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Norad's Evaluation Department presents overall evaluation findings from Norwegian partner countries in an easily accessible format in the form of Country Evaluation Briefs.
Photo: Espen Røst

Many good results despite high risk

New Country Evaluation Briefs on development assistance to Myanmar and Nepal.

Norad’s Evaluation Department today presents two new synthesis studies with evaluative knowledge about the international development assistance to Myanmar and Nepal.

- The findings from the country reports provide useful knowledge about what works, and where improvements can be made, says Norad’s Evaluation Director, Per Øyvind Bastøe.

The Evaluation Department has previously published six such country reports. The reports on Myanmar and Nepal have been written by Particip GmbH in consortium with Menon Economics.

Reports on Haiti, Mali, Ethiopia and Tanzania will be presented in early 2018.

Myanmar: A complex country

- The evaluations from Myanmar tell us much about the challenges that must be overcome in this complex country, says Bastøe.

The country has significant challenges in terms of putting in place functioning infrastructure and delivering social services. Environmental degradation is another significant problem.

Myanmar has been more or less isolated for several decades. The synthesis study comes at a time when Myanmar has opened up for significant amounts of development assistance. Business actors have also demonstrated a growing interest in Myanmar in recent years.

Good results have been achieved, not least in education and health, but vulnerable groups are too often being left out. Development assistance to Myanmar must also be better co-ordinated than today, Bastøe adds.

Nepal: Progress within education and health, but lasting poverty reduction remains elusive

According to the synthesis study, aid to Nepal has yielded important results in many areas.

- The education system has been strengthened at all levels. The same is the case in the health sector. For instance, Nepal has seen a significant reduction in maternal mortality, and development assistance has contributed to this, Bastøe says.

Support for local and rural development has contributed to poverty reduction at household level, but lasting poverty reduction has so far remained elusive. Absolute poverty, however, is largely a problem in rural areas.

- Energy production and distribution is the sector receiving the highest level of international development assistance in Nepal in recent years. The evaluations demonstrate that while the infrastructure has been improved, the goals for electricity production have not been reached, Bastøe adds.

While the early response following the 2015 earthquake was found to have been effective, longer-term reconstruction has suffered from the lack of an overarching, country-wide strategy.

Nepal continues to struggle in terms of gender equality and social inclusion. Significant inequalities and inequities remain based on gender, caste and ethnicity.

- The evaluations also show that Nepal is still grappling with serious levels of corruption, Bastøe concludes.

Relevant and accessible knowledge about support to Norwegian partner countries

Along with the Country Evaluation Briefs, the Evaluation Department also presents Evaluation Portraits for each country, with brief abstracts of the underlying evaluation reports.

In addition to the Country Evaluation Briefs, the goal of the Evaluation Department is to create a database containing systematically collected and collated knowledge about these countries.

- We consider this knowledge an important tool for future planning, administration and implementation of Norwegian development assistance to these partner countries, Bastøe concludes.

Published 06.12.2017
Last updated 06.12.2017