BAKU, AZERBAIJAN – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) saw a rise in success rates and outcomes achieved in its operations in 2014, with most completed on budget, said an ADB performance review released today.

“Even with stricter reporting criteria in 2014, we saw improvements in many areas, with notable achievements in operational outcomes, budgetary targets, cofinancing, public-private partnerships, and increased disbursement of funds,” said Indu Bhushan, Director General of ADB’s Strategy and Policy Department. “Many challenges remain, but the action plan drawn up after the midterm review of our development blueprint, Strategy 2020, has given us a clear path for addressing them.”

The 2014 Development Effectiveness Review (DEfR)—the 8th annual corporate results report—tracks development progress in Asia and the Pacific, assesses ADB’s performance, and identifies areas for operational and organizational improvement. The 2014 review incorporated a number of new indicators to help measure project readiness and improve ADB’s tracking of support for inclusiveness, environmental sustainability, regional cooperation, and organizational effectiveness.

The 2014 DEfR notes that ADB’s developing member countries continue to make headway in some non-income Millennium Development Goals such as access to clean water and the number of girls in school, as well as an overall reduction in carbon intensity. At the same time, many hundreds of millions of people still lack sanitation services and electricity, and the pace of cutting child malnutrition rates has been slow.

ADB operations completed in 2014 resulted in the installation of nearly 5 gigawatts of additional power generation capacity; around 735,000 households got access to clean water; sanitation upgrades were completed in over half a million households; over 12 million students benefited from new or improved classrooms and other facilities; and more than 830,000 people—mostly women—benefited from ADB-supported microfinance loans.

The review said the percentage of operational outcomes achieved in 2014 rose above 80% for the first time, while almost 90% of successfully completed operations delivered results on budget. The success rate for completed sovereign projects, the vast bulk of ADB’s operations, also rose to 73% over the assessment period from 69% previously.

ADB mobilized $9.2 billion in cofinance, an annual record, and it supported 16 public-private partnership transaction agreements, quadruple the 2013 number. The Office of Public-Private Partnership, which opened in September 2014, is now spearheading ADB involvement in these partnerships by providing advisory services, supporting projects, and building the capacity of member countries to attract and handle transactions.

The report noted that while operational success rates improved overall in 2014, there are still some projects and programs rated less than successful, with concerns over design, readiness, procurement and sustainability.

ADB is already responding to these challenges through the Strategy 2020 midterm review action plan, which outlines steps to further streamline business processes, including developing an end-to-end electronic project monitoring system. It is also increasing staff capacity on project design and implementation, and boosting support for the health sector and other activities which will strengthen social protection and inclusion.

To complement the DEfR report which focuses on project results, the 2014 edition of the Together We Deliver report was also launched today to highlight successful projects that demonstrated development impacts, best practice, and innovation. Together We Deliver provides life-changing stories of real life people brought about by ADB-supported projects.

 ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.

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