Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Development Effectiveness Review of the Asian Development Bank 2006-2010

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a major source of development financing for countries in Asia and the Pacific. Headquartered in Manila, ADB had, in 2011, US$21.7 billion in financing and 2,958 employees from 59 countries. Its mandate is to reduce poverty and to improve the lives of the poor in the region by fostering economic growth and regional cooperation.

Why conduct this review?

This review provides an independent, evidence-based assessment of ADB's development effectiveness with a view to guiding Canada's future engagement with ADB and sharing with stakeholders. The review assessed 45 ADB evaluations conducted by its Independent Evaluation Department (IED) between 2006 and 2010.

Most ADB programs achieved their development objectives.

What did the review find?

  • Relevance — ADB programs were relevant to the needs of the target groups and developing-country governments. However, a more robust analysis of the needs of target groups would improve the suitability of some program components.
  • Performance — Most ADB programs achieved their objectives and expected results thanks to the high level of program ownership by national governments and the high performance of most government and non-government partners.
  • Sustainability — The long-term sustainability of ADB programming results requires improvement, particularly through increased investment in the operation and maintenance of infrastructure.
  • Efficiency — Delays in program start-up and implementation contributed, in some cases, to increased costs.
  • Gender equality — ADB needs to ensure that more evaluation reports deal with this important issue. In evaluations that discussed gender equality, 75% of ADB programs effectively addressed it.
  • Environmental sustainability — Most ADB programs supported environmental sustainability effectively but they could benefit from investing in program elements designed to mitigate negative environmental impacts.
  • Monitoring and evaluation systems — ADB's independent evaluation systems were strong and the bank used them effectively. However, local systems for monitoring and reporting results need strengthening.
IED evaluations report that the ADB faced challenges in securing both the efficiency and sustainability of its intended results.

What is next for CIDA?

  • Emphasize the need for the ADB to address gender equality in future evaluations.
  • Engage with ADB to ensure that environmental sustainability of investments in infrastructure is highlighted in future programming.
  • Identify the sustainability of ADB programming as a priority.
  • Place emphasis on improving the timeliness of ADB program implementation as a means of increasing efficiency.
  • Emphasize the need to support strengthened systems for results-based management, including monitoring and reporting, at the local level.

Alternate Format

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Full Report — Development Effectiveness Review of the Asian Development Bank 2006-2010 (PDF, 1.45 MB, 91 pages)
Highlight Sheet — Development Effectiveness Review of the Asian Development Bank 2006-2010 (PDF, 324 KB, 1 page)