Economic development cooperation has proven successful. Since 2005, 80-90 percent of the evaluated projects have been rated by external reviewers as good to very good.
The results of SECO’s activities are regularly measured. Evaluations allow SECO to learn from past activities and use the feedback to improve the effectiveness of future projects and programmes.
Between 2012 and 2019, 81 percent of the 182 projects subject to external evaluation received a good to very good rating. This result compares well internationally. However, according to the evaluations, almost half of the projects need to focus more on the durability of project results in order to achieve a sustainable impact.
Evaluation policy and process
SECO’s evaluation policy describes how to conduct evaluations, draft a report and subsequently use the evaluations. To preserve the impartiality of project appraisal, SECO carries out internal, external and independent project and portfolio evaluations. The international criteria of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) form the basis for this:
How permanent and sustainable are the achievements?
SECO project supervisors evaluate their projects internally. This serves above all the purpose of institutional learning, i.e., the improved planning and implementation of economic cooperation. In addition to this, external, independent specialists evaluate SECO projects. This guarantees impartiality and accounts for the money used in international cooperation.
In order to support SECO staff and external consultancy firms in conducting evaluations, SECO has established guidelines. These specify the principles, the different categories, the criteria (relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability) and the main stages in the process.
An evaluation programme regularly lists the evaluations scheduled in SECO operational sectors and the portfolio evaluations commissioned by the external evaluation committee. The programme covers a period of approximately two to three years.
SECO takes external evaluations very seriously. This helps to make SECO’s work more effective, and the funds disbursed produce a greater impact. This is important to me as a Parliamentarian.
Former Councillor of States and member of the evaluation committee, Chair of the Advisory Committee on International Cooperation.
The evaluation policy requires SECO to report to an external evaluation committee.
The committee comprises five members, representing political, academic, business and international circles as well as civil society. Regular exchange increases the transparency, impartiality and credibility of evaluations and ensures that results and lessons learnt are implemented accordingly. The committee proposes independent evaluations, comments on the results, oversees implementation of its recommendations and approves reporting.