As part of the OECD’s efforts to improve the effectiveness of aid-for-trade projects and programmes and develop good practices in the evaluation of aid for trade, a meta-evaluation based on 162 evaluations available in the OECD DAC Evaluation Resource Center (DEReC), was commissioned. Evaluations for Vietnam, Ghana and the Transport and Storage sectors were analysed in detail (two of the case studies are featured below).
The DAC Evaluation Network worked with colleagues from the OECD Aid for Trade team, to produce Strengthening Accountability in Aid for Trade which brings together OECD work on how to manage aid for achieving trade results, how to evaluate aid for trade and a review of aid-for-trade evaluations.
Findings from the analysis of evaluations of trade-related aid programmes
The impact on trade was not explicitly considered in most evaluations. Furthermore when the impact on trade was mentioned, it was most often only briefly invoked on the basis of theoretical or hypothetical links but it was neither measured, nor verified. When it was, in general terms, the operations’ impact on entrepreneurs, exporters and/or importers was hardly ever evaluated. DAC evaluation principles were followed relatively closely in most evaluations, which thus analysed the impact, relevance, efficiency and sustainability of operations. Many also looked at impact in terms of a series of cross-cutting issues such as gender or environment. Problems highlighted include a lack of ex-ante robust assessment of the operation to be undertaken. Objectives tend to be defined without the preliminary work required for making the operation “assessable”. There was no stable pattern in the way donors evaluated their trade operations.
More details on monitoring and evaluation of aid for trade can be found on the joint WTO-OECD website: www.aid4trade.org
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