Improving Project Success through Effective Communication and Participation

Date: May 2011
Type: Papers and Briefs
ADB administration and governance; Evaluation; Social development and protection
Series: Learning Lessons


How does communication contribute to or hinder the attainment of the desired level of participation toward realizing project and program outcomes? 

It is important to recognize that participation is a means to achieving improved development results, rather than an objective in itself. Ensuring participation requires effective communication, which creates an environment where stakeholders are able to acquire and share knowledge, develop understanding, enhance engagement, and take action. The appropriate communication channels and media, clarity of messages (information), identification of receivers and senders of information, and the determination of an appropriate level of interaction between various actors and stakeholders can significantly contribute to building an environment for knowledge acquisition and sharing. Ultimately, when this process is done meaningfully, participation enhances ownership, which promotes accountability and transparency, and helps ensure equitable and sustainable distribution of project benefits.

This synthesis provides key lessons on the importance of communication in facilitating development work, as reflected in the applications of participatory approaches in project preparation, design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation in ADB operations. Lessons were drawn from evaluation studies and completion reports of several ADB-financed projects and programs.

Improving Project Success through Effective Communication and Participation by Independent Evaluation at Asian Development Bank