Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2006

Main Text > Part II ODA DISBURSEMENTS IN FISCAL YEAR 2005 > Chapter 2 Details about Japan's ODA > 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, it is important to get proper and accurate knowledge of the implementation process and the effects accurately to improve them when necessary. It is also important to explain to the taxpayers how ODA is used and how effective it is. To this end, ODA-related ministries and agencies such as MOFA and implementing agencies such as JICA and JBIC conduct monitoring and evaluation.

    ODA evaluation is positioned in the framework of PDCA Cycle (Plan → Do → Check → Act). The evaluation results provide feedback to the departments in charge so as to contribute to improving the formulation and implementation of ODA policy. The results are also conveyed to the parties concerned in recipient countries. The results are also released to the general public through websites to ensure accountability.

    Although evaluations were primarily conducted on individual projects in the past, recent evaluations are conducted on countries, priority issues, sectors, and aid modalities with increased emphasis on strategic ODA targeting specific countries or sectors. Furthermore, third-party evaluations have been promoted to ensure objectivity.

A. Policy- and Program-Level Evaluations

The MOFA, a main body for ODA policies, conducts policy-level evaluations such as country and priority issue evaluations, and program-level evaluations, sector and aid modality evaluations.

    In FY2005, MOFA conducted country assistance evaluations for Cambodia, Kenya and Tanzania, for which Country Assistance Programs were to be updated, as well as Senegal which was waiting for the new formation of such programs. Japan conducts evaluations with particular emphasis on whether its assistance policies are consistent with the needs of developing countries, whether these policies have been effective, and whether assistance is provided through appropriate implementation processes. In the country assistance evaluation for Tanzania, it was confirmed that Japan's priority areas for assistance were generally in agreement with the needs of the recipient country. At the same time, it was pointed out that the aid contents should be laid out on selection and concentration according to Japan's comparative advantage, while clearly laying out Japan's basic policy for aid coordination to countries like Tanzania, in which aid coordination is making progress among donors.

    Priority issue evaluations were implemented on "poverty reduction" and "peacebuilding," which are the priority issues of the ODA Charter. In these evaluations relevance of Japan's policy with the undertakings of the international community, the effectiveness of the ODA projects, and the appropriateness of the process were evaluated. The evaluation results of poverty reduction pointed out that Japanese ODA has contributed to infrastructure development for the economic growth of East Asian countries, which encouraged poverty reduction, and that it has helped the region to be on the track for achieving the MDGs. On that basis, the evaluation result emphasized the importance of enhancing PR activities in Japan and abroad, as well as improving coordination among Japanese aid modalities concentrating on specific regions of recipient countries in order to encourage the synergy effect of Japanese aid. In the evaluation of peacebuilding, the report pointed out that a mechanism enabling development and timely dispatch of human resources with experience should be reinforced.

    As a sector evaluation, MOFA conducted the joint evaluation with NGOs on the education sector in the Philippines. Evaluations were conducted on transportation infrastructure in Viet Nam and agricultural and rural development, and disaster management in Bangladesh jointly with the respective governments of these countries. As for an aid modality evaluation, evaluation was conducted on grassroots human security grant aid, and the review of General Budget Support (GBS) as a new form of aid was also carried out.

B. Project Level Evaluations

Evaluation of individual projects is one of the areas to be enhanced, as it is important for accountable, effective and efficient aid.

    For all yen loan projects, JBIC conducts ex-ante evaluations at the preparatory stage of projects. Two years after the completion of projects JBIC conducts ex-post evaluations by external evaluators in accordance with international standards for evaluation of relevance and fulfillment of objectives, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, and sustainability. In order to develop a more thorough evaluation system, JBIC has conducted "mid-term reviews" since FY2004 to verify the appropriateness and effectiveness of the project plan five years after the conclusion of loan agreements, along with "ex-post monitoring" seven years after the completion of projects to verify effectiveness, impact, and sustainability.

    Through ex-post evaluations of 41 yen loan projects in FY2004 (e.g. the Tian Sheng Qiao First Hydroelectric Power Project (1)-(4) in China, Bangkok Water Supply Improvement Project (4-2)(5) and Bangkok Water Supply Network System Improvement Project in Thailand), it became clear that most of the projects yielded the results initially expected, and that many people benefited from the projects: 52.02 million through power supply (industrial revitalization, electrification of farm communities); 31.66 million through the supply of safe drinking water and treatment of domestic industrial wastewater ; 2.67 million through flood control (safe livelihood). Furthermore, in FY2006, JBIC decided to implement and to announce the results of the evaluation on the Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP). With this evaluation, it is expected that the understanding in both developing countries and Japan will increase and that it will contribute to further improvement of the STEP scheme.

    As for technical assistance, JICA carries out continuous evaluations at each stage of projects, -ex-ante, mid-term, terminal and ex-post evaluation- and encourages the use of lessons learned. For example, in the Trincomalee Province Resident Participation-Type Agriculture and Farm Restoration and Development Plan initiated in Sri Lanka in FY2005, application of the lesson learned from the part thematic evaluations "poverty reduction/regional community development" has been encouraged (i.e. the need to clarify the division of labor among stakeholders and to increase motivation and initiative of the parties concerned of the recipient countries). With this, information sharing was improved prior to the project implementation among interested parties concerning the concept and methodology of the project and the division of labor. In addition, projects were implemented based on community action plans prepared independently by local residents themselves, to promote active and continuous participation by the residents' organizations responsible for development.

    With regard to grant aid, MOFA has conducted ex-post evaluations of projects since FY2005 to check how facilities and equipment are used and how effective they are in identifying problems and difficulties of each project. Evaluations were generally positive concerning the appropriateness of projects and their effects, while there was also room for improvement in some projects. The lessons obtained from those evaluations will be reflected in the development and implementation of new projects. Evaluations for this fiscal year were conducted for 52 projects of more than ¥1 billion which were completed 3 to 5 years ago. In the future, MOFA aims to conduct evaluations for all Grant Aid projects and also to improve evaluations by involving third parties.

    For Loan Aid and Grant Aid exceeding certain amounts, MOFA conducts evaluations according to the Government Policy Evaluation Act (GPEA).

A scene of local assessment for reviews of general budget support (Tanzania)
A scene of local assessment for reviews of general budget support (Tanzania)