Help staff understand that project objectives pertaining to innovating, piloting, and testing are feasible and that projects with such objectives are rated appropriately, provided the project development objective and indicators are set in the right way (applies to World Bank and IFC and has implications for IEG).abc
Measuring and rating project outcomes at closing against objectives stated at design years earlier has become a source of tension and perceived rigidity, given that the quality assurance of results frameworks at the time of project design is insufficient and that the options of restructuring and adaptive project management have not taken root.
World Bank Management agrees with the need to promote a flexible and more "adaptive project management" approach in which course corrections occur as frequently as needed. In reforming the ICR, Management will discuss ways to tailor the evaluation of innovative or pilot projects for instance, by emphasizing the validity and relevance of lessons learned from the pilot rather than the measurable outcomes that the pilot had intended to achieve.
IFC Management welcomes the recommendation and appreciates IEG's having included itself as part of the solution to improve IFC's self-evaluation system. IFC continues to encourage operational teams to develop projects that innovate or pilot approaches and will further explore adjustments in guidelines and procedures to signal flexibility in setting targets and business plans.
WB Action 2.1: Prepare guidance, in consultation with IEG, on how to develop the M&E framework (PDO/ indicators/monitoring systems) for innovative/pilot projects and how to evaluate success [FY19]
WB Action 2.2: Explore options for flexible/adaptable project design [FY19]
Implementation of this recommendation is only starting. It is not clear how many projects are written with PDOs that emphasize piloting and learning (for example about new or innovative approaches), and whether such projects have commensurate M&E frameworks. IEG also would welcome efforts to promote more flexible and adaptive approaches to project management.
Discussions have been initiated with IEG on how to set PDOs and indicators for pilot projects, and how to rate them appropriately. The next step, after completion of these discussions, will be to include guidance in the PAD guidance note on how to define pilot projects and in the ICR guidance note on how pilots will be rated. Communication with staff on pilot projects would then be integrated as part of core training.