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Raising Development Impact through Evaluation

Country Assistance Program Evaluation for the Maldives

Evaluation Document | 30 September 2011

This country assistance program evaluation for Maldives assesses ADB's support, identifies factors affecting ADB's performance, and draws lessons and recommendations for improving ADB's future performance.

ADB has provided support to the Republic of the Maldives for more than three decades - a period marked by tourism-fuelled growth. More recently, however, the Maldives has grappled with a number of external shocks, including zero tourism growth in the first half of 2002 after the 9/11 attacks and the 2004 Asian tsunami.

This country assistance program evaluation - the first for the Maldives - assesses the ADB's strategies and programs in the country between 1978 and 2010. Over that period, ADB provided the Maldives with assistance totaling $201.5 million. The overall assessment of ADB support to the Maldives is partly successful.

Among the lessons learned during the review was the need to prepare for long-term sector support strategies for the country, including capacity development, as a basis for new infrastructure operations.

The study recommends improving the effectiveness of ADB's assistance by maintaining sector selectivity, while ensuring development effectiveness by coordinating with development partners on complementary support in related sectors. The study also recommends using phased approaches for enhancing project delivery.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Background Information
  • Evaluation Methodology
  • Evaluation Findings and Performance Ratings by Evaluation Criterion
  • Overall Performance Rating and Addressing the Questions
  • Conclusions
  • 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.