Improving Independent Evaluation Systems in the Multilateral Development Banks

Gao ID: ID-81-30 April 21, 1981

In the late 1960's, Congress enacted legislation which urged the establishment of independent review and evaluation systems in the multilateral development banks: the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. This legislation also required GAO to periodically review evaluation reports from the banks and to make appropriate suggestions to Congress and the President for improvements.

Each bank has established independent evaluation systems consistent with standards suggested by GAO. The Inter-American Development Bank has taken a number of steps to improve its review and evaluation program, many of them suggested by prior GAO reports. However, since the Bank's reorganization, only two evaluation reports have been authorized and completed. The World Bank has supported the development and improvement of its independent evaluation system. However, GAO has criticized the Bank's system of not directing evaluations toward the formulation of recommendations. The Asian Development Bank has continued to improve its independent evaluation system through increased interaction with its board of directors. GAO believes, however, that the Bank should take steps to ensure a more comprehensive mixture of operation, sector, and project reviews in its evaluation reports.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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