The Spring Meeting of the Evaluation Cooperation Group (ECG) of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) was held in Washington D.C., at the Inter-American Development Bank (IaDB) headquarters, from 24 to 25 April 2013.
The two-day event was organized by the ECG secretariat (Asian Development Bank) and chaired by the Director of the IaDB's Office of Evaluation. The meeting was attended by nearly 50 participants, including the heads of evaluation and evaluation officers from the member MDBs, as well as observers from other agencies.
The participants had the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience about evaluation strategies, policies and practices, providing updates on recent developments in each agency.
Main discussions were structured around the following themes:
Public and Private Sector Good Practice Standards
The session aimed to gain a clearer understanding by all participants of the differences between public and private sector project evaluation standards and their implications for international financial institutions' evaluations. As a follow up to this discussion, it was agreed to undertake a study on how public and private sectors standards could be brought closer.
Self-benchmarking of the Public Sector Good Practice Standards
The terms of reference for self-benchmarking of the public sector were discussed. The Terms of Reference included two phases: i) a self-benchmarking exercise in which each ECG member would assess the extent of harmonisation between existing evaluation policies and practices in their own organisation against the Good Practice Standards; and ii) a consultant would review the self-assessment and provide scores. It was decided to take a step by step approach, which would initially focus on the first phase of self-benchmarking. The results will be shared and discussed at the next ECG Fall Meeting in October 2013.
Engaging in Fragile States – Challenges and Opportunities
A number of evaluation offices have recently completed evaluations about MDB engagement in fragile states. Mr Nigel Roberts presented the findings of the 2011 World Development Report and a panel discussion was facilitated between the evaluation offices of the African Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World bank and the Asian Development Bank. This theme was particularly important, since IOE has planned to undertake a corporate-level evaluation on IFAD's engagement in fragile states in 2014.
Evaluation of Knowledge and Advisory Services
Through presentations of evaluations of Knowledge and Advisory Services, the ECG discussed the possibility of moving towards ECG Good Practice Standards for Technical Assistance. It was agreed that a concept note on this subject would be prepared and Asian Development Bank will take the lead on this.
The IaDB presented the recently completed mid-term evaluation of its commitments under 9th capital increase (the so called "IDB-9"). More particularly, IaDB's Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE) was charged with conducting a mid-term evaluation to assess whether the reforms mandated in IDB-9 were being implemented fully and effectively. The broad conclusion of this evaluation, which included 22 background papers that are all being presented and discussed separately at the IDB board, is that management has invested heavily in implementing the IDB-9 reforms and that the requirement of full implementation has been met. However, progress toward effective implementation has been more mixed. The demand for this type of evaluation is likely to spread to other Banks. In fact, the AfDB has already been asked to conduct a similar exercise.
Finally, additional discussions were held on the following issues: Evaluation Independence, Dialogue with Management, Policy Dialogue, Membership of ECG, African Development Bank, Note on Evaluation Issues and the forthcoming Fall ECG meeting, which will be held in Washington next October 2013.
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