Project Evaluation in JICA

In an effort to improve its projects and ensure accountability to the Japanese taxpayers, JICA implements project evaluations in accordance with the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, and Action) cycle for all Technical Cooperation, ODA Loans, and Grant Aid projects.

The evaluation system of JICA has the five features.

The evaluation system of JICA has the five features.
(1) Consistent evaluation throughout the project’s PDCA cycle
(2) Coherent methodologies and criteria for three schemes of assistance
(3) Cross-sectoral and comprehensive evaluation through a thematic evaluation
(4) Ensuring objectivity and transparency
(5) Emphasizing use of evaluation results

(1) Consistent evaluation throughout the project's PDCA cycle

For all projects, JICA’s evaluation is conducted based on the PDCA cycle, regardless of the scheme of assistance*. Considering the characteristics of the scheme of assistance, such as the assistance period and timeframe for expected results, JICA conducts the evaluation within a consistent framework at each stage of the project (planning, implementation, post-implementation and feedback). By conducting the evaluation at each stage of the PDCA cycle, it aims to improve the development results of the project.


(2) Coherent methodologies and criteria for three schemes of assistance

JICA adopts an evaluation system that uses cross-sectoral methodologies and criteria applicable to all schemes of assistance. For Technical Cooperation, ODA Loans, and Grant Aid projects, respectively, JICA aims to conduct the evaluation and to utilize the findings based on a consistent philosophy and a standard evaluation framework, while taking into consideration the differences in characteristics among each assistance scheme.

Specifically, an evaluation framework that reflects:

Table 1: Evaluation Perspectives Using the Six DAC Criteria for Evaluating Development Assistance

  • Validity with project implementation (development needs)
  • Focus on "Beneficiary." Consideration for inclusiveness and equity
  • Appropriateness of the project plan and logic of approach
  • Consistency with development assistance policies of the Japanese Government and JICA
  • Synergistic effect/mutual relations with JICA's other projects (technical cooperation, loans, grant aid, etc.)
  • Complementarity, harmonization, and coordination with other assistance/projects in Japan, other development organizations, etc.
  • Consistency with global framework (international targets, initiatives, standards, etc.)
  • The degree of achievement of target level in target year of expected project outcome (differential results across the groups)
  • Positive and negative indirect and long-term effects (systems and norms, people's well-being, human rights, gender equality, and the environment)
  • Comparisons of planned and actual projects inputs, project period, and project cost
  • Outlook on sustainability of effects that are realized by the project for aspects of policy/political, institutional/organizational, technical, financial, social & environment, risk, and operation & maintenance

(3) Cross-sectoral and comprehensive evaluation through a thematic evaluation

JICA conducts thematic evaluations to analyze a group of projects comprehensively and cross-sectorally. The aim of this evaluation is to derive recommendations and lessons learned which can be utilized across projects. Thematic evaluation is conducted by selecting projects based on a specified theme and analyzing them from a different angle than in an individual project evaluation.

(4) Ensuring objectivity and transparency

JICA has incorporated external evaluations according to project size in the ex-post evaluations which require an objective verification of project implementation results for all three schemes of assistance, and the findings are made available on the JICA website. JICA will continue its efforts for increasing objectivity and transparency in its project evaluations.

(5) Emphasizing use of evaluation results

JICA's project evaluations are not merely evaluations. Evaluation results also serve as a feedback function for improving the quality of the "Action" phase of the PDCA cycle. This feedback is utilized as recommendations for improving the project and lessons learned for ongoing and future similar projects. JICA intends to further strengthen the feedback function for reflecting the evaluation results into JICA's fundamental strategies for cooperation and the JICA Thematic Guidelines.

At the same time, JICA makes efforts to reflect the evaluation results into development policies, sector programs, and respective projects of the recipient governments by feeding back the evaluation findings. Conducting joint evaluations with the recipient government is also a way of feeding back the evaluation findings.