|Sector / Subsector
Agriculture, natural resources and rural development
- Land-based natural resources management
- Education sector development
- Energy efficiency and conservation
- Inclusive finance
Industry and trade
- Trade and services
Public sector management
- Social protection initiatives
- Road transport (non-urban)
Water and other urban infrastructure and services
- Urban policy, institutional and capacity development
- Urban water supply
Towards fulfilling its mandate, role, and functions as guided by the evaluation policy of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Independent Evaluation Department (IED) has initiated significant adjustments to its work program, with more proactive communication, dissemination and outreach to make it more relevant, responsive, and influential to ADB work and developing member countries (DMCs).
The proposed regional capacity development technical assistance (TA) will support the dissemination of IED evaluation products, encourage partnerships and networking activities, and promote learning from development evaluation among stakeholders. As a pilot activity for organizing and managing evaluation outreach and dissemination (i.e., approaches and results) to DMCs, it will contribute to discussions and policy debates on development and thematic issues that are important to DMCs and key stakeholders.
The TA will do this by supporting several knowledge sharing and learning events (i.e., conferences, seminars, workshops and other events) that will inform stakeholders of formative, summative and prospective evaluation approaches, findings and lessons. These events are intended to provide avenues for stakeholders at different levels, to communicate, collaborate and give feedback to evaluation results for improving current and future development policies, strategies and programs in DMCs.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Evaluations provide value addition in two ways: (i) accountability through the use of evaluation findings by the ADB, its DMCs, and other stakeholders; and (ii) learning from evaluations by communicating evaluation results and lessons to stakeholders. One of IED's strategic objectives is sharing knowledge solutions with DMCs and the region. Its work program for 2012-2014 has been driven by the need to provide relevant knowledge on emerging development issues in the region and to proactively communicate this knowledge to inform development policymaking in DMCs. Past experience has shown that evaluation feedback can make a difference. Sharing knowledge with decision makers is important for evaluations to be useful. In particular, disseminating evaluation results in a timely manner provides opportunities to improve development practice and organizational performance.
In the above context, targeted evaluation outreach is as important as producing the report itself. There have been a number of reasons for low rates of evaluation utilization: (i) poor timing; (ii) lack of consultation with the evaluation clients and a failure to understand their information needs; (iii) findings that are not disseminated in a timely way to the potential users; and (iv) information not presented in a way which makes it easy to use. This implies wasted efforts or resources and highlights the difficulty of using evaluation as a means to improve performance. Effective dissemination can help to build meaning and understanding, develop support, and generate learning opportunities. This will require a plan to get the right knowledge to the right people at the right time, and to help them to apply it in ways that would improve organizational performance. If findings and recommendations are disseminated this way, the credibility of the evaluation will be enhanced and incentives to act on it will be created.
Face-to-face dialogue and presentation and briefings are effective ways of sharing ideas and getting the message across. While recognizing that new communication approaches are opening up new channels of influence, several development agencies have made it a point to underscore the continuing value of meetings, seminars and briefings of various kinds (both within the organization and externally) as an indispensable focus for learning. In evaluation feedback, as in other spheres, face-to-face dialogue and presentation and briefings are still the most effective way of sharing ideas and getting messages across. This typically is geared toward communication of specific aspects of a study, with strong emphasis on interpretation and potential applications.