Measuring ADB-CDIA Results: Ensuring Tangible Contributions to Sustainable Urban Development

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Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) lies at the core of ADB-CDIA, guiding decisions toward achieving its objectives.  

Recently, Kathleen Jovellanos assumed the role of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Knowledge Management Specialist, taking over responsibilities from Rudini “Nick” Baoy, who adeptly steered ADB-CDIA’s M&E initiatives since 2016. This transition has provided an opportunity to explain the project preparation facility’s M&E approach and how it ensures impactful outcomes for sustainable urban development.    

Advancing Development Impacts 

ADB-CDIA is guided by its Strategy 2023-2027, aiming to improve livability and sustainability in secondary cities in Asia and the Pacific through its robust theory of change.  

Monitoring the program’s footprint involves tracking the number of cities engaged, the PPS commissioned, resources dispensed, and the amount of investment generated as a result of its interventions.   

Beyond quantitative metrics, ADB-CDIA focuses on the transformative effects of its interventions, looking at how they contribute to at least two of the following impact areas: environmental improvement, climate change mitigation or adaptation, pro-poor and inclusive development, and good governance. 

Tracking environmental improvement, ADB-CDIA looks at how its proposed projects may contribute to creating healthier, cleaner, and safer environment. It also emphasizes climate change adaptation or mitigation, monitoring the amount of support and climate co-benefits, such as decreased exposure to climate impacts and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Ensuring pro-poor and inclusive development means examining project benefits to the poor, women, and other vulnerable populations through better access to municipal services, employment, and decision-making.  

Finally, ADB-CDIA promotes good governance by ensuring that the investments effectively meet people’s needs, as evidenced by better customer orientation of municipal services, and their participation in decision-making and planning, among others.  

Contributing to Sustainable Development Goals   

Since the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, ADB-CDIA has continuously monitored the alignment of its projects with the global goals. Given its primary focus on urban areas, it plays a pivotal role in advancing SDG 11: Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. In addition to aligning with SDG 11 and its subgoals, ADB-CDIA projects also support SDG 13: Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, SDG 5: Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, and/or SDG 1: Ending poverty in all its ways and forms.  

Ensuring the Relevance and Effectiveness of PPS Interventions 

ADB-CDIA utilizes a range of internal tools to ensure the high quality and impactful outcomes of its interventions. Before the start of the PPS, the Checklist for Internal Screening and Monitoring of Applications (CISMA) evaluates the project’s relevance to the city, alignment with existing development plans, expected development impacts, and contributions to SDGs.  

At the end of the PPS, the Initial Development Impact Assessment (IDIA) serves as the primary tool for establishing the baseline information about the proposed project, including the expected number of beneficiaries, development impacts, and SDG contributions. 

Conducted six months after the PPS, the Client City Survey gauges the city’s level of satisfaction and perceived change due to the technical support. Upon project implementation, typically 3-5 years after PPS completion, the Tracer Study documents the progress of the recommended measures and their tangible benefits to the residents. It also looks at the change in cities, and if and how the project contributed to it. It further draws lessons for improving decision-making and designing future project preparation interventions. 

Striving for Continuous Improvement 

ADB-CDIA has conducted internal assessments, midterm reviews, and other evaluation-related activities with the goal of assessing program achievements, contribution to development impacts, and lessons for improving its operations. 

Building on Nick’s exemplary work in refining the M&E framework, optimizing the tools, and enhancing reporting, Kathleen is committed to continuously improving M&E processes. Under her stewardship, she will focus on regular data collection to meticulously track the implementation of various initiatives and streamlining the documentation and reporting of tracer study results to fully benefit ADB-CDIA and its partners.  

M&E has been instrumental for ADB-CDIA to learn valuable lessons from its past experiences. Kathleen’s expertise in M&E, complemented by her proficiency in capacity development and project management will help ensure that M&E remains a cornerstone for ADB-CDIA in enhancing livability in cities across Asia and the Pacific. 


Photos of Nick Baoy and Kathleen Jovellanos interacting with stakeholders during their tracer study mission in Yerevan, Armenia. The purpose of the tracer study was to track the progress and benefits of the Sustainable Urban Transport Implementation Project, which CDIA helped prepare in 2022:


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