The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) has prepared an evaluation synthesis report on Infrastructure at IFAD (2001-2019).
Approximately 30 per cent of all approved IFAD funding during the review period went towards investments in infrastructure. Of this funding, the majority went towards production and market access infrastructure, particularly to roads and irrigation. In addition, IFAD has invested in institutional development and capacity-building to ensure that smallholder farmers are able to manage and maintain the infrastructure built. In many cases, these investments have been possible because of the cofinancing partnerships established with other international development partners.
The synthesis concludes that IFAD has a positive track record and added value. However, it needs to step up its internal technical capacity and guidance to meet those challenges. There are a number of constraints that will need to be addressed, such as limited availability of specialized technical staff, climate risk expertise and capacity to track the performance of infrastructure investments from the design through to implementation and completion. Hence, there is an urgency to reconcile IFAD’s strategic infrastructure approach with its infrastructure support capacity.
In the coming years, IFAD will have to meet the increasing demand for infrastructure, particularly in middle-income countries. This will require a strategy for scaling up infrastructure investments. At the same time, IFAD will also have to address areas of underperformance, in particular with regard to efficiency and sustainability. As part of its mandate, IFAD should pay more attention to pro-poor infrastructure governance during the project design and implementation stages.