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

distinguished Indian Economist


  • Overview
  • Preface
  • Index
  • Reviews
  • Impressions

The evaluation of projects and programmes is the keystone of successful microeconomic planning. In fact, the lack of evaluation and its concomitant, monitoring, has been the deathknell of many programmes, dampening growth and symbolising waste of public funds. This book, therefore, is a most timely study of the techniques of evaluation in all aspects, with apt case studies.

It is pointed out that evaluation could be ex-ante or expost. Again, the evaluation orbit should be comprehensive, embracing criteria, formulation, administration, execution, role of supporting institutions and effects on beneficiaries. There are case studies of ex-ante, second stage and ex-post evaluation, drawn from the author's vast practical experience. The conclusions drawn with lessons for the future are clearly stated. As the Magnum Opus to have arrived on the project evaluation scene in India, it will be of invaluable use to planners, project analysts and students interested in the subject 

Evaluation is considered as an integral instrument of Planning in India and a process by which the results of plan programmes are ascertained. It identifies the shortfalls in implementation and provides guidance in the execution of programmes. Evaluation is considered in three stages: (1) before launching a project which is called ex-ante or pre-project evaluation; (2) when the programme is in operation which is called concurrent evaluation; and (3) after the programmes are implemented which is called end or ex-post evaluation. Evaluation of plan programmes in all these stages is vital. The first category determines the economic feasibility of the programmes. The second detects the flaws in implementation and suggests remedial action. The third helps to ascertain whether the objectives of the programmes have been accomplished fully.

In Karnataka, when I was associated with plan evaluation as an economist, all these types of evaluation studies were conducted by me. It was my desire to bring out a volume containing some studies of representative nature. My friends in the official and academic world offered their comments on various studies and pressed for such a venture. This book is, therefore, the culmination of that desire.

Two more reasons prompted me to bring out this volume. First, my earlier technical book entitled "Fundamentals of Applied Evaluation" has been received very well. Reviewers in leading periodicals and dailies considered the book to be a comprehensive treatise in the field of project evaluation and as a highly useful handbook to planners, evaluators and persons engaged in research and training programmes. Second, the book being one written out of my own experience in the line, as an extension of this, I felt that there is need for bringing out the more important of my earlier studies in a book form. The studies, when released, were well received in leading newspapers and periodicals through reviews, features, feature articles and editorials. I was encouraged by these to bring out this volume. Though these studies were carried out some time ago, the findings are still relevant in the present context.

An overview of all the studies has been presented in the first chapter.

I am grateful to the Government of Karnataka for permitting me to bring out this publication by making use of the material from the evaluation studies done by me. In the finalisation of these studies, I had discussions with State, district and also taluk level officers and I extend my sincere thanks to all of them. I also extend my thanks to Shri Mohan Primlani, General Manager, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co., New Delhi and his staff who have been very helpful in the production of this book.

In the context of planning and development, the role of evaluation is being emphasised much more than in the past. Studies contained in this volume being representative samples of different types of evaluation covering important developmental sectors are considered to be of methodological interest. The findings are also considered to be useful. It is hoped that this book will thus be helpful to the administrators, planners, evaluators, researchers and all those who are interested in evaluation.

Bangalore.                                                                     K. Puttaswamaiah,

Preface                                                                              v
1. STUDIES IN EVALUATION: THE BACKDROP                     1
2. EVALUATION OF ROADS PROGRAMME                           12
A CONCURRENT EVALUATION                                           65
A PRE-PROJECT APPRAISAL                                             119
A DIAGNOSTIC CASE STUDY                                            155
A CASE STUDY                                                                 191
AN EVALUATION                                                              209
8. TRAINING OF RURAL ARTISANS                                   247
DEVELOPMENT                                                                291
GRAMSEVAKS                                                                  314
Index                                                                              337

Yojana, December 16-31,1982.
A commendable exercise

Studies in Evaluation by K. Putta&wamaiah, Published by Oxford & IBH, New Delhi, 1982, Pages : 338.
AS THE BLURB of the book under review succinctly states that the lamentable lack of evaluation and its concomitant monitoring, has been the deathknell of many useful programmes, dampening growth and rendering waste of public funds, the book is a forcible document that rams home the theme that the evaluation of projects and programmes is the keystone of successful microeconomic planning.

Dr. K. Puttaswamaiah, who is a senior director, Planning Department, Government of Karnataka and a renowned economist, has made a pertinent statement when he claims that evaluation is considered an integral instrument of planning in the country and a process by which the results of plan programmes are ascertained.

