CAREC Transport Corridor 1 (Zhambyl Oblast Section) [Western Europe–Western People’s Republic of China International Transit Corridor] Investment Program and Taraz Bypass Project (Kazakhstan)

Evaluation Document | 8 October 2020

The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Transport Corridor 1 (Zhambyl Oblast Section) Investment Program and Taraz Bypass Project in Kazakhstan was designed to support the development of an efficient transport system with improved road efficiency and safety in Kazakhstan’s Zhambyl Oblast. The corridor is part of Kazakhstan’s western Europe–western People’s Republic of China international transit corridor investment program, which runs from Khorgos, through Almaty and Shymkent, to the Russian Federation’s western border. The expected impact was to sustain economic development and improve international trade and regional cooperation, by reconstructing highway sections in Kazakhstan’s Zhambyl Oblast and improving the road operation and maintenance system. The investment program aimed to develop an efficient transport system characterized by shorter travel times, lower freight costs, and lower road accident rates.

Overall, the evaluation assessed the program and project successful. They were considered relevant, effective, efficient, and less than likely to be sustainable. The preliminary assessment of impact was less than satisfactory and the performance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and that of the borrower and executing agency was satisfactory. The evaluation has three recommendations for ADB: (i) consider the applicability of new technologies such as intelligent transport systems (ITS), identify new maintenance practices to be incorporated into projects, and monitor them to determine their efficacy and sustainability; (ii) ensure that indicators and targets are properly specified in the design and monitoring framework, baseline information is accurately incorporated into the initial project framework, and the information requirements are regularly monitored as part of project review missions; and (iii) carry out frequent policy dialogue with the executing agencies to better assess the progress of the strategic requirements of the sector plan during program and project implementation