Independent Development Evaluation (IDEV) of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has published its Annual Report 2016, a year marked by the delivery of an exceptional report, the Comprehensive Evaluation of the AfDB’s Development Results, and a transformation process to meet new evaluation needs.
“The world of international development is changing and so is the AfDB. Business as usual cannot be the response. Business Unusual is the fitting title of the 2016 IDEV Annual Report” said Rakesh Nangia, Evaluator General at the AfDB. “IDEV has adapted to the changing context, positioned itself as a driver of change, and is transforming itself to respond to new evaluation needs in the era of the SDGs and the Bank’s High 5 priority areas”.
During 2016 IDEV delivered 13 evaluations intended to improve the Bank’s performance, including the Comprehensive Evaluation of Development Results (CEDR), which covers 10 years of AfDB operations. The CEDR was three years in the making and involved almost all IDEV staff, making it the biggest ever undertaking in IDEV’s history. Additionally, IDEV completed seven country strategy and program evaluations in South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Morocco, a country program case study in Mozambique, a regional integration strategy evaluation for Eastern Africa, and an evaluation synthesis on Private Sector Development. IDEV also completed two impact evaluations of rural water and sanitation programs, in Ethiopia and Tanzania. Impact evaluations have been embraced by the IDEV team as an important and viable means of attributing results to a specific development program.
IDEV also responded to the demand for evaluation by commencing studies of regional integration in Central Africa and of the Congo Basin Forest fund, among others.
IDEV has positioned itself as a driver of change. The annual report stresses the efforts made to promote evaluation capacity development through its support throughout the year for the African Parliamentarians’ Network on Development Evaluation (APNODE), the Evaluation Platform for Regional African Development Institutions (EPRADI) and Strengthening National Evaluation Systems (SNES) initiative. IDEV also organized numerous learning activities with particular emphasis on impact evaluation, and hosted its flagship knowledge event, the AfDB Development Evaluation Week, where development experts shared their views on how best to leverage the AfDB’s High 5 priorities -Light up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa- to transform the continent.
IDEV also faced some challenges during its year of Business Unusual, including achieving the staffing and skills mix required to shift to more in-house evaluation work, and issues of accessing the high-quality data needed to carry out its extended role.
Looking ahead, Rakesh Nangia said “IDEV has proved to be nimble in its responses to new evaluation needs. We will continue the transformation process initiated last year and maintain our independent status, all the while supporting the Bank to achieve better results and stronger self-evaluation in its operations departments.”