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.
This paper reviews project appraisal theories and recent developments in more general evaluation of government activities and government themselves, and it derives new challenges that the project appraisal needs to take up. It also identifies four theoretical sources for the development of project appraisal. The first two, i. e., welfare economics and cost-benefit analysis, have been and will be the foundation of any evaluation of government activities, and the second two, i. e., new public management and “program evaluation”, will be the sources for further development of project appraisal.
It idetifies 12 new challenges for the further development, whose basic nature is the shift of emphasis within the project appraisal concepts. This shift is principally driven by outcome-and-output orientation a la new public management. The new challenges are the shift of emphasis (1) from ex-ante to on-going evaluation of project performance; (2) toward self-sustainability and replicability of a project, particularly toward financial sustainability of a project itself and the government budget that finances it; (3) toward another self-sustainability in terms of a project's institutional and human capabilities, which take many years to build up; (4) toward encouragement and utilization of project undertakings by private enterprises and/or non-governmental organizations, and toward the reduction of government's undertakings and interventions; (5) from investment evaluations to recurrent expenditure evaluations; (6) toward including the alternatives of suspension and cancellation of a project in case of on-going or ex-post evaluation; (7) toward expanding project alternatives to include higher level alternatives such as public expenditure reviews; (8) toward stakeholders' participation; (9) toward creating more alternatives in terms of the relevance of the project to its objectives; (10) toward the expansion of evaluation criteria to include the elements discussed in this challenge list and more such as an environmental criterion; (11) toward developing concrete ideas of benefits regarding the new criteria introduced above and developing thire measurement methods; and (12) toward analyzing the effects of fungibility problem in case of foreign assistance.
This article offers a prospective framework for the third-party evaluation of Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects. The framework covers a professional evaluation approach as well as multifocus evaluation criteria. In the opening section it defines third-party evaluation, and then the second section uses four of the five criteria of the Developmental Assistance Committee (DAC), which are effectiveness, efficiency, impact and relevance, to analyze this evaluation as a typical example of an interdisciplinary approach. Based on these criteria, many research and international assistance organizations have generated evaluation frameworks for their projects, for example European Aid's Log Frame and FASID's evaluation matrix. In the third section, the remaining criterion of sustainability is discussed in detail in terms of its current accepted methodology, and an alternative method of evaluation is proposed; this is followed by the conclusions.
The conclusions of this article are as follows:
Firstly, the DAC's five criteria provide a fundamentally sound basis for project evaluation. Further refinement of certain aspects could well help to overcome weaknesses relating to a tendency towards broadness and generality.
Secondly, the precise definition and scope of the individual criteria, especially ‘impact’ and ‘sustainability’, should be determined beforehand.
Thirdly, an appropriate methodology should be developed to evaluate the particular aspects of the project, especially its impact, sustainability and relevance.
Finally, this article presents an alternative evaluation method for project sustainability from an institutional and a resource perspective, and confirms its effectiveness.
The importance of evaluation feedback has been strongly expressed for a long period. However, actual feedback has not been conducted sufficiently. Considering this situation, the paper discusses evaluation feedback from the viewpoint of influencing stakeholders. JICA's evaluation strategy and operations are used as an example.
The paper illustrates Kirkhart's integrated theory of evaluation use as an analytical framework. By utilizing this framework, the paper assess JICA's recent evaluation development such as strategic selection of evaluation themes, expansion of web-site/homepage utilization, introduction of participatory evaluation methods, conduct of meta-evaluation, and performance measurement, and clarify their future directions.
Discussion of feedback is usually narrowly defined so that influence of evaluation is somewhat limited and its effect is marginalized. Discussion conducted in this paper from evaluation influence viewpoint will help maximize the effect of evaluation on stakeholders.
This paper starts its discussion by examining the Foreign Affairs article by Paul Krugman. Krugman goes over the growth-accounting studies by Alwyn Young and others, who found relatively low growth-rates of total factor productivity for the East Asian NIEs. Krugman took Young's finding of high growth-rates of labor and capital input as representing a lot of “perspiration” and “sacrifice of present satisfaction,” and judged that these economies will not be able to catch up and overtake the West.
The present paper finds (1) that the growth-rates of total factor productivity in East Asia were not low, if properly interpreted. It also finds (2) that the “perspiration” was largely the result of effortless changes in the age-composition of population towards a more productive ages. Thirdly, the effect of capital deepening, not based on suppression of the present satisfaction, will continue to be felt, and the diminishing return to a higher capital-labor ratio will not be felt soon.
So, much of the economic growth of East Asia was judged to be sustainable, and in fact it was sustained until 1997, when Singapore took over the United States as the highest income country of the world, repudiating Krugman's prediction.
Then, it is found historically and analytically that the East Asian growth was almost totally neoclassical. Historically, industrial policy was practised only in the Republic of Korea, whose performance turned out to be inferior to Taiwan's in terms of the growth-rate of total factor productivity and in terms of income distribution. In other regions, a more or less neoclassical policy resulted in a high growth-rate of total factor productivity.
