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LESSONS:

Facility-Type Technical Assistance in the People’s Republic of China

sector: Multisector | country: China, People’s Republic of

1. Introducing facility-type TA in middle-income country contexts increases goodwill for the wider ADB country portfolio. In the PRC, the view of knowledge as a product, and the consciousness of the costs embedded in knowledge production, enhance the prospects for the further development. ADB should consider formalizing a discussion on knowledge products and services strategy in the annual country programming review exercises. However, success in introducing this facility in other developing member countries, including middle-income countries, would depend on government ownership, in-country institutional strengths, and capacity to manage. [Executive Summary, page v; Main text, para. 139]

2. Improved quality assurance of facility-type TA projects is resource intensive, but a must for their success. Proper quality assurance imposes high demands on ADB staffing and time allocated to facility-type TA. Close involvement of ADB staff members is also needed to keep subprojects from degrading into routine activities of implementing agencies, and to preserve the merit base of consultant selection. Some of this quality assurance work could perhaps be funded through the TA itself, and done through international consultants kept on a retainer basis, and used on request for peer review. [Executive Summary, page v; Main text, para. 140]

3. Value addition by ADB on substantive issues is crucial to the eventual success of facility type TA operations. This starts with active ADB involvement in the screening of proposed subprojects and the appointment of senior ADB staff members as task managers who actively engage with implementing agencies during subproject implementation and are involved in the preparation of periodic sector and thematic assessments to build institutional knowledge. [Executive Summary, page v; Main text, para. 141]

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