Evaluation of the African Development Bank’s Country Portfolio Review and Restructuring Policy

Published by: 
Independent Development Evaluation, African Development Bank
Publication Date: 
March, 2021

Document Type:

Independent Development Evaluation (IDEV) at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB or “the Bank”) has conducted an evaluation of the AfDB’s Portfolio Review and Restructuring Policy and its implementing guidelines, over the period 2011 – 2019.  

The purpose of the evaluation is to inform the planned revision of the Bank’s Portfolio Review and Restructuring Policy and its guidelines.  The evaluation assessed the portfolio review and restructuring policy and guidelines of the Bank as they have evolved over the years, how they have been implemented, to what extent they achieved their objectives, whether they have been an efficient instrument for portfolio management, and how they compared with those of similar organizations and with good practice standards.

The evaluation noted that the Bank’s Portfolio Review Policy and guidelines had clear objectives, but they tried to address too many areas and are now less relevant to the current institutional framework of the Bank. The Country Portfolio Reviews were found useful for aggregating the problems identified during project implementation and served as a dialogue tool to assist member countries to manage their projects better. However, they were process- rather than results-focused, their complementarity with project supervision was unclear, and they did not assist with project or portfolio restructuring, nor with the design and implementation of Country and Regional Strategy Papers. Some of the lessons gleaned are that designing a policy instrument with focused objectives and targeted audiences, and simplifying its guidelines, while making them more results-driven, will enhance their effectiveness and value-added.

The Bank was advised to refocus its portfolio review and restructuring systems on problem solving, promoting progress towards a member country’s development results, enhancing results monitoring and encouraging follow-up actions to improve the health of the portfolio. The evaluation also recommended to include guidelines that encourage staff to engage in project restructuring when it is necessary.