Implementing development programs is, and should be, geared toward the advancement of society and the improvement of the quality of people’s lives.
But in reality, the narrative — at times — takes a different turn.
When a development program is mired in controversy because of unintended negative consequences, it can affect the overall impact of a development program. For instance, last year in the case of a railway project in Cambodia funded by the Asian Development Bank, thousands of displaced local residents were affected by forced resettlements, insufficient compensation and neglect of their human rights.
This and other issues underscored the need for multilateral development banks to have their own independent impact evaluation departments to monitor whether development projects are not only effective, but also responsible. But how do you ensure that these efforts work out and achieve results?