Loan 1111-INO: Bogor and Palembang Urban Development Project

Proposed Regional Technical Assistance for Capacity Building and Monitoring and Evaluation in
Participating Countries
Interdepartmental Comments on Draft Project Concept Paper
Summary of Comments Received and Actions Taken
Comments Received
I have reviewed the above referenced Concept
Paper and only have one comment. In Section 8,
Nature/Extent of Government/Beneficiary
Involvement in Identifying or Conceptualizing the
Assistance, no mention is made of the GMS area
although Section 6.b. states that the GMS
countries will be part of this RETA. This needs
clarification, at least with regard to the plans for
future consultation.
(Ying Qian)
We reviewed concept paper of the above
captioned proposed RETA with great interest. The
success of managing for development results
(MfDR) depends ultimately on the developing
member countries (DMCs). ADB can play an
important role in capacity development at the DMC
level. Building capacity in the area of monitoring
and evaluation (M&E) in the DMCs is a critical step
toward that end. We think that the proposal is well
formulated and EARD supports the proposed
RETA. We have the following comments for your
consideration in finalizing the concept paper:
M&E of cross-border projects and
programs was highlighted as an important
element of the first pillar of the RCI
strategy. The proposed RETA is expected
to enhance the DMCs’ capacity in this
area. Therefore, the “expected outcome” of
the RETA should be expanded to include
the development of capacity for the
participating countries in monitoring and
evaluating cross-border and sub-regional
projects and programs. M&E of regional
projects and programs is more complex
than that of country-specific operations,
and may involve different operational
guidelines and methodological standards.
The RETA should be designed to
accommodate the special needs of the
RETA should consider to help set targets
and/or benchmarks for M&E, and conduct
training on diagnostic reviews. For better
Actions Taken
Comments Received
Actions Taken
results, consider having a focus for RETA's
activities, such as M&E for a particular
sector, or theme, or line ministries or a
country's policy and strategy, as each has
different priorities.
In transport sector, the RETA could be
used to develop capacity (tool or measure)
for monitoring and evaluation focusing on
cross-border infrastructure like roads and
railways, which would be directly linked to
capacity building for RCI.
The proposed financing for this RETA is
$600,000 from the PRC Regional
Cooperation and Poverty Reduction fund
(PRCF). We would like to bring to your
attention that the PRCF has a ceiling of
$500,000 for each project. Therefore, it
might be necessary to either reduce the
size of the TA (narrowing the project scope
at the same time) or seek supplementary
We do not think an interdepartmental meeting to be
(Susanne M.
In the Background section 6.a. the draft mentions
the MfDR Action Plan, the RCI Strategy, and two
regional cooperation programs (CAREC and
GMS)--but it does not introduce a topic with its
issues, problems, needs and current status etc.
Thus the transition to section 6.b., where an
"expected impact" is discussed, is less than
smooth. One or two substantive paragraphs need
to be added to section 6.a.
Footnote 1 is confusing since section 6.a.
introduced only two subregions so the reader
expects further discussions on those, and not a
later explanation that actually there are more
subregions which should or could have been
considered where it not for limitations of the
funding source. This should be rearranged.
Since section 6.a. provides very little background
on issues, the importance of the outputs and the
relevance of the activities presented in section 6.c.
is not obvious. What would be the focus of the
Comments Received
Actions Taken
M&E activities? The regional projects? And
among regional projects, infrastructure initiatives?
One could get that impression from section 6.a.,
but it is not further discussed in the draft. (Also, a
structure with (i)s and (ii)s on two levels should be
avoided.) For some reason a group of activities is
planned at country level (such as under Policy
Advice), and another at regional level (such as
under Training Program). This section further
emphasizes that activities will be demand-driven,
responding to the needs of the participating
countries. However, it is not clear from the draft
what this demand would be (or, at least, what
examples of such a demand would be), and which
countries would participate.
Section 6.d. should not simply refer to sections 6.b.
and 6.c.
Section 8 is problematic. While Section 6.a.,
though without further specifying, gave the
impression that there are issues to be addressed in
CAREC and GMS countries, section 8 only
indicates that there have been detailed discussions
with PRC's MOF. While the PRC is an important
country in both regional groups, it seems that it
would be beneficial if the RETA plans and related
potential initiatives were more widely discussed
before the draft concept paper is further developed.
It is not certain if an interdepartmental meeting
could overcome this issue of seemingly limited
government/beneficiary involvement in
conceptualizing the RETA, but it may help in
clarifying the next steps in this process.
We note that the proposed RETA is key to
achieving the actions under the revised MfDR
Action Plan, and we fully support the concept.
