Japan’s policy-level ODA (Official Development Assistance) evaluation has played a complementary role to project-level evaluations. Japan encountered policy-level challenges, mainly from the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD, beyond the level of project management. Some of the policy recommendations derived from the policy-level evaluation exercises were useful, and seriously considered for implementation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan. However, there are limitations to conducting the evaluation under the current framework of the assignment, which are (1) a low level of independence and (2) few resources. Frequent interactions between stakeholder-divisions of the MOFA and the evaluation team, including comment-revision repetitions prior to finalizing a review report, risk the independence of a review. Consequently, the views of stakeholders may substantially influence the report. Second, minimal resources, in terms of money, time and personnel, are available to do the job. This resource limitation further weakens the independence of the evaluation. Together, these two aspects result in a low level of authority and little public awareness of the evaluation.
Ⅱ. MOFA’s Policy-Level ODA Evaluation
Ⅲ. Reflections by a Third Party Academic Evaluator
Ⅳ. Concluding Remarks