Validation of Viet Nam Country Partnership Strategy Final Review, 2016–2020

Evaluation Document | 15 April 2021

This report validates the assessment and findings of the country partnership strategy final review (CPSFR) prepared by ADB’s Southeast Asia Department (SERD) for the country partnership strategy (CPS) for Viet Nam, 2016–2020. The report identifies lessons and issues during implementation of the CPS 2016–2020 and provides recommendations for the next CPS covering 2021–2025. The validation assesses the performance of ADB’s country lending and nonlending program implemented during the CPS 2016–2020.

ADB’s overall performance during the validation period was affected by extraordinary circumstances. The validation finds limited support for the environment and climate change (pillar 3), gaps in the perception of relevance for the program’s interventions, ratings of less than effective for four sectors, limited performance data for four CPS outcome indicators, and deteriorating process efficiency and portfolio performance. 

Some of these issues resulted from challenges posed by extraordinary circumstances (i.e., Viet Nam’s debt management reforms and the COVID-19 outbreak) that were beyond ADB’s control. The overall performance rating is therefore largely based on the performance of projects completed during 2016–2019, as this period was a more complete representation of ADB’s performance in Viet Nam under normal conditions. After 2019, the program contracted and was much smaller than the CPS envisaged, and this negatively impacted ADB performance overall. 

The CPSFR self-assessment rated the program relevant, effective, efficient, likely sustainable, and overall successful. IED validates these ratings but at the lower end of the scale because of diminishing performance over the review period. As such, the validation rates ADB’s overall performance successful on the borderline, reflecting ratings for effectiveness and efficiency that were toward the lower end of the scale.

The validation recommends that, in the next CPS, ADB should: (i) make greater efforts to stay ahead of policy changes in Viet Nam and be prepared to adjust its strategy to the changing context; (ii) maximize the impact of its portfolio by fully leveraging available modalities and funds, along with its development network; (iii) improve overall performance through better portfolio management, higher-quality project design, and reduced inefficiencies; and (iv) provide more technical assistance for strategy and capacity development in Viet Nam.