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Monitoring and evaluation

Examining the past – shaping the future: aims, principles and methods of evaluation


Those who learn from the past can do a better job in the future. In order to determine what progress has been made, but also in order to recognise undesirable developments in time, the BMZ commissions evaluations of the development programmes supported by the German government. A specialised unit was created back in 1970 with the sole responsibility of carrying out this task. Since then it has come a long way: having focused initially on evaluating individual projects that were suspected to be in trouble, the evaluation unit now primarily manages evaluations of a cross-cutting nature, covering a specific topic, sector, instrument, policy or country programme.

The results are of great importance for the BMZ's work. For one thing, they enable the BMZ, parliament and the German public to look at the past: what has been achieved for the people of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe? For another, they help the BMZ and its partners to look ahead: how can German development cooperation continue to respond well to challenges in future?

Evaluations are comprehensive, systematic assessments of ongoing or completed development interventions and their design, imple­men­ta­tion and results, including impacts. They are carried out by indepen­dent teams, usually with local experts. In accordance with the prin­ci­ples of transparency all evaluation reports are accessible to the public.

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