2013 Annual Evaluation Review
This report assesses the ADB's operational performance in 2012, and synthesize lessons on development effectiveness. The review also provides an update on actions taken in relation to evaluation findings.
The Annual Evaluation Review (AER) reflects on the performance of Asian Development Bank (ADB) operations based on analysis of Independent Evaluation's databases and recent evaluations.
A theme chapter in AER 2013 discusses vulnerability and risks in Asia and the Pacific and ADB's role in helping to reduce the vulnerability of poor people and economies to financial, social, and environmental shocks. The rising incidence in natural disasters, especially extreme hydrometerological events, is among a number of emerging concerns for the welfare of the region's poor.
The report considers the need for explicit attention to the sources of vulnerability for achieving more inclusive growth. It emphasizes the need for better sustainability of development outcomes, given the prospect that sustainability will play an increasingly important role in development due to the region's rising vulnerability.
Yet, achieving continuity in project impacts remains a difficult area for practitioners because assumptions about the future are required. For ADB's operations, sustainability rates are the lowest among the four evaluation criteria used by Independent Evaluation, and have not changed much in recent years. During 2000-2012, some 64% of ADB operations were rated sustainable and 65% in 2000-2010.
The largest disconnects were found for operations in infrastructure - a sector given special attention in the AER 2013. Recent evaluations noted poor sustainability of project outcomes due to inadequate cost recovery mechanisms, changes in local government structures, and weak institutions for public infrastructure. Infrastructure project sustainability - particularly in the key road transport sector - relies crucially on maintenance budgets and reliable financing mechanisms.
The report urges ADB to make use of vulnerability indexes to help inform its country program strategies and development support choices.