Operation Evaluation Office (OEO)

I. Introduction

Operations evaluation is increasingly being recognized by the Bank as an important tool for assessing the effectiveness of its financing with a view to improving the impact of its future performance. Its function is of utmost importance to the Bank as it is aimed at reflecting lessons learned from experience in the design of new projects and implementation of on-going ones, as well as providing recommendations intended to sustain project benefits.


The thrust of operations evaluation is to ascertain:

(a) utilization of resources against planned targets, processes, and procedures;

(b) appropriateness and effectiveness of project design and objectives; and

(c) impact of the project on the intended beneficiaries.


The Bank’s mission is to regularly conduct independent and objective assessment of its interventions at various levels (project, sector, and country) with special emphasis on the issues of sustainability and impact of its contribution to the member country's overall development.


Within this framework, the Operations Evaluation Office (OEO) was formally established in Rabi’ Thani 1411H (November 1990G) to conduct evaluation of both completed and on-going operations. Subsequently, the scope of OEO’s activities was extended to include other areas of operations evaluation, such as Country Assistance Evaluation (CAE), sector or thematic studies, and impact evaluations.


II. Organization

The OEO is an independent entity within the Bank which is placed under the authority of the Adviser for Operations Evaluation and Audit who reports directly to the President of the IDB Group.


The OEO is headed by a Director and consists of 2 sections, namely: Anglo-phone Countries Section and Arab & Franco-phone Section.


III. OEO’s Work Programme

The OEO discharges its duties through annual work programme. Each year, it selects completed projects/operations independently for evaluation, generally at least three years after their completion by considering the following factors:


In addition, some on-going projects/operations are considered for special evaluation either upon the Management’s request or wherever deemed necessary by OEO.


Since inception, the OEO has exerted sustained efforts to achieve its main objectives as per the Guidelines set by the Bank in 1414H for its operations evaluation function. As of the end of the year 1426H, the OEO has evaluated since its inception in 1411H, 295 operations which include completed projects (261), on-going projects (11), special assistance operations (18), CAE studies (4) and sector study (1).


The evaluation activities conducted by the Bank in 1426H consisted of 27 operations, including: (i) post-evaluation of 20 completed projects; (ii) special evaluation of one on-going project; (iii) four special assistance operations; (iv) a CAE for Senegal in partnership with the African Development Bank; and (v) one study on road sector in West African member countries. In terms of sectoral allocation, there had been a special focus on three sectors, namely agriculture/rural development (30%), health and education (25%), and transport (15%).


The evaluation reports prepared by OEO provide a comprehensive analysis of the evaluated projects in terms of their design, implementation, achievement of targets, performance assessment, and sustainability. Over the years, the evaluation exercise has emphasized the need for careful project selection and assessment of the capacity of executing agencies. It also stressed the importance of better project design, including a provision for cost recovery aspect and sound project follow-up and supervision.


The main factors identified as contributing to the success of projects, as pointed out in the evaluation reports, were the following:


The lessons learned from evaluation exercises were of two types: (a) operational lessons, which refer to the issues of efficiency, effectiveness, and rationale of IDB's financing activities and (b) developmental lessons, which focus on the socio-economic impact of the Bank's contribution to the development of the member countries. Appropriate recommendations have been made in the evaluation reports to enhance the quality and impact of future operations of the Bank.


Finally, the outcome of project performance evaluation is reflected by an overall rating used by OEO. However, as it is the case in other Multilateral Development Banks (MDB), the performance rating is based on a multiple point scale assessing various parameters, such as relevance of objectives, implementation, effectiveness, and sustainability. The OEO has so far applied only three broad performance categories for completed projects, namely: successful, partly successful, and unsuccessful. In order to enhance the scope of performance evaluation, with effect from Jumad Awwal 1426H (June 2005G), the OEO has expanded its rating scale over four categories which includes highly successful, successful, partly successful, and unsuccessful.


As for evaluation of special operations and Country Assistance Evaluation (CAE) studies, no performance rating is considered due to their specific nature.


IV. Dissemination and Feedback

Dissemination and feedback of evaluation findings, lessons learned, and conclusions constitute a continuous and dynamic part of the evaluation process. Systematic dissemination is essential for ensuring improved project planning and implementation. The OEO has paid increasing attention to the dissemination of evaluation results through the following mechanisms:


V. Collaborative Partnerships

With a view to adding value to its evaluation activities, the OEO has recently established partnership arrangements with the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB), namely the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and African Development Bank. This partnership is aimed at enhancing OEO’s capacity building, particularly in the area of higher-level evaluation studies in common member countries, such as Country Assistance Evaluation (CAE) and sector evaluation.


The OEO has conducted two CAE studies for Jordan and Tunisia in collaboration with the World Bank during 1423H and 1424H respectively for assessing the overall relevance and effectiveness of IDB's interventions in these member countries. The third CAE was conducted for Mauritania in 1425H in cooperation with the African Development Bank.


Furthermore, during 1425H, the OEO successfully organized a workshop on “Strengthening Evaluation Capacity of Arab and Regional Development Institutions” at the IDB Headquarters in Safar 1425H (April 2004G) in collaboration with the World Bank and the participation of both the Asian Development Bank and the African Development Bank.


One important outcome of the workshop was to contact the Arab and Regional Development Institutions by OEO in order to mount joint evaluation missions to the co-financed projects.


The IDB Regional Offices have played an important role in facilitating the evaluation exercises by OEO. A number of projects in the areas of agriculture and rural development, transportation, health, and education were evaluated in collaboration with the IDB Regional Offices in Kuala Lumpur, Rabat, and Almaty in the countries of their jurisdiction.


Year-Wise Distribution of Projects Evaluated During the Period 1411H-1426H


Year Completed Projects On-going Projects Sp. Assistance Operations CAE Sector Study Total
1411H-1420H 145 2 6 - - 153
1421H 20 1 4 - - 25
1422H 17 - - - - 17
1423H 13 - 8 1 - 22
1424H 14 2 2 1 - 19
1425H 19 1 4 1 - 25
1426H 19 1 4 1 1 26
Total 247 7 28 4 1 287


For further information on OEO’s activities, please contact:

The Head, Operations Evaluation Office
Islamic Development Bank
PO Box 5925
Jeddah 21432, Saudi Arabia
Tel: (9662) 646-6930
Fax: (9662) 646-7879
Email: dalsaci@isdb.org