Policies adopted were found to be similar to those of Japan's Meiji government in the emphasis on the protection of private property right, more or less free trade, staying largely away from industrial policy, sending student abroad for the importation of foreign knowledge, and spending resources on research, development, and extension activities for the digestion of imported knowledge, and emphasizing education on primary and secondary levels, even though foreign direct investment was substituted by model factories and expos in Japan. Analytically as much as 97% of the total economic growth is accounted for neoclassically.
In this paper, we highlight the effectiveness of a benefit transfer function to estimate economic benefits of a development project in a developing country. Due to high costs, time, and data requirements for non-market valuation techniques, a valid benefit transfer function could be a better option to estimate economic benefits of rural water supply in terms of willingness to pay (WTP). The validity of the benefit transfer function could be assessed from the difference between actual and projected estimates. We test this hypothesis with the empirical findings from a rural water supply project in Pakistan. We conducted contingent valuation (CV) survey in the five villages to estimate the actual WTP. Then, we adapt a single study based domestic benefit transfer function to estimate the economic benefits in the other villages. This function is based on risk characteristics, household characteristics, and CV characteristics. The health characteristics are locally constant and having a relationship with the household characteristics. Therefore, the household characteristics are the major input for the transfer function and those can be adapted from secondary data sources. We compare the actual and projected WTP for the five sample villages and we find a difference of around 5% in four villages, which are located in brackish water zone. The difference is about 25% in the only village from sweet water zone, where water supply is not the priority in comparison with other basic facilities. Based on this transfer function, we estimate the benefits in 51 villages and then from cost-benefit ratio, we find this project as economically viable under unified policy.
Since the 1990s, there has been controversy regarding Kuznets' inverted-U hypothesis and the economic theory of trickle down. There are a variety of arguments as to whether the inverted-U hypothesis holds or not and whether inequality can be a driving force of economic growth. This paper examines the above arguments theoretically and empirically, and clarifies how income inequality relates to economic development, considering the key social factors such as health and education. While it is recently observed that Kuznets' inverted-U hypothesis cannot be empirically supported from the simple relationship between income and inequality measures, the paper concludes that the inverted-U shape holds partially, and that the hypothesis points out one of the important phenomena of income inequality related to economic development. Regarding trickle down economic theory, the author remains skeptical. By referring to the unfavorable effect of inequality on health and education and the negative influence of tax increase on economic growth, the author concludes that inequality is harmful to economic development.
Despite many studies on the sustainability of organizations in community development, little attention has been given to the small scale fishing sector. The organizing of fishers and the sustainability of fishers' organizations has become more important nowadays, not only from the view point of fishers' poverty reduction, but also from the point of view of their being actors for environment conservation.
The purpose of this study is to explain how the financial sustainability of the Fish Farmers Association in Nepal became possible by examining the social transition of the fishers from fish catching activities to fish farming activities.
This analysis focuses on the reasons why the fishers became conscious of the importance of continuous repayment of loans as one of the important factors in maintaining the sustainability of such an economic organization. The main results of my research can be summarized as follows: 1) The transition of the fishers' working style acted as a catalyst to decrease fishers' idiosyncratic tendencies toward, for example, individualism and independence, which could be one of the main obstacles to the financial stability of their organization. 2) Both the regularity of working time caused by the introduction of fish farming and the participation of women in the joint-forwarding system of fish products, give many more opportunities for communication among fishers' societies. 3) These circumstances, formed “unintentionally”, support the “intentional” actions implemented by the government and/or NGOs to maintain financial sustainability of the organization.
These findings appear to suggest that the level of individualism and independence of fishers is largely influenced by their working circumstances and the fishing methods. The importance of an increase of communication among the members of a society, a topic discussed by other scholars, is also explained in this paper. I suggest that consideration of these two aspects is also important for the effective organizing of fishers and for sustaining and improving of existing fishers' groups in other countries. The present considerations are not sufficient for molding a universal model of the relationship between social transition and a sustainable organization; I would like to leave this issue for future research.
It has been pointed out, in quite a few surveys, that the main factors of deforestation are not commercial logging, illegal logging, and wars, but are “the intensive slash and burn cultivation” or “a short period of fallow”. However, few have tried to explain as to why people engage in intensive slash and burn cultivation, and also as to why people tend to shorten fallow period.
This paper, therefore, tries quantitive analysis of the factors of both “intensive slash and burn cultivation” and “a shortening of fallow period”. Three factors are assumed; (1) substitutional factors, (2) property factors, and (3) household characteristics factors. In the substitutional factors, it is supposed that the more paddy lands people have or the more a rice production is possible, the less people prefer both “intensive slash and burn cultivation” and “a short fallow period”. In Property factors, it is assumed out that the more property such as cash income and livestock people have, the less people prefer “intensive slash and burn cultivation” and “a short fallow period”. In the household characteristics factors, several factors, such as ethnics or the number of family, would be taken into consideration. Although it is supposed that they put some effects on people's choice of cultivation form, an elaborate correlation can not be introduced before the analysis.
