The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID‐19) continues to impact the world including Asian Development Bank (ADB) member countries. Amid the pandemic, ADB continues to support its member countries in addressing the impact of COVID‐19. This year’s Annual Evaluation Review (AER) provides an update on the Independent Evaluation Department’s (IED) assessment of ADB’s development effectiveness based on findings and evidence from IED’s work. The AER also provides an annual update on the implementation status of ADB Management’s action plans in response to recommendations from IED’s corporate, thematic, and country assistance program evaluations.
To address the emergency needs and adapt to restrictions on the ground especially because of the pandemic, ADB operations made significant adjustments to continue delivering and assessing performance and results. Results from the independent assessment indicated that sovereign operations were able to sustain their performance for the past two consecutive 3‐year periods. In the nonsovereign sector, private sector operations marginally improved in the last 3‐year period, but private equity funds continued to underperform. Technical assistance (TA) validations highlight the need to strengthen TA design, specifically in terms of tightening the continuum of the design and monitoring framework results chain.
The year’s AER focused on analyzing the factors that influenced the declining trend in the effectiveness rating for 2016–2020. The report finds that for sovereign operations, adequate project design, improved supervision, executing agency and implementing agency capacity, commitment, and monitoring were the key drivers of effectiveness. For nonsovereign operations, quality of project design, supervision and monitoring capacity to support environment, social, health, and safety performance were key factors affecting effectiveness.
The 2022 AER’s theme chapter presents an in‐depth assessment on ADB’s engagement in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCAS) and small island developing states (SIDS). A focus on FCAS and SIDS is timely as the COVID‐19 pandemic intensifies existing drivers of conflict and fragility in these environments. Further, two ADB member countries— Afghanistan and Myanmar—have experienced conflicts and increased security risks in 2021, with ADB placing its assistance to these countries on temporary hold. ADB continues to respond to the need to work differently in FCAS and SIDS contexts. However, there is room for improving how ADB addresses context‐specific drivers of fragility and conflict at the country, subnational, and project levels. Its harmonized collaboration with development financing institutions, humanitarian agencies, civil society organizations, and other development actors will be crucial in addressing fragility and conflict and building resilience in FCAS and SIDS environments. Finally, ADB must enhance its country and project monitoring systems with indicators and narratives that are tailored to drivers of fragility and conflict in FCAS and SIDS. To promote an inclusive and sustainable recovery from the COVID‐19 pandemic and future crises, addressing fragility and conflict is a high priority in the development agendas of ADB and other development organizations.