2001 Volume 10 Issue 2 Pages 3-16
The “Evaluation Working Group” and the “Study Group on the ODA Evaluation” under the “ODA Evaluation Reviewing Panel”, which is an advisory committee for the Director-General of the Economic Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, discussed problems and issues concerning the ODA evaluation in a systematic and comprehensive manner and published final reports in March 2000 and February 2001, respectively. This paper analyzes the main issues dealt with by these groups and makes some improvement suggestions concerning ODA evaluation.
One of the issues for the future concerning ODA evaluation is the importance of setting a viewpoint of evaluation, which is above the project goal itself and is the ultimate objective of the project. Most of the ODA evaluations in the past dealt with individual projects only, thus simply measuring the direct effects (outputs) of the projects. However, it is important to measure not only such outputs but also the influence of the “outputs” in the society, in other words the “outcome” or “impact” of projects. Another point is that in order to conduct an effective evaluation it is necessary to establish a systematic scheme for evaluation, covering the whole period of a project from the planning to the post-project stages.
While evaluation has two roles of helping establish accountability through securing transparency, and learning lessons for the future, more efforts should be made to place emphasis on the learning aspect. Evaluation results are to be fed back to the projects at issue or shared with other projects of similar nature, thus contributing to the improvement of ODA in the long run. It is necessary to establish a system not only to distribute information but also to enable effective information feedback.