The author notes that evaluation is considered in three stages : (i) before launching a project which is called ex-ante or pre-project evaluation; (ii) when the programme is in operation which is called concurrent evaluation and (iii) after the programmes are implemented which is called end or ex-post evaluation. The book contains a few case studies, corroborating these three stages. A study on 'investment for infrastructure—preproject appraisal' about the Tunga-bhadra project ayacut for bridging the gap in the infrastructure system explains the first stage evaluation. A study on 'evaluation of road programme' and 'industrial estates' both in Karnataka illustrates the concurrent evaluation stage. A few studies on manpower evaluation, training of rural artisans and functions- and effectiveness of gramsevakas explain end or ex-post evaluation.

The book would have been illustrative and expensive if it could have accommodated more projects from different states, without restricting! itself to Karnataka alone. Although this has brought a regional bias to this- book, the fact that an earnest effort has been made to pinpoint the efficacy of evaluation of projects is a commendable exercise. The author is wise as he has not allowed himself to the temptation of using technical jargons indiscriminately and to true extent the book scores a gain for all sorts of readers.

                                                                                        G. Srinivasan

Oxford & IBH Publishing Co.,
New Delhi 1982.
THERE is no doubt that evaluation and particularly project evaluation is an integral instrument of economic planning and such evaluation studies are essential for the formulation and execution of development plans and programmes at the micro level.

Moreover, in books on project evaluation we usually come across with a theoretical analysis of methodlogies of such work and their relative advantages. In this regard, this book is a noteworthy exception and it will serve as a ready handbook to any actual evaluator who wants to apply the methodologies of project evaluation in practice.

The present volume is distributed over ten chapters, all of which (excepting the first one, which deals with the introduction of the theme and the issues) are results of various case-studies conducted in the' state of Karnataka and were published earlier individually. The topics selected for project evaluation have a very wide range. These are evaluation studies of roads programme, industrial estates, investment for infrastructure, utilization of irrigation facilities, minor irrigation tank work, fodder development, training of —rural artisans, inland fisheries development and effectiveness of gramsevaks. Each of these studies is individually complete and is not linked with the other. Only in the introductory chapter, a brief review of all these studies is given in a chapterwise synopsis form.However the rationale of considering these studies as more important than others is not discussed. A great advantage of this book is that the author himself was conne with launching a project, concurrent evaluation for detecting the flaw in the implementation of projects and to suggest remedies while the project is in operation and ex-post or end-evaluation undertaken after the implementation of the programmes to check whether and to what extent the objectives of the project have been accomplished.

Another very useful feature of the book is the discussion on recommendation at the end of each chapter, made on the basis of the results of evaluation. These recommendations will effectively serve as the guideline for improvement of future projects. However a problem of such recommendation on the basis of a micro study is that these are very logical and hold good so far as that particular project is concerned. But in economic planning, where we require co-ordination among all such individual programmes, it is quite likely, that some of the recommendations of all the projects taken together will be mutually exclusive.

The problem of simultaneous implementation and improvement of different types of projects is a vital one in economic planning and an analytical discussion on the solution of this problem may be included at the end of the book as an additional chapter. As all the studies are conducted in Karnataka, persons having little knowldege about the geography and economy of the state, may find some difficulty in appreciating the case-studies fully. It would have been better if these studies could be spread over some other states also.

                                                                                       Dr. Raj Kumar Sen

Studies on projects
STUDIES IN EVALUATION: K. Puttaswamaiah; Oxford and IBH Publishing Co-- 66,
Janpath, New Delhi-110 001.
Project evaluation as a means to improve Plan formulation and implementation has been there ever since planned development came to be adopted in India in the early Fifties. Programme evaluation techniques have over the years grown in refinement and sophistication but all these have related to Central efforts as those through the Programme Evaluation Organisation of the Planning Commission. Even here, follow-up of these evaluation studies' recommendations has remained poor with the result Plan implementation in key sectors like power, transport and other infrastructural areas has consistently fallen short of even modest targets.

At the State level, Karnataka is among the few that have taken advantage of a well organised evaluation system to carry out Plan schemes in a confident manner. Mr. Puttaswamaiah who has been associated with many evaluation studies in the State has used his rich experience In this field to present a handy book on the methodology. Select sectors like roads, Industrial estates, irrigation, training of rural artisans, and inland fisheries development have been taken up for illustrating the different categories of study and a systematic attempt is made to analyse the scope for evaluation studies that include the planning and formulation of the programme, the criteria of formulation, its administration and execution, the functioning of supporting institutions and the effect on the beneficiaries and their reactions.

