Country Assistance Program Evaluation for Papua New Guinea (2003) | Asian Development Bank

Country Assistance Program Evaluation for Papua New Guinea (2003)

Evaluation Document | 30 September 2003

This country assistance program evaluation assesses the contributions that ADB's assistance made to Papua New Guinea's development and generate feedback for the forthcoming country strategy and program.

Papua New Guinea (PNG) faces a complex set of development challenges. The past 30 years of development have not resulted in a diversification of the economy that would make it less vulnerable to external shocks, and incomes have effectively declined. The law and order situation has deteriorated, and capacities of the machinery of government to administer the public sector and manage the development process remain inadequate. Complex governance structures, abused by individuals for personal gain or that of their tribal kin, resulted in an inefficient, costly (because of corruption), and ineffective administration that absorbs large amounts of public money without delivering commensurate public services.

The purpose of the country assistance program evaluation (CAPE) was to assess the contributions that ADB's assistance made to PNG's development and generate feedback for the forthcoming country strategy and program. The assessment was structured to evaluate contributions to PNG's key development processes and assess how ADB's strategic goals were addressed. To form an assessment, the CAPE analyzed

  • how well ADB's country strategies were formulated and translated into an operational program
  • how well ADB's operations were designed and implemented
  • what were the outcomes?

Issues and lessons

Three issues were central to PNG's development: reforming the machinery of government, managing the economy which is dualistic and highly dependent on international commodity prices, and delivering public services.

Overall, ADB supported the right development areas, but issues related to the machinery of government could have been recognized and incorporated into the program at an earlier stage. Sector priorities were consistent with goals. However, projects worked in isolation and, at most, considered sector issues but not how sectors contributed to an overall development goal. This weakness resulted in the lack of a structured and sequenced program, which lost potential synergy effects and generated only isolated and short-lived outcomes.

While projects suffered from a number of design and implementation problems, the Program included efforts to move from traditional project designs to testing new concepts that might help overcome typical contextual factors (lack of sustained commitment, inadequacy of project funding, etc.) that adversely affected project implementation and sustained operations. These efforts need to be tested and discussed among the PNG country team, to ensure that new approaches that work are replicated whenever possible and pitfalls of others are avoided.


To take the country forward, government commitment is essential for any improvements in economic performance, poverty reduction, or the management of public resources and sectors. Without government commitment, external assistance will remain ineffective, as illustrated by the many development efforts that continue to lack sustained results.

Government and development partners' efforts need to concentrate on

  • determining and implementing a development agenda that addresses the urgent need to create jobs to stem poverty and a continuously deteriorating law and order situation
  • managing debt levels and introducing systemic changes to public resources management to avoid perpetual financial crises
  • building capacities through the public administration to manage the economy, ensure that the Government and administration fulfill their roles, and provide public services where needed.


  • Basic Data
  • Executive Summary
  • Map
  • Background
  • ADB's Assistance Program
  • Contributing to PNG's Development
  • Addressing ADB's Strategic Goals
  • Development Partners
  • Conclusions
  • Development Challenges Ahead
  • 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.