Learning Curves: Transport Sector in the Pacific | Asian Development Bank

Learning Curves: Transport Sector in the Pacific

Evaluation Document | 1 August 2012

This edition of Learning Curves summarizes the findings of an evaluation of ADB's support to transportation development in Pacific developing member countries. The overall rating for ADB support to the transport sector in the Pacific is successful.

The regional evaluation study on the transport sector in Pacific developing member countries evaluates and derives lessons from ADB transportation development assistance to the region between 1995 and 2010. It focuses on the road, maritime, and civil aviation subsectors.

Support for transport projects from loans and grants comprised the largest sector share (37.5%) of ADB's total assistance to Pacific developing countries between 1969, the start of ADB's support to this region, and 2010. This totalled $2.5 billion across all sectors.

The study focuses on Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Timor-Leste, and the Solomon Islands. It evaluates the strategic, institutional, lending, and nonlending project initiatives in the transport sector as a whole rather than project by project. Sector support ranged between $20 million and $60 million per year in 1995-2006, and over $100 million per year since 2007. Overall, ADB support to the transport sector was rated as successful.

The study draws attention to the need for physical investments to be complemented by equally strong support for capacity development and policy formation.

It recommends buildingshort-term and longer-term technical capacity in the design, implementation, and maintenance responsibilities for transport infrastructure investments using a strategic approach. It says the viability of transport infrastructure investments could be increased by "realistically" forecasting benefits and costs based on past sector experience and rigorous sensitivity analyses. This is in the light of volatile construction prices and exchange rates. The study recommends improving the effectiveness of sector investments by consolidating communications with stakeholders, and allocating more resources to supervision, monitoring, and evaluation based on the country context and sector portfolio.