Evaluation Network member - Switzerland SDC


Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC)
Direction du développement et de la coopération Suisse (DDC)

Evaluation and Corporate Controlling Division
Freiburgstrasse 130
3003 Bern – Switzerland

Tel:  + 41 58 465 36 03
Fax: + 41 58 464 16 92


Department background


Evaluation and Corporate Controlling Division / Quality Assurance and Aid Effectiveness Section, Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

At SDC, responsibilities for evaluation are shared between the Evaluation and Corporate Controlling Division (ECD), the Quality Assurance and Aid Effectiveness Section (QA) and the different operational departments and units, based on the SDC Evaluation Policy (2008, update in prep.). The SDC Evaluation Policy sets minimum standards for evaluations (guiding principles, roles and responsibilities, key features of evaluation processes).

SDC Evaluation Profile


The ECD has the mandate for conducting external evaluations. ECD is commissioning annually about two thematic sector program evaluations, one institutional evaluation and two country strategy evaluations, according to its self-governed multi-year rolling work plan. This allows focused strategic use of and learning from evaluation results, which SDC considers as the main purpose of its evaluation activity. Where possible, ECD is seeking to engage in joint evaluations with other development partners. Based on a senior management decision, ECD is producing regular thematic reports on effectiveness, to the extent possible together with SECO, focusing on presenting development effects induced by Swiss development cooperation. ECD also strengthens evaluation skills and capacity development within SDC and at regional and country level, together with the QA. ECD represents SDC in the key national and international evaluation networks. The budget of the ECD is decided on an annual basis.

In addition, ECD is executing controlling activities in order to support the directorate with strategic management information. The ECD is located in the Staff of the Directorate. The Head of the ECD is the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Directorate. He has close access to the Directorate and attends regularly senior management meetings.


The operational departments and units are conducting decentralized evaluations, reviews and self-evaluations. The investments in reviews at project and programme level is the prerogative of the operational units according to their operational needs. In average, about 100 reviews are conducted annually.


QA is responsible for standards, training and advice on quality assurance across all SDC activities. With regard to evaluation, its role is to provide training and advise the operational units, in close cooperation with the ECD. The QA is attached to the Office of the Director of Regional Co-operation Department.

External Evaluations commissioned by the ECD must meet SEVAL and OECD standards. They are independent of the operational line and are always implemented by external consultants. ECD safeguards the independence of the evaluators during the evaluation process. SDC takes a stand on the priorities of change by way of a senior management response. For each evaluation a Core Learning Group composed of SDC program staff and partners is convened to accompany the evaluation process. The Group generates a written response on the evaluation and on all the recommendations. The evaluation result and the response of the Core Learning Group are presented to the board of Directors. Their conclusions are captured in a senior management response. Both are published with the evaluation report to ensure full transparency on the steering decisions. For decentralised evaluations, the appropriate management level in the operational line is responsible for the management response.

All evaluations and reviews are public according to the law on public disclosure. The external evaluations are published on the Web together with the management response. Strategic decentralised reviews of interest to a broader audience are also published on the web.

The publication "Better Aid: Evaluation in Development Agencies" provides individual evaluation profiles for each member of the DAC Network on Development Evaluation.

Each profile provides information on the core elements of the evaluation function set-up and management, including the mandate of the unit, mechanisms to protect independence and ensure quality, reporting lines and distribution of evaluation reports.



SDC/ Seco evaluation's reports on DEReC




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