Finally, the main resultsts are as follow. First, it is found that property factors affect negatively both of “intensive slash and burn cultivation” and “a shortening of fallow period”. Especially, the estimated parameters of the income from livestock, salary, and wage are quite lager than other factors, and it is expected that there are more negative effect of “intensive slash and burn cultivation” and short fallow period. Secondly, It is also pointed out that ethnics do not influence people to engage in slash and burn cultivation, but to shorten fallow period positively. Thirdly, it is not found that the number of family affects “intensive slash and burn cultivation”, but it affects “a shortening of fallow period.”
Fostering small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) is indispensable to create workable economic system in the transition countries. By developing sufficient number of SMEs effective allocation of resources can be realized among regions and sectors, and also new employment opportunity can be created and thus the unemployment can be decreased. However, current situation is that the access to working capital and long-term loan for fixed capital investment is limited and the lack of management ability and technological information is impeding the development of SMEs.
The influx of foreign direct investments (FDI) is not enough at all for Balkan countries and CIS countries to recover the GDP level of 1989. Most of the FDI is related to the privatization and the green field investments are very little. In 1998, the financial crisis in Russia led to worsening economic conditions in these regions, principally in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
Currently the international financial institutions and bilateral donors are financing many infrastructure projects, however, in a mid-term period the demand will not follow.
The commercial banks should have a financial intermediary function such as collecting money from individuals and lending to productive industries. However, current commercial banks are not working as intermediary institutions.
If there is no functioning market system, it is necessary to utilize small and medium-sized enterprise financing as policy based directed credit to foster SMEs.
The EBRD and other donors extend assistance to strengthen the financial sector in the transition countries by investing directly in financial institutions and by providing loans to the enterprise sector via local intermediaries. However, due to its high interest rate, SMEs are faced with difficulties to acquire them in some countries.
The importance of overseas assistance to environmental education (EE) activities by NGOs has been increasingly recognized. The purpose of this paper is to make an academic contribution to the further promotion of such activities. An environmental education project by the Common Agenda Round Table (CART) is examined, due to its uniqueness: it tries to develop an ‘NGO EE network’, which seems to be beneficial for the promotion of EE by NGOs.
The hypothetical benefits of a network in promoting EE can be categorized into 3 groups: (1) Improvements in Communication and Resource-Sharing among members (2) Improvements in External Relations (3) Promotion of Social Learning.
The examination of the situation of NGOs in developing countries from the viewpoint of network's benefits has clarified the needs of such network.
The study has revealed that CART project has contributed to the development of such a network in quantitative and qualitative terms. CART has provided assistance to Environmental Education Network of Indonesia (Jaringan Pendidikan Lingkungan: JPL) from its infancy. CART project has increased its membership as well as the budget of JPL. Also, JPL has shown that it has generated the three hypothetical benefits of network. The study has shown that the first benefit has been clearly recognized by the JPL members themselves. In fact, information exchange has been greatly encouraged, which has contributed to the improvement of the members' activities. In addition, JPL has successfully attracted much domestic and international assistance, which can be recognized as the result of the second benefit. Even the third benefit, ‘promotion of social learning’, has also been recognized.
This study explains the effectiveness and feasibility of establishing a network to promote EE by NGOs in developing countries, which can be a model for the future efforts.
The Japan's Grant Assistance for Grassroots Project scheme aims at helping relatively small community-oriented activities implemented by local public bodies, research/medical organizations and NGOs. Under the scheme, the Embassy is empowered to play active roles in identifying, evaluating and funding the projects, as it believed to have in-depth knowledge of their respective host countries. However, compared with other donors with longer experience in comparable scheme, the Japanese Embassy tends to have limited capacity and expertise in such projects. They are also weak in making a connection with local network to gather information at the grassroots level. At the same time, recipients in general also lack capacity and expertise to formulate projects for the Japanese Embassy. In this situation, partnership between key actors can contribute to supplementing weakness of each actor and consolidate efforts and resources towards the shared project objective. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate critical conditions for such partnership among actors to function in the contest of grassroots projects by the Embassy. The author compares the functioning of partnership in two small-grant projects funded by the Embassy of Japan in Zimbabwe to draw lessons.
Compared with traditional government-to-government aid projects, small community-based projects heavily rely on local actors with limited capacity. Examples in Zimbabwe indicate successful projects need effective partnership between the Embassy, recipients and “intermediary”, which in particular plays a valuable role of coordination such that it bridges gaps in knowledge, experience and resources between actors, and mediates interest among them. The author emphasizes importance of such function by the intermediary for functioning partnership for small community-oriented grant projects. At the end, the author makes a recommendation for the Embassy with a view to improving its performance in the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects.
The main objective of this paper is to study inter-firm technology transfer in a recent automobile assembly project in Thailand. The transfer occurred from the Japanese car maker (J-firm) to local part suppliers. Based on our field survey results, there was a technology gap between local suppliers and the requirements of J-firm and this led J-firm to provide inter-firm technology transfer to non J-firm affiliates. Inter-firm technical assistance was found to take not only the form of advice but also direct support. Results of two case studies suggest that inter-firm technology linkage was an effective way to improve supplier's technological capability. However, to benefit fully from interfirm relationships, suppliers should be aware of the importance of their own efforts to improve technological capabilities.