Coastal Climate-Resilient Infrastructure Project

This learning note provides details on IOE’s experience in conducting evaluations during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Project Performance Evaluation (PPE) of the Coastal Climate-Resilient Infrastructure Project in Bangladesh began in February 2020, just before the Covid-19 pandemic took hold. In light of the travel bans and social distancing requirements introduced to fight the pandemic, IOE decided to change its approach in conducting the PPE to perform its first fully remote evaluation. Various adaptations were made to address the associated methodological, practical and ethical concerns; among these adaptations were the leveraging of national consultants and of the opportunities provided by modern technologies, especially GIS and satellite images.

The remote evaluation yielded a number of lessons that can be useful for evaluation during the pandemic and beyond. Traditional evaluation approaches with an in-person field mission remain the first-best option to evaluate rural development projects, in terms of methodological rigour. Depending on the secondary evidence available, traditional approaches may not be more costly than remote modalities. Notwithstanding this, a remote approach was the only way for this evaluation to be conducted, and the team was able to obtain a comprehensive and relatively nuanced set of findings. Wholly remote evaluations can be successful if a significant set of project data and other secondary information is available.

The project performance evaluation report will be published in due course.


17 December 2020