Development is a complex business and it is not always obvious what support will achieve key development results. Evaluation can help the Bank select the most effective option or approach by assessing the results achieved by the AfDB and by looking at the experience of others. Evaluation can draw lessons from experience by identifying factors that enable and constrain the implementation of projects and the achievement of objectives. These lessons are also useful for our regional member countries: they face similar challenges in identifying the best path to reach their development objectives and they need solid evidence to make sound policy decisions.
It is often said that evaluation plays a dual role – learning and accountability. Like learning, accountability is important for those who contribute as well as for those who use Bank funds. Evaluation is therefore an important part of our commitment to increased mutual accountability. For both the learning and accountability roles, evaluation needs to present an impartial view. It needs to be independent from the influence of operational concerns.