Country Assistance Program Evaluation for Bhutan (2010) | Asian Development Bank

Country Assistance Program Evaluation for Bhutan (2010)

Evaluation Document | 31 July 2010

This country assistance program evaluation presents an evaluation of ADB's financial and technical assistance to Bhutan in the amount of $317 million that was ongoing or completed during 2001-2009.

Since 2001, ADB has approved 12 Asian Development Fund loans or grants to Bhutan totaling $195 million and one ordinary capital resources loan for $51 million, as well as technical assistance support. The projects have ranged from expanding rural electrification and developing transport networks to financial and private sector development.

The overall rating for ADB country operations and programs in Bhutan is successful. ADB assistance in the 2001-2009 review period included the connection of nearly 17,000 households to the electricity grid and preparing public-private partnership models for hydropower projects.

Although the implementation efficiency of ADB projects in Bhutan is still above the ADB average, it has been declining in recent years; possibly due to the increasing size of projects and the complexity of project designs. The study says, "Given rapidly growing volume of financial assistance, these issues need to be addressed."

Among the study's key recommendations is improving the results of ADB strategies and programs through assistance for developing results-based government sector investment and institutional development strategies. The study also recommends enhancing the effectiveness of support for capacity development in Bhutan through assessments of institutional capacity development needs at central and local government levels in key sectors of ADB operations.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Government Development Priorities and ADB Assistance
  • Evaluation of ADB Assistance
  • Key Findings, Lessons, Issues, and Recommendations
  • Appendixes

Note on IED's Country Evaluations and Validations

Using its 2015 Guidelines for the Preparation of Country Assistance Program Evaluations and Country Partnership Strategy Final Review Validations, the Independent Evaluation Department (IED) intends to provide an objective and informed judgement of the performance and results of country partnership strategies (CPSs), particularly in terms of their relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and development impacts.

In ascertaining relevance, IED considers not only the alignment of the program with country needs and government objectives, but also cross-sector CPS objectives, appropriateness of modalities and sector program designs, and sufficiency of donor coordination.

The effectiveness of a country program in delivering results is also an important aspect of an IED evaluation. Primary focus is on the achievement of the outcomes and outputs of ADB interventions (and the likelihood of achievement if the program is still ongoing), as worded in CPSs and their results frameworks. These include knowledge products and institutional development efforts.

Performance and results are likewise judged from an efficiency perspective, that is, whether the program was delivered in a cost-effective and timely manner, and generated value for money. It also considers the capacity of executing agencies that may contribute to start up and implementation delays, and cost overruns.

Another critical element of IED's evaluation is the likely sustainability of results over the medium term, technically, financially, environmentally, socially, politically, and institutionally. Further, IED looks at how results led to development impacts. Specifically, whether ADB contributed to achieving the CPS objectives, directly through its sector programs and implementing cross-cutting agenda(s) across various modalities in different sectors and by various development partners.

IED gives special importance to cross-cutting objectives by considering how the cross-sectoral and thematic objectives of the CPS are articulated in the results framework and provided with appropriate indicators and targets; and how the program achieved the cross-sector thematic results. Equal weights are given to the achievement of sector and cross-cutting objectives in the relevance and development impact assessments, in both country assistance program evaluations (CAPEs) and CPS final review validations (CPSFRVs). This aligns with ADB's increasing emphasis on achieving corporate strategic priorities.

In preparing its country evaluations and validations, IED conducts document reviews, consults with concerned departments, staff, governments and other stakeholders, and undertakes evaluation missions. IED has put in place a quality assurance system to ensure consistent application of its 2015 guidelines. In CPSFRVs, IED's primary focus is to validate the evidence presented in the CPS Final Review.