An evaluation is an assessment of the results and effectiveness of a project, programme or strategy. The work of SDC, including cooperation with its partners, is subject to systematic critical evaluation based on a predefined concept.

Evaluations foster institutional learning, support the decision-making of management bodies and at the same time provide accountability to political interests and the general public.

Since the beginning of 2010, evaluations have been published on the Confederation’s external surveys portal: Evaluations since 2010

Questions addressed by an evaluation:

  • What results have been obtained by an activity or project, programme or strategy?
  • What effects, direct or indirect, have been produced, particularly in terms of the long-term alleviation of poverty?
  • How are development progresses achieved?
  • What are the success factors, obstacles and risks associated with each of these effects?
  • What further measures need to be taken?

SDC’s evaluation programme aims to show transparently how SDC evaluates the effectiveness, efficiency and relevance of its activities. It is reviewed at regular intervals; changes according to needs and the operational context are therefore permissible. SDC spends between 0.6% and 0.8% of its annual resources on evaluating its activities. This means that over a period of eight years, all the country programmes and about half of the thematic programmes are evaluated. In addition to these regular evaluations, other ad-hoc examinations are also carried out by bodies such as the Parliamentary Control of the Administration or the Swiss Federal Audit Office.

SDC makes a distinction between three categories of evaluations:

  • Independent evaluations
    These evaluations are commissioned by SDC management and entrusted to external agencies. The result is a report that highlights what has been effective and what has not, and for what reasons. A learning group follows up the evaluation to ensure that the recommendations set out in the report are implemented.

  • Country Strategy evaluations
    The country evaluations analyze the cooperation strategies. Coordinated by the Evaluation and Corporate Controlling Division, they are conducted by a mixed evaluation team composed of an external consultant and in-house SDC peers.

  • External evaluations
    These evaluations are commissioned by the responsible for the planning and monitoring of a programme or project. They have a strong training element and focus on improving performance by analyzing the factors favouring or hindering achievement of the set objectives.