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IFAD (2014) People’s Republic of China: Country Programme Evaluation

  • Background. China is one of the largest recipients of IFAD assistance. Since the approval of its first loan in 1981, IFAD has financed 27 agriculture and rural development projects and programmes within the country, representing a total cost of US$1.94 billion. IFAD’s financial contribution amounts to approximately US$775 million. The country programme is managed by a Rome-based country programme manager, and by the IFAD country office established in Beijing in 2005.
  • This is the first country programme evaluation (CPE) of China to be undertaken by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), and covers the period 1999-2013. The objectives of the CPE were to assess the performance and impact of IFAD-funded operations within the country, and to generate findings and recommendations to serve as building blocks for the next country strategic opportunities programme (COSOP).
  • Four projects approved during 2011-2013, with loans on ordinary terms, included support for economic infrastructure, commercial agriculture and value chain development. Rural finance and support for the WFs, which had been standard elements of the portfolio, were not included, whereas rural infrastructure was allocated a significant share of the budget.
  • The CPE has concluded that the China-IFAD partnership is strong and that the aggregate performance of the loan portfolio, non-lending activities and COSOPs is satisfactory. The main challenge of the partnership, going forward, is to increase non-lending activities within the framework of an adequate project portfolio that focuses on promoting innovation and scaling up. This will require further strengthening of the country office, whose central role is to facilitate and expand IFAD-China cooperation, including enhancing partnerships with major development partners in the country.
  • Based on the foregoing, the CPE recommends that IFAD and the Government of China prepare a new COSOP, building on the findings and recommendation of this evaluation. The new COSOP will provide the basis for renewed partnership and cooperation between IFAD and China.
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