MANILA, PHILIPPINES (19 April 2023) — The success rate of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) public sector operations declined during 2016–2022, primarily among infrastructure projects in the relatively new areas of the transport and energy sectors. The success rate of private sector projects remained stable, according to the 2023 Annual Evaluation Review prepared by ADB’s Independent Evaluation Department (IED).

Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, the report found that success hinged predominantly on project factors such as complexity, risk, supervision, delegation, financing utilization, and procurement and design readiness. They accounted for nearly three-fourths of the explainable variations in the public sector performance.

“These factors are directly but not entirely under the control of ADB’s project teams, so improving the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of projects can lead to better project outcomes,” IED Director General Emmanuel Jimenez said.  

“Improvement in success rates can be achieved by making timely mid-course corrections and enhancing the capabilities of subnational implementing agencies and beneficiary groups,” evaluation team leader Hyun Son said. "This can be done by empowering resident mission staff who are better placed to react from the field.”

The evaluation attributes the remaining variables in the public sector performance to country-specific factors, including governance, political stability, fiscal management, economic performance, and unexpected events. 

Therefore, “taking a country-level perspective for supporting enhancements in the performance of individual sovereign projects, as well as ensuring adequate risk management and mitigation, and high-quality due diligence, especially for riskier and more complex approaches, can lead to better outcomes,” IED Director for Sector and Thematic Evaluations Joanne Asquith said. 

About Independent Evaluation at ADB

ADB's Independent Evaluation, reporting to the Board of Directors through the Development Effectiveness Committee, contributes to development effectiveness by providing feedback on ADB's policies, strategies, operations, and special concerns in Asia and the Pacific.

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