B.A. (Hons), M.A (Econ). Ph.D., Hon. D.Sc Europe).

distinguished Indian Economist


  • Overview
  • Preface
  • Index
  • Review
  • Impressions

Project appraisal and evaluation are new tools of planning in India, as elsewhere. This book, which is the result of the experience of the author for more than a decade in plan formulation, appraisal and evaluation, presents the various aspects of these tools. The evaluation concept has attained a definite status in India during the era of planned development as a means of improving formulation and induction of self confidence in planners and implementors. The criteria, approach and methods of evaluation as well as the ways of selection of sound projects and their appraisal are discussed in this book.

In analysing the concept of evaluation and the methodology of doing it illustrative programmes like Applied Nutrition, Community Development and Agriculture Development are presented. They show the validity of evaluation in the introduction of correctives for pitfalls in planning. It also contains the ways of choosing sound projects and appraising them. The book will be an invaluable guide to the development administrators and others interested in the fields of evaluation and project appraisal.

The project appraisal and evaluation have attained a definite status inrecent years in the process of planning. These will identify the pitfalls in planning and development and indicate policy directions. This book deals briefly with the conceptual approaches to project appraisal and evaluation, with discussions on some specific sectors.

The first three chapters in this book deal with the concept and various facets of evaluation and the methods of doing it. The evaluation criteria and the timeliness of evaluation have also been dealt with. The remaining chapters are devoted to evaluation approaches to some selected sectors. The identification of areas for sound projects and methods of appraising them have also been presented. This book explores some of the conceptual and methodological problems involved in the evaluation of plan schemes and tries to suggest alternative approaches that appear to be useful and feasible.

The need for evaluation of plan programmes was realised along with the initiation of the era of planning in the country. The importance of reporting, appraisal and evaluation has been recognised. Time element in evaluation plays an important role. Formulation of evaluation criteria is the most fundamental and difficult task and on the basis of the criteria so formulated, the results of the programmes are assessed. Objectivity in approach is the most important factor. Evaluation is essentially the investigation of a type situation in depth. The different methods of evaluation and how they are conducted are discussed. The determination of the period after which a scheme has to be evaluated should invariably be guided by criteria like the type and category of the scheme, objectives of the scheme and the objectives of evaluation. The period of evaluation is very closely connected with the type of the study and the objectives of evaluation. Self-evaluation is important as it helps the evaluator to have an objective bent of mind. The first three chapters deal with the concept, method and different facets of evaluation The book also deals in detail with how different programmes like Applied Nutrition, Community Development and Agricultural Development could be evaluated. It explores some of the conceptual and methodological problems involved in the evaluation of these programmes and tries to suggest alternative approaches. In evaluating a programme like Applied Nutrition, the main emphasis should be on promotion of nutritionally valuable foods and educating the people in the production, utility and consumption of such foods. It has an educational function so as to ensure better implementation.

In evaluating the community development programme, it has to be evaluated as a means to the realisation of certain ends. The main aspect is to study the changes that have taken place in society. In evaluating agricultural development programmes, the main stress should be to suggest correctives for the pitfalls in development. Here, an attempt is made to highlight how the different types of evaluation studies have been conducted in Karnataka and the findings are also discussed.

The last two chapters deal with the identification of the sound projects and also the aspects of project appraisal. The selection of sound projects is an important consideration. The first aspect is to have a general survey of the resources. This is mainly to ascertain that they fit more or less into the general development. After having the general survey, the choice of technology will have to be considered and this is a matter of peculiar importance. Maximum care should be taken in the choice of technologies and everything should be done to restrict capital requirements for a given type of production. The last chapter deals with the selection of projects and aspects of their appraisal. The economic, technical, managerial, organisational, commercial and financial aspects of appraisal are discussed in detail. It is emphasised that development assistance should be accompanied by a detailed appraisal of investment in all the different sectors. One important problem in formulation of a public investment project is the balance between economic and social projects. The stages in the formulation and appraisal of projects are discussed in detail This book attempts to present in a nutshell the different approaches to evaluation of plan schemes and selection of sound projects and appraisal. In general, evaluation of late has been recognised as a very important tool for assessing the performance and identifying the pitfalls for corrective measures in the process of planning. The role of evaluation in this context becomes much more important. During the Fourth Five Year Plan, a number of measures were initiated towards the achievement of "Growth with Social Justice" and various programmes have been formulated to help the weaker sections of the society. These were continued during the Fifth Plan. Now, the new Planning Commission has laid more emphasis on good project preparation, monitoring and evaluation. Thus, evaluation has become much more important than in the past. This book, it is hoped, will be received well by all those concerned with formulation and appraisal of projects and monitoring and evaluation of developmental projects and programmes.

Shri K. N. Subrahmanya, Editor, Southern Economist had published two articles contained in this book earlier, the enlarged versions of them have been included in this book. I am thankful to him for this encouragement. I am thankful to Popular Prakashan for bringing out this publication.