In finalizing the concept paper you may consider
the following points aimed at improving clarity of
the concept paper:
Discussions on the Outputs and Activities
lists a number of capacity building initiatives
aimed at the staff in the selected DMC
governments. However, it is not clear as to
whether the RETA will be targeting just the
staff from oversight agencies (ministries of
Comments Received
Actions Taken
finance and planning agencies) or also the
staff from key executing agencies. In
general, the national systems in most
DMCs are much better organized than the
systems at the executing and implementing
agencies, which in most cases are actually
responsible for data generation and
collection. Hence, benefits of the RETA
may be limited if the targeted agencies do
not include key executing and implementing
Discussions under the Outputs and
Activities mention that the Policy Advice
and Training Programs will emphasize
"peer-to-peer help". However, it is not clear
as if the reference is to peers within a given
DMC or peers across the DMCs. If the
RETA is indeed aiming to cover executing
and implementing agencies within a given
DMC then the peer group may constitute
stakeholders within a given DMC. However,
if the RETA is only aimed at the oversight
agencies and the peer group is to constitute
stakeholders across the selected DMCs
then you may consider making a specific
provisions in the RETA for establishing and
sustaining such a group during and after
completion of the RETA implementation.
You may wish to include in the concept paper
perhaps also the reference to the Paris agenda
and the newest international thinking on capacity
building and country systems. I somehow also
wonder why OED is doing such a TA, which is
more operational relevant (monitoring) than resultevaluation oriented. For me this TA sounds more
an activity more in the responsibility of either the
regional departments or COSO.
Sector and Subsector Classification: Please note
that the staff instructions on project classification
indicate that all operational activities supported by
ADB need to identify one sector and corresponding
subsector classification. The TA main outputs are
policy advise on M&E, international
workshops/seminars; and development of M&E
knowledge sharing platform. As such, it should be
classified under the ‘law, economic management
and public policy’ sector with economic
management as the subsector since this TA will
Comments Received
Actions Taken
help strengthen the project implementation of ADBfunded projects in GMS and CAREC.
Thematic Classification: Please also note that the
staff instructions on project classification indicate
that up to three themes and corresponding
subthemes can be identified for each project.
We agree that this TA supports the thematic goals
of governance through improving public
governance (i.e. improved management of publicsector finance projects) and capacity development
through organizational development (i.e. improving
capacity of government staff to undertake highquality M&E work in their respective countries).
We understand that the participants of the training
activities will be coming from GMS and CAREC
region. This alone, however, does not satisfy the
criteria for the project to be classified under
regional cooperation. The document briefly
touches upon the training content which is
supposed to be harmonization of regulations,
procedures and standards for cross-border
infrastructure. This, however, is not further
explained or even mentioned in the project scope,
outputs, activities, and impact. We therefore
cannot see the direct contribution of this project on
either one of the pillars of the regional cooperation
strategy (which consists of infrastructure, money
and finance, trade, and regional public goods).
If you wish to add regional cooperation as one of
the three priority themes supported by the TA, a
clearer support for this goal should be evident in
your concept paper and ensuing TA paper.
Target classification : The impact of this TA on
reducing both income and non-income poverty is
more indirect. Thus, we suggest general
intervention (GI) as the target classification.
General comment: There is a TA in TIM on
Infrastructure Project Management which is also
being processed this year. You might wish to
share your training/capacity building materials on
M&E with them.
Comments Received
(John Whittle)
While the notion of improving the scope and ability
of our DMCs to undertake effective monitoring and
evaluation is necessary, the concept paper
describes an overly ambitious TA that is unlikely to
achieve the proposed outcome and impact. More
Actions Taken
the outcome and impact are overly
ambitious given the duration, funding and
regional coverage of the TA;
the level and scope of training, country
commitment, and institutional acceptance
required to achieve the outcome would
require more resources and time than that
indicated in the paper;
we also suggest that the coverage be
substantially reduced to one selected
region to ensure the outputs can be
delivered. This could be on a pilot basis and
then extended to other regions through a
further TA; and
some revision to the outcome and impact
level objectives is required to be more
realistic and achievable.
Comments Received
Actions Taken
(Juan Miranda)
I have looked at this proposal. I read into this that
either want to develop at the country level mini
OEDs, or have better counterpart information and
“partners”, or both. If this is the case, the story in
my view is much more complicated. Each
executing agency has its own (or should have)
monitoring evaluation unit or team. There is no
DMC level OED equivalent, except perhaps some
sort of coordination function at the level of planning
commissions. This is the case in Pakistan. They
have a monitoring and evaluation team.
I hope I do not offend by saying that this proposal
will not add much value and may well confuse our
clients. In my personal opinion, it also mixes too
many things in an already fairly comprehensive
OED mandate (although I am not as entitled to give
an opinion on this front).
I hope you can live with these comments. We
value highly the work being done by the
department, including the work that Ramesh does.
It is true that we have far too many RETAs going
on but this is not the main reason for these
Comments Received
Actions Taken
Thank you for the opportunity to review and
comment on the draft concept paper. I would like to
offer a few simple comments for your
The paper would benefit from a clearer
explanation on why this RETA is needed. It is
noted that the RCI recognized the importance
of the M&E of cross-border infrastructure
projects and programs. The background
section could briefly mention the present status
of the M&E system in participating countries for
cross-border infrastructure projects/programs,
and how insufficient M&E capacity is affecting
the level of development impact expected from
these projects.
It is not very clear if the RETA will support all
participating countries of the GMS and CAREC
programs. I assume the level of M&E capacity may
vary in these countries. Is it considering under the
RETA for more advanced countries to share their
system and experience with others?