Technical Assistance Performance Evaluation Report for Selected Technical Assistance Projects in Public Administration in the People's Republic of China

Date: December 2006
Type: Evaluation Reports
Country:
Subject:
ADB funds and products; ADB administration and governance; Evaluation
Series: Technical Assistance Performance Evaluation Reports
Project Number: 32133-012; 33452-012; 34067-012; 33075-012

Description

Since the early 1990s, ADB has assisted the People's Republic of China (PRC) to undertake reforms in the fields of audit, procurement, and performance evaluation. Five of the 12 technical assistance (TA) projects in these three areas of public administration, approved after 1995 were assessed--one of two in audit, three of six in procurement, and one of four in performance evaluation.

Summary of findings

The evaluation rated three of the five TAs highly successful (TA 3103 for audit; TA 3631 for government procurement law; and TA 3357 for performance evaluation); TA 2845—procurement regulations was rated successful; and TA 3457 for procurement institutions was rated partly successful.

Key issues

  • Various operational strategies and evaluations since 1991 have recommended a strategic approach to the use of TA. The forthcoming country partnership strategy presents a long overdue opportunity to develop such an approach.
  • The degree to which recent procurement administrative regulations and rules address constraints on the use of country systems should be assessed by technical specialists, and acted on.
  • Addressing corrupt practice should focus on practical support to strengthen existing mechanisms, capacity, and coordination between agencies with supervising mandates-daily where procurement is conducted, and periodically through evaluation and audit.
  • Highly successful TAs have four common features:
    • a realistic design with achievable outcome and outputs within the period of the TA, with risks identified and mitigated;
    • active involvement by the executing agency from TA conceptualization to completion;
    • consultants who are technically competent and have an appropriate style; and
    • training manuals in formats that encourage subsequent updating and revision.
  • In-service training innovations such as e-learning distance education programs must be grounded in principles of self-directed learning and proven pedagogical techniques, with the necessary infrastructure. There is a strategic opportunity to work with universities to improve the education of future project managers and auditors.
  • Good quality research has the critical role of informing both policy makers and project managers, and the potential for sharing lessons from PRC innovations with other countries in transition and fragile states.

Recommendations

ADB and the World Bank should consider conducting a joint review of PRC procurement country systems to assess viability of alignment with these systems in light of the number of new administrative rules issued since 2003 when a partial review was conducted.

ADB's forthcoming country partnership strategy should consider supporting the PRC national audit office to increase the effectiveness of its public information efforts.

  • Capacity development
    • Encourage opportunities for collaboration between the PRC audit and project inspection offices and OED in conducting performance evaluations in PRC and the region including secondment to OED.
    • Translate into Mandarin ADB program and thematic evaluation reports, particularly those relating to ADB's PRC program.
  • Alignment
  • ADB and the World Bank should consider conducting a joint review of PRC procurement country systems to assess viability of alignment with these systems in light of the number of new administrative rules issued since 2003 when a partial review was conducted.

  • Public access to information
  • ADB's forthcoming country partnership strategy should consider supporting the PRC national audit office to increase the effectiveness of its public information efforts.