African Development Bank:

A More Independent Evaluation System Is Needed

NSIAD-86-48: Published: Feb 21, 1986. Publicly Released: Feb 21, 1986.

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GAO reviewed the African Development Bank's (AFDB) progress in establishing an independent program and project evaluation system as a means of informing member governments and management of its efficiency and effectiveness in meeting its objectives.

The United States has political, strategic, economic, and humanitarian interests in Africa which it pursues in part through participation in AFDB. U.S. objectives focus on improving AFDB operations with an effective evaluation system which would: (1) examine ongoing and completed projects and operations; (2) apprise management, governing bodies, and member governments of project results; and (3) apply experience gained to new projects and to AFDB policies and procedures revision. The Agency for International Development's 1982 study showed the need for a more comprehensive and independent evaluation system. GAO found that, since 1980, the AFDB evaluation division has: (1) better defined its role and operating procedures; (2) developed a more comprehensive system encompassing and completed activities; (3) improved its evaluation data collection; and (4) more widely disseminated the results of its work. GAO also found that, because the evaluation division is not an independent department, it: (1) does not have full control over the use of its staff, which has been used for nonevaluation purposes, resulting in delays in evaluation completion; (2) lacks a direct line of reporting to the Board of Executive Directors, causing delays and a lack of objectivity in the reports; and (3) has not exercised control over or developed an evaluation report recommendation follow-up system to keep the AFDB Board and management apprised of the effect of evaluation results on operations.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The agency contact stated that the U.S. Executive Director has made these recommendations, and verification documentation was made available in July 1986. AFDB management is proposing an evaluation division reporting to the President as part of an overall reorganization plan.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Treasury should instruct the U.S. Executive Director, AFDB, to propose that AFDB management and the Board of Executive Directors: (1) as an interim measure, establish the evaluation division as a central evaluation unit under the President, but with a direct line of reporting to the Board; and (2) consider the eventual establishment of a fully independent evaluation unit attached directly to the Board.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury


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