Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2005

Main Text > Part II ODA DISBURSEMENTS IN FISCAL YEAR 2004 > Chapter 2 Details and New Policies about Japan's ODA: Striving for Further ODA Reforms > Section 5. Formulation and Implementation of ODA Policy > 3. Matters Essential to Effective Implementation

3. Matters Essential to Effective Implementation

(1) Enhancement of Evaluation

In order to implement ODA more effectively and efficiently, the status of implementation and the resulting benefits must be accurately ascertained and, when necessary, improved. To ensure that these requirements are fulfilled, ODA-related government ministries and agencies, including MOFA and the implementing agencies JICA and JBIC, conduct monitoring and evaluations. Formerly, evaluations focused primarily on individual projects, but with the increased emphasis on strategic ODA targeting sectors or entire countries in recent years, the targets of evaluation have come to include sectors, schemes, countries, and priority issues in addition to individual projects. Efforts are also being made to incorporate outside points of view through third-party evaluations and the like in order to ensure objectivity in evaluations.

In a country assistance evaluation conducted in FY2004, the government inspected Japan's ODA in Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, and Laos, countries where succeeding assistance programs were in development. Japan conducts evaluations with a particular emphasis on determining whether Japan's assistance policies are consistent with the needs of the developing country, whether these policies produce benefits, and whether assistance is provided through an appropriate implementation process. In the country assistance evaluation of Bangladesh, it was confirmed that the sectors to which Japan had given priority in providing assistance were generally in accordance with the needs of the developing country, but it was recommended that further consideration was needed regarding issues like improvement of governance and elimination of gender inequality. In response to these recommendations, the Government is reviewing the issues pertaining to assistance to Bangladesh in developing a Country Assistance Program.

Priority issue evaluations focused on the health and education sectors, which occupy an important position in relation to MDGs, and on anti-personnel mine action assistance provided at the end of the preceding plan (2003). With regard to measures relating to MDGs, inspections were conducted concerning the consistency of these measures with the overall policies of economic cooperation and the measures of the international community, as well as the appropriateness, efficiency, and effectiveness of the policy-making and implementation process. As a result, it was recommended that the Japanese government should hereafter implement assistance with greater emphasis on strategic considerations in order to achieve MDGs. Recommendations proposed by the evaluation of the health sector were considered in elaborating "Health and Development Initiative" announced in June 2005. In addition, the evaluation of anti-personnel mine action assistance reported that Japanese activities to support the removal of anti-personnel mines and to support mine victims up to now have functioned effectively and recommended that this assistance should continue along with the effective implementation system.

A scheme evaluation of Japan NGO support grants conducted jointly with NGOs studied the implementation process and the systems of this program. It was recommended that both NGOs and MOFA make improvements in some procedural and other aspects and should promote mutual understanding regarding the administration of the scheme. The evaluation also pointed out the need to strengthen the partnership between NGOs and MOFA.

In individual project evaluations, ex-post evaluations by outside evaluators were conducted for all completed yen-loan projects from the perspective of the soundness of plan, efficiency, effectiveness, and impact (ripple effects) of implementation, and the sustainability of the project. For example, an ex-post evaluation of the Komering Irrigation Project (Stage II, Phase 2) in Indonesia, which was designed to contribute to poverty reduction by increasing farmers' incomes through increased production of rice made possible by means such as the construction of secondary waterways and discharge waterways, already confirmed that the project yielded direct results and ripple effects such as improvements in agricultural productivity (unit crop), higher income, and stimulation of the rural economy. Through this project, the agricultural productivity of a beneficiary district continued to increase at the time of an ex post evaluation two years after completion, and it was recommended that the implementing agency should reconfirm, by means of an outside evaluator, that the benefits of the project were still recognized several years after the time when the project results appeared as planned.

In addition, the recommendations yielded by individual project evaluations concerning grant aid and technical cooperation were also applied to new projects. In an example of grant aid, an ex-post evaluation of the basic design study of the Elementary School Construction Project (Phase 3) in Senegal recognized the effectiveness of conducting training in facilities maintenance for community residents, teachers, and students in addition to the construction of classrooms and other facilities. The results of this evaluation were provided as feedback to the basic design study of a subsequent elementary school construction project, with extensive study being given to implementation of maintenance training. In an example of technical cooperation, the Kenya Intermediate Science and Mathematics Education Improvement Project was studied from the standpoint of achievement of objectives and the sustainability of the project. The resulting lessons obtained with regard to the methods of securing the expenses of the recipient country in implementing training here applied to the Myanmar Juvenile Education Improvement Project and the Indonesia Elementary and Intermediate Science and Mathematics Education Expansion Project. In the above-mentioned project in Indonesia, the measures taken in response to the medium-term evaluation consisted of shifting the focus of activities to a locally-oriented approach.

As such, the Government is striving to improve ODA by implementing a broad range of evaluations that extend from policy to individual projects, and then providing feedback of the results for application to the implementation process of ODA. For evaluations of individual projects implemented through grant aid, the Government plans to further expand both the number of projects targeted for evaluation and the scope of evaluations. The Government is also publicizing the results of the evaluations on the websites of ministries and implementing agencies in order to be more accountable to the Japanese public.