                                                                                      P.B. Thiagarajan

IN a planned economy, it is imperative to implement a number of programmes and schemes in order to realise the socio-economic objectives of planning. However, unless the schemes are periodically evaluated in terms of the results expected of them, the benefits may not be commensurate with the investments made. In other words, evaluation is necessary to realise optimum results. Though India has been implementing a wide variety of programmes, it is felt that their performance is generally poor as evaluation and monitoring are either absent or unsatisfactory. It is in this context that one has to welcome the book under review which is divided into 10 chapters. The author is associated with the evaluation of the plan programmes in Karnalaka as a director in the planning department and the present Volume contains some studies of representative nature. The first chapter provides an over-view of all the studies included in the book. Evaluation can be conducted even before the programmes are implemented to find out their economic viability. Ongoing programmes can be evaluated to find out the major deficiencies at the implementation stage. Ex-post evaluation (evaluation after the programmes are implemented) is required to know whether the objectives of the programmes have been accomplished fully. The book contains studies relating to all these three types of evaluation.

The second chapter is devoted to an evaluation of roads programme in six districts. The important aspects of the programme discussed are (i) the adequacy or otherwise of the financing provisions; (ii) causes leading to incurring of excess expenditure and (iii) the level of performance achieved against the criteria evolved. Regarding rural roads, their maintenance is important. There is need for ensuring a balanced investment between different categories of roads. The author observed that the present road system is not based on objective criteria. There is no direct association of a major road or a regional road system with anything like an industrial area, a development zone or a virgin area (p. 19). The roads programme suffers from excessive expenditure in comparison with estimates, the revision in estimates and the absence of a physical plan (p. 54).

The third chapter deals with an evaluation of industrial estates programme. Though industrial estates enable a number of small units to have the advantage of common services and other facilities, some estates were set up even without preliminary surveys. There is not only undue delay in the completion of work, but the time-lag between the completion of the buildings and their actual occupation by the tenant-industrialists. Lack of infrastructural facilities is a major obstacle to the successful implementation of anti-poverty programmes. The fourth chapter is devoted to investment for infrastructure. An attempt is made to identify the missing links in the existing infrastructure in the command areas of a major irrigation project. The objective was to determine the scale of investment that would be necessary for infrastructure development in the Tunga-bhadra project area for triggering off economic development of that region. The infrastructure mainly consists of a road system in the ayacut area, establishment of markets and construction of godowns. These three have to be provided simultaneously and in a coordinated fashion. The impact (both direct and indirect benefits) of this infrastructure on agricultural sector has been assessed by the author. In the fifth chapter, the author has discussed the utilisation of irrigation facilities in the Chicholi taluk. Though irrigation potential is vast, there is significant non-utilisation. This case study revealed that with advance planning and systematic coordination between different departments it would be possible to increase the utilisation of the irrigation potential.

The six chapter contains an administrative appraisal of a minor irrigation tank work at Kamarahally village. The author pleaded for streamlining the whole land acquisition procedure since delays in the acquisition of land have stood in the way of effective execution of the project. An evaluation of the fodder development programme is done in the seventh chapter. The eight chapter deals with training of rural artisans with special reference to the functioning of six Artisan Training Institutes. It is observed that the working of these institutes is far from satisfactory. The author observed that the depth of training imparted is not sufficient to enable the candidate to attain the necessary minimum level of skills, (p.257). An appraisal of inland fisheries development has been done in the ninth chapter. The last chapter is on the functions and effectiveness of Gramsevaks whose role has been enhanced with, the intensification" of programmes at the village and block levels. The study revealed that while the functions of the Gramsevaks are multifarious, they are not getting proper guidance from different functionaries. Though the book deals with specific cases relating to Karnataka, it provides an insight into the causes for the failure of some of our plan programmes. The criteria evolved by the author for the study of each programme are sound and comprehensive. The book will be of invaluable help to the administrators, planners, evaluators, researchers and all those interested in enriching the planning process.

                                                                                   — Satya Sundaram

“...The researchers in the rural development
programme and evaluators will be grateful to the author for his pains-taking efforts in bringing out this volume which will be of much benefit to them”.
                               MANAGEMENT IN GOVERNMENT.
“A great advantage of this book is that the author himself was connected with the evaluation studies in his administrative capacity and the book has been written out of his own experience in this line".
“… the book is a forcible document that rams home the theme that the evaluation of projects and. programmes is the Keystone of successful microeconomic planning”.
“... It provides an insight into the causes for the failure of some of our plan programmes. The criteria evolved by the author for the study of each programme are sound and comprehensive. The book will be of invaluable help to the administrators, planners, evaluators, researchers and all those interested in enriching the planning process”.
                                SOUTHERN ECONOMIST.