Resident Mission Policy and Related Operations: Delivering Services to Clients

Date: October 2007
Type: Evaluation Reports
Subject:
Evaluation
Series: Special Evaluation Studies

Description

This report presents an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of ADB's Resident Mission Policy of 2000 and related operations in delivering services to clients. Initially programmed for completion in 2008, the evaluation was advanced to 2007 to provide input into the ongoing review of the Resident Mission Policy by the Strategy and Policy Department and the Budget, Personnel, and Management Systems Department.

The main objective of the evaluation was to assess the performance of resident missions in terms of the achievement of the overall objectives and functions in the 2000 Policy. The evaluation also examined the relevance of the Policy and its future sustainability, taking into account the changing business environment in developing member countries (DMCs), development assistance delivery, and evolving implications for ADB's corporate strategies. The evaluation focused on the implementation of the Policy and covered mainly the period from 2000 to the first half of 2007.

Following the experimental beginning with its first resident mission in Bangladesh in 1982 to address persistent project implementation and loan disbursement problems, ADB pursued a cautious expansion of the resident mission network until the late 1990s. Since 1997, encouraged by generally positive experience and by emerging good practices among multilateral development banks and other aid agencies, many of which had launched aggressive campaigns to strengthen their local presence in their countries of operation to improve aid delivery and its development effectiveness, ADB accelerated the expansion of its resident mission network. A new and more flexible Policy was approved in 2000 in response to the Poverty Reduction Strategy, which envisaged a stronger role for resident missions than the earlier policy.

Main findings

  • Overall, the Resident Mission Policy and its related operations are rated successful.
  • The Policy is rated as highly relevant at the time it was formulated. It is also found flexible enough to be able to accommodate the emerging needs of ADB and DMCs.
  • RM operations are found compliant with the Policy and effective and efficient in the delivery of services to both internal and external clients. More decentralization and a larger deployment of resources to resident missions would likely have resulted in higher effectiveness and efficiency ratings.
  • The Policy continues to remain highly sustainable in the present context, with the potential of continuing to remain so. Some fine-tuning may, however, be necessary to respond to refinements that may be introduced to the Long-Term Strategic Framework as a result of the ongoing review, if ADB moves towards a decentralization strategy.

Recommendation

ADB should consider undertaking the preparation of a corporate decentralization strategy, the objectives of which would be

  • to strengthen existing resident missions to improve operational effectiveness and efficiency
  • to integrate the resident mission network more closely with headquarters' information technology and knowledge work
  • enhance DMC coverage

Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Map
  • I. Introduction
  • II. Previous Evaluation Feedback on Resident Missions
  • III. Relevance of the Policy
  • IV. Effectiveness of Service Delivery
  • V. Efficiency of Service Delivery
  • VI. Sustainability of Policy and Related Operations
  • VII. Overall Assessment, Future Directions, and Recommendations
  • Appendixes
  • Supplementary Appendixes