Country Assistance Program Evaluation for India

Evaluation Document | 24 May 2017

This evaluation assesses the performance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) strategy and program for India from 2007 to 2015. Its findings are intended to feed into the design of the next country partnership strategy (CPS).

ADB provided a total of $22.1 billion to India, including $17.2 billion through sovereign loans and grants, $4.7 billion for nonsovereign operations, and $151.7 million in technical assistance grants. Most of the supported operations are in transport, energy, finance, and water and other urban infrastructure and services.

The evaluation considered the private sector program and the main public sector programs in transport, energy, water and other urban infrastructure and services, finance, and public sector management successful. On specific evaluative criteria, some smaller programs performed below expectations. The social (health and education) and agriculture sector programs were also assessed, but since ADB operations in these areas are recent, it is too early to determine their results.

The results of ADB’s support for the main strategic agendas and some thematic priorities were assessed on their relevance and impacts. Support for inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, gender equality, and public–private partnerships has all been found relevant with satisfactory development impacts. Support for knowledge solutions and innovations was less than expected but had satisfactory development impacts. ADB support for the regional cooperation and integration agenda was relevant but more limited than envisaged and was therefore rated less than satisfactory on its development impacts.

The performance of ADB’s strategy and program in India is considered successful overall. Nevertheless, ADB needs to improve in some critical areas of process efficiency; and attention to development challenges in the next CPS. The evaluation provides recommendations at the strategic and operational levels.

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.