In the Lao PDR, the German Government, through the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has two sectoral programs: 1). The ‘Human Resource Development for a Market Economy’ (HRDME) Program dealing with issues of Framework Conditions for economic development, labour market-oriented vocational education & training as well as the promotion of SME’s at the national level 2). The Rural Development of Mountainous Areas (RDMA) Program in Northern Lao PDR. Under the HRDME Program research was conducted on the impacts of large foreign investment projects has on SMEs. In this assignment the objective was to undertake two cases studies on the negative and positive socio-economic impacts of large/foreign investment on the national and local economy, more specifically Lao Brewery and Lang Xane Minerals.

ADB contracted Mekong Economics Ltd. to deliver a detailed review and evaluation of the regulation making process in Laos. For this component, the consultant reviewed the level of regulatory impact analysis carried out by the regulator(s) during the regulation-making process; researched relevant cost-benefit analysis carried out by the regulator(s); and reviewed the processes of public consultation and information dissemination. The consultant also provided a comparison of procedures in Lao PDR with international best practice.

The general objective of the assignment was to analyze the gender aspects of the Avian Influenza (AI) crisis in three countries of South-east Asia and to propose guidelines for mainstreaming gender in actions to be funded by the European Commission in the framework of its external response to the AI crisis.

The global objective of this assignment was to implement the evaluation of the additional EC contribution to the newly joined countries as well as to assess the project’s overall achievements to date in terms of sustainability, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and relevance.

The Getting Financial Services Survey Initiative was a new World Bank Group program which had been launched for the first time in 2007. The goal was to collect information on availability of a spectrum of retail financial services through the principal commercial banks of a country, and to understand how such services could be expanded or strengthened. The program was initially launched in a pilot group of 30-50 countries world wide, with the aim of achieving global coverage within a year. A standardized survey instrument was used across all countries to ensure cross-country comparability.