Preface                                                                                               vn
1. Approaches to Evaluation                                                                1
2. Methods of Evaluation of Field Programmes                                   13
3. Evaluation — Some General Aspects                                              22
4. Planning Evaluation of Applied Nutrition Programme                      33 
5. Evaluation of Community Development Programmes —Some
Considerations                                                                                   44
6. Evaluation of Agricultural Development Programmes                     51
7. The Search for Sound Projects                                                       56
8. Aspects of Project Appraisal                                                           61
Select Bibliography                                                                             77
Index                                                                                                 83

Project Evaluation in Planning

PROJECT evaluation has been gaining ground in developing countries, in recent years, for the assessment of returns from a project to society tangible and intangible. In this context, the appearance of Mr.Puttaswamaiah's book* is most timely, based as it is on his practical experiences in the planning process. He commences with the distinction between evaluation, appraisal, implementation etc. —terms which are often used loosely in the literature on the subject. Evaluation is basically an ex post concept, after the project has been implemented, to study its impact vis a vis the objectives of the project. Correctly, appraisal is defined as preproject evaluation. Evaluation is defined in detail together with its various stages. The methodology for field programmes is outlines and the author makes a pertinent remark: "Evaluation methods not only seek to determine the efficiency of operation but must be concerned with the rationale of planning”. This point is all too often overlooked by evaluators and their guides; also the point that the evaluator should put forward corrective measures.

The criteria for evaluating a project is a thorny subject on which there has been considerable discussion in the deluge of literature on costbenefit analysis. The author suggests a few parameters. However, these will vary from project to project and also depend on the subjective assessment of the analyst. In fact, cost-benefit analysis has been criticised for not paying attention to equity and distributional criteria and concentrating solely on allocational efficiency. So too, the measurement of intangibles like pollution, quality of life, the social cost of displacement the value of time saved are still not capable of precise quantification and need ad hoc assessments. Perhaps these aspects could have been expanded to complete the tapestry.

Nutrition has been recognised as a vital element in the socioeconomic development of a country since it promotes health and, consequently, greater productivity. The author, therefore, does well to devote a separate chapter to this programme, highlighting its objectives and the methods of evaluation. However, a casestudy would has been useful. To what extent, for example, have programmes for the supply of milk and midday meals to school children achieved results? Agriculture and community development programmes are also surveyed, the former with summaries of three field experiences. The section on project appraisal in far too brief to provide any guidelines. This book will be found useful by the general public, apart from policy framers, teachers and students of the subject.

                                                                                                — S. Venu



Vol. No. XXI-9 Public Affairs September, 1978
(Popular Prakashan, Bombay; Pages 84 + iii)

Project appraisal and evaluation are the chosen field of work of Dr. Puttaswamaiah and he is naturally at home in discussing the several aspects of his work. The objectives and methods of evaluation are analysed with lucidity and the criteria for selecting programmes for evaluation are discussed. The stages through which evaluation has to proceed, right from the first step of spelling out the problem to be studied, are laid down.

Dr. Puttaswamaiah emphasises the importance of the time element in evaluation with reference to criteria such as the type or category of the scheme, the period of maturity and objectives of evaluation. Evaluation is an undoubted source of light and guidance to the planner, indicating the measure of his success, the causes of shortfall, if any, and the response of the public in terms of changes in their outlook and attitudes. All this has been brought out very well, indeed.

The crux of the problem, however, appears to be that the evaluation reports become a kind of coded documents and the public is hardly aware of the utility or effectiveness of these reports in terms of discussions on the parliamentary or other forums. The extent to which project development has benefited through evaluation studies should be highlighted by the planning Commission itself and the impression that evaluation is an essentially futile exercise should be avoided.

The value of the work could have been greatly enhanced had the author given a critical assessment of a couple of appraisals/evaluation reports. There should be quite a few of these available either on the C. D. Programmes or the Applied Nutrition Projects, to which the standards enunciated in the work could have been applied as case studies.

There are occasional errors of expression and some repetition of ideas which invariably happen in short-circuiting time for publication. Dr. Puttaswamaiah is to be congratulated on a useful analysis of the problems of evaluation.

                                                                                               K. S. Nanjundaiya

“This book will be found useful by the general public, apart from policy
framers, teachers and students of the subject..”.
                                                   SOUTHERN ECONOMIST.
“The book attempts to present in a nutshell the different approaches to
evaluation of plan schemes and selection of sound projects and appraisal”.
                                                    THE WELFARE ECONOMIST.
"Dr. Puttaswamaiah is to be congratulated, on a useful analysis of the
problems of evaluation”.
                                                    PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
"The book will be quite useful for those concerned with formulation and
appraisal of projects and monitoring and evaluation of developmental projects and programmes”.
                                                    FREE PRESS JOURNAL.
"The author has covered broad spectrum of topics ranging from approaches to
evaluation to the search for sound projects and also highlighted the role of monitoring and evaluation in the changing planning process."
                                                    INDUSTRIAL TIMES.
"Throughout the work, the discussion has been brief, relevant to the problem and at times enlightening”.
“This book is a valuable guide to planning personnel and- plan administrators".
                                                    THE MYSORE ECONOMIC REVIEW.
"The book will undoubtedly be found useful to specialists engaged in undertaking evaluation studies on development projects”.
                                                    THE ECONOMIC SCIENCE.