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System Review of Evaluation in German Development Cooperation

System Review of Evaluation in German Development Cooperation

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System Review of Evaluation in German Development Cooperation

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  1. System Review of Evaluation in German Development Cooperation DAC Network on Development Evaluation meeting, 18 November 2008 Michaela Zintl, Head of Evaluation and Audit Divison, BMZ

  2. Rationale • First review in 1998 / implementation of recommendations monitored in 2001 • Significant changes since: • International level: MDGs & Paris Declaration; new developments also in the field of evaluation • National level: changes in the budget code; „joint up“ German development cooperation

  3. Purpose • ...to assess whether the evaluation system of German development cooperation performs adequately with a view to strategic and conceptual demands and in terms of organisational, managerial and methodological benchmarks (DAC norms and standards, international good practice) • ...to develop recommendations for improvements of the system

  4. Scope : evaluation systems of • BMZ (Ministry) • Six implementing agencies (KfW, GTZ, ...) and the private sector arm (DEG) • 12 CSOs receiving funds from BMZ • further 30 CSOs (online questionnaire) ...covering 80% of bilateral aid funded by BMZ

  5. Methodology • Guided self-assessment • Document analysis (including assessment of evaluation reports) • Face to face interviews with staff and management of all organisations involved, external experts and MoP: 170 interviews

  6. Caveat: • Not included: • Partner countries‘ views • DC managed by other federal ministries and federal states • Voluntary contributions to international organisations • „Light“ review of evaluation reports

  7. Findings: Independence and credibility + Significant improvements since last review + Most organisations acknowledge DAC norms and standards - Evaluation underfunded almost everywhere - Coverage appears wanting (insufficient data) - Lack of ex post evaluations, impact assessments and comprehensive comparative studies

  8. Findings: Quality + Has generally improved, due to • Acceptance of standards & training • Results orientation • Improvement in process quality - Insufficient methodological awareness – mix of methods more rhetoric than practice; - Almost no impact evaluations - Evaluation knowledge not considered a priority for selection of staff and consultants

  9. Findings: Participation o No significant changes since last review - Evaluations continue to be donor centered except for some NGOs - Insufficient use of local independent consultants - (Too) little evaluation capacity building

  10. Findings: Utility + Learning is usually the primary objective + Evaluations are considered valuable by intended users o Mostly used for management of individual programms – little conceptual learning - Little inter-institutional learning - Focus on learning by donor agencies not partners

  11. Conclusions I: Improvements on many dimensions but challenges remain • Institutional independence increased but insufficient use of external consultants • Credibility increased because of better quality but limited by lack of transparency • Quality improved but limited range of methods used • Participation: no significant improvement • Utility: internal and instrumental learning: good and improved; inter-ageny and conceptual learning: poor

  12. Conclusions II: System development • Heterogenity between agencies has rather increased over time • System tilt between BMZ and implementing agencies • Steering capacity of BMZ too low • Most pressing problem: overcoming institutional fragmentation

  13. Recommendations • General recommendations along the various dimensions in synthesis report – specific recommendations in case study reports • On the system level: • Massive strengthening of BMZ • Independent evaluation agency (SADEV model) • Independent evaluation advisory board (DFID model)

  14. Lessons learned/ follow-up: too early to say but in any case • Combination of external experts and peers essential • Task to review 20 organisations is overwhelming • Partly a very political process, partly benign neglect • Change triggered already during the process in almost all organisations, although some prefer to say otherwise