Principles and guiding questions

BMZ evaluation activities seek to follow the OECD/DAC Principles for Develop­ment Evaluation (1991), which have been agreed upon by all OECD donor countries, including Germany, and the DAC Quality Stan­dards for Evaluation (for test phase application, 2006). They pro­vide comprehensive guidelines for all bilateral donors on evaluat­ing their aid activities. The main principles for evaluations are:

  • independence
    (including of the commissioning evaluation unit and the evaluators)
  • credibility
    (including of the evaluators and their findings)
  • participation
    (including by involving the development partner)
  • transparency
    (including by publishing reports and disseminating results)
  • use
    (including implementation of recommendations)

In general, evaluations aim to assess development interventions according to five basic criteria:

  • relevance
    (are project goals and targets in line with the partner country's needs?)
  • effectiveness
    (how have targets been reached or why have they not been reached?)
  • efficiency
    (cost-effectiveness of an intervention)
  • impact
    (what benefits have people derived from the intervention?)
  • sustainability
    (will positive results continue after the development intervention has ceased?)

Complementarity (of interventions by the German implementing agencies), coordination (with other donors) and coherence (with other policy fields) are also included where necessary.

The BMZ evaluation unit designs, programmes and manages the overall process of the Ministry’s evaluations. It provides a quality check on reports by the evaluators, actively engages in disseminating findings, and tracks the implementation of recommendations.

BMZ glossary

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