Sector Assistance Program Evaluation for the Road Sector in Pakistan

Evaluation Document | 30 November 2006
This sector assistance program evaluation reviews ADB's contribution to the road sector in Pakistan over the period 1985 to 2005 and assesses the extent to which they contributed to the development of the sector and identified lessons for the future.

This evaluation reviewed ADB's contribution to the sector over the period 1985 to 2005. It evaluated the performance of ADB's completed projects, assessed the extent to which they contributed to the overall development of the sector, and identified lessons for the future. The study also provides a set of recommendations for future ADB operations.

Since 1985, ADB has lent a total of $2.1 billion to the road sector, more than half of all external assistance provided to the sector. In addition, since 1984, ADB has provided a total of $6.3 million grants for 24 technical assistance projects. ADB's projects were prepared to complement the assistance of the other funding agencies.

ADB's entry point into the sector was to support the expansion of the rural road network as a means of fostering agricultural development. Three projects in the road sector were approved for this in 1985, 1990, and 1992.

Key issues in the sector include

  • the need for additional rural access roads
  • inadequate road maintenance
  • a poor road safety record
  • institutional inefficiency
  • weak governance including corruption
  • insufficient private sector involvement
  • the need for greater connectivity with neighboring countries.


  • The completed road projects have been effective in achieving stated outcomes and represent an efficient use of resources despite delayed implementation.
  • Greater attention to institutional efficiency is required, as is road safety and maintenance.
  • ADB's support should be long term in nature with the achievements being periodically reviewed while encouraging the program to evolve.
  • ADB has started to encourage the Government to take on a greater role in preparing projects and could strengthen this approach as well.


  • The effectiveness of ADB's road sector performance must be viewed in the context of ADB's overall program in Pakistan. Further evaluations are to be made in the Country Assistance Program Evaluation and next Country Strategy Program for Pakistan.
  • In the future, new access road subprojects will become less readily identifiable and a wider range of subproject types (e.g., widening, rehabilitation, and bridges to replace fords, apart from just new roads) should be considered.
  • A long-term commitment will be needed to address traffic safety issues which would involve working with agencies of the Government not related to roads as well other funding agencies.
  • If ADB continues to be involved in the road sector, the sector roadmap should include policy and institutional support, as well as lending, to encourage greater private sector involvement in the road sector. Achieving this objective will require that the public and private sides of ADB work together.