Country Assistance Program Evaluation for the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam (2009)

Evaluation Document | 31 August 2009

This country assistance program evaluation assesses the performance of ADB's country strategies and assistance programs for Viet Nam during 1999-2008, and will be an input to the country partnership strategy for 2011-2015.

Through much of the last decade, Viet Nam continued to reap the benefits of the doi moi reform process, with economic growth averaging a strong 7.4% per year from 1998 to 2007, and poverty declining from 35.0% in 2000 to 16.0% in 2006. As the country enters a new development phase, however, the need for better infrastructure, expansion of the private sector, and labor market skills relevant to rapid industrialization has grown.

This study assesses the performance of ADB's country strategies and assistance programs for Viet Nam during 1999-2008, and served as an input to the country partnership strategy for 2011-2015.

ADB assistance in the study period grew significantly and the project focus shifted to large infrastructure (roads and energy), from agriculture and natural resources; urban services; and law, economic management, and public policy. Viet Nam received 56 public sector loans, 143 technical assistance grants, 22 project grants, and 9 private sector loans during the evaluation period, with public sector lending totaling $4.4 billion. The overall performance of ADB's country assistance strategies and programs in the period is rated successful.

The assessment showed that development partners will find it more difficult to influence reforms where there is strong government ownership of the development agenda, as in Viet Nam. But ADB's alignment with government plans and the priorities of its programs helped implementation, particularly those supporting higher level reform. Nonetheless, the study recommends, among other things, that ADB enhance implementation performance and support decentralized project implementation by improving implementation capacity assessments, particularly at the subnational level.


  • Executive Summary
  • Background
  • Development Context and Government Priorities
  • Asian Development Bank's Assistance Program and Performance - Top-down Assessment
  • Bottom-up Assessment
  • Performance Assessment and Rating
  • Findings, Lessons, 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.