Country Assistance Program Evaluation for Cambodia: Growth and Sector Reform (2009)

Evaluation Document | 30 September 2009

This country assistance program evaluation assesses the performance of the country strategies and assistance programs of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for Cambodia during 1998-2008.

Cambodia's economy made strong progress in its second decade of recovery from prolonged civil conflict, posting average gross domestic product growth of more than 9% per year during 1999-2008. Per capita gross domestic product in current prices tripled from $256 in 1998 to $794. The private sector, particularly in garments, tourist-related services, and construction, led this robust performance.

As the global economic crisis got underway in 2008, however, the risks of this narrow economic focus became apparent, with garment exports coming under pressure, growth in tourist arrivals turning negative, and construction and foreign direct investment slowing.

This study assesses the performance of ADB country strategies and assistance programs for Cambodia from 1998 to 2008. It expands on the findings and recommendations of the country assistance program evaluation completed in 2004.

After resuming assistance to Cambodia in 1992, ADB had approved a total of $1.3 billion in loans, grants, and technical assistance through to the end of 2008. Assistance in transport infrastructure and agriculture and rural development made up the largest share of assistance. ADB's strategies and programs have evolved with the country's evolution, from relief and rehabilitation to reconstruction and development. Overall, ADB's assistance program to Cambodia was rated successful.

The study recommends, among other things, that ADB assistance promote private sector-led growth and income generation through improved infrastructure services. It recommends a focus on fewer subsectors and that ADB explore other financing modalities to meet Cambodia's evolving development needs.


  • Executive Summary
  • Background
  • Development Context and Government Priorities
  • Asian Development Bank's Country Strategy and Performance - Top-down Assessment
  • Sector Results and Performance - Bottom-up Assessment
  • Overall Performance Assessment and Rating
  • Finding, Lessons, and Recommendations