance evaluation report covers six facility-type technical assistance projects approved by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the People’s Republic of China (PRC). ADB developed this mode of engagement in 2003 in partnership with the Government of the PRC as a flexible, quick-response mechanism in which multiple subprojects aligned with the PRC’s development priorities and ADB’s country strategy are funded under a single technical assistance project. This process worked well in the PRC and seems to be a model that ADB could apply in other developing member countries.

A total of 89 subprojects under the five most recent facility-type TA operations covered 11 ADB themes and sectors, with social protection and health, capacity development, environment, governance, and regional cooperation and integration accounting for just over 70% of the total.

The evaluation report found the profile of implementing agencies widening from ministries and agencies based in Beijing to provincial-level departments. There was also an increase in sophistication of topics analyzed, with a shift away from a “blueprint” approach (based on the experience of other countries) to a “frontier” approach needing real-time response. The end products of subprojects were standardized into studies for policy reforms, activity reports to aid capacity development, and synopses in English and Chinese to summarize issues and lessons.

The overall rating of facility-type technical assistance projects is successful.

The evaluation report identified three key lessons from the PRC experience: (i) introducing facility-type technical assistance in middle-income country contexts increases goodwill for the wider ADB country portfolio, (ii) improved quality assurance of facility-type technical assistance projects is resource intensive, but a must for success, and (iii) value addition by ADB on substantive issues is crucial to the eventual success of facility-type technical assistance projects.

The evaluation report recommended that ADB; (i) continue to work with facility-type technical assistance and strengthen the use of ADB staff and consultants to provide international perspectives, supervisory support, and peer review of locally produced studies; and (ii) improve the monitoring of subproject outcomes through sector and thematic assessments, and make these assessments part of each facility-type technical assistance project.

Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Executive Summary
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Chapter 2. Design and Implementation
  • Chapter 3. Performance Assessment
  • Chapter 4. Other Assessments
  • Chapter 5. Key Findings
  • Chapter 6. Key Issues, Lessons, and Recommendations
  • Appendixes