Front Page Past Editions


The DEReC Front Page was launched in February 2009 by the Secretariat of the DAC Network on Development Evaluation. The Front Page highlights evaluation reports that are relevant to major current events and policy issues, with the goal of encouraging wider use of evaluation results to improve development policy and practice. New editions of the Front Page are featured on the DEReC homepage periodically. Some past editions can be found below.



In 2011 Finland reviewed their Aid for Trade (AfT) programme. One of the key findings of the report is that Aid for Trade thinking is not mainstreamed across sectoral/thematic projects and programmes classified as AfT. A significant proportion of these do not have trade-related objectives or outcomes. One of the main reasons for this is that linkages between projects/programmes defined as wider AfT and potential trade outcomes are either not well understood or not considered important. A clearer conceptual framework is needed, which would also provide the opportunity to make clearer linkages between AfT, trade, growth, poverty reduction and sustainable development.
Based on the apparent improvements in economic performance (economic and export growth) in the main countries receiving Aid for Trade from Japan, positive conclusions could be reached regarding the "effectiveness of results," as Japan’s AfT played some role in improving economic performance. AfT target items were effectively implemented in Viet Nam and Lao PDR, the countries visited for conducting the field survey. Report recommends more future coordination with The influence of emerging donors and the private sector in the field of AfT has been rising.






UN pic
             Photo: United Nations General Assembly, UN Photo

To celebrate United Nations Day this October 24th, the DAC Evaluation Network has chosen to put forth recent evaluation findings of the UN and its agencies--how effective is the organization at addressing development challenges? What are the recommendations to improve its development programs?

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) recently reviewed the development effectiveness of the UNDP. The reviewed evaluations report that while most UNDP programs are achieving their development objectives, weaknesses remain in some areas. The most frequently cited factor hindering objectives achievement was dispersion of UNDP country programming across too many projects, too wide a geographic area or too many institutions. Factors which contributed to UNDP effectiveness in achieving development objectives include effective investment in knowledge development; consultation to strengthen support for priority policies; and effective advocacy for the MDGs.

The evaluation report "Democracy Suuport through the UN", from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) explains that UN agencies have normally had sufficient skills and capacities in the identification and design phases and in a number of cases for the delivery of good results. But in several cases it was clear that the UN moved to a more administrative focus over time, letting the contents dimension weaken, thus undermining longer-term results though donors including Norway were also guilty of the same. Recent steps by UNDP HQ to strengthen performance monitoring systems are important for improving the organisation’s ability to implement such activities. To what extent this will lead to improved performance on the ground remains to be seen.


>>> Learn more about our work on evaluating multilateral effectiveness
Browse our latest evauation reports on Multilateral Effectiveness 



Focus: Crisis in Mali


Photo: Staff and patients at a community health centre in Mali (IOB, 2011)


Mali receives some $1 billion per year in official development assistance, 42% of it in the form of support to the national budget. Though it remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with 5% real economic growth and a democratically elected government, Mali has long been viewed as a relatively good performer in the region. A coup d'état and rebellion in the north earlier this year caused the government to collapse and fighting has forced tens of thousands to flee their homes (AlertNet). A number of recent evaluations examine the role of Mali's development partners in supporting governance, poverty reduction and growth in the country:  


An evaluation of budget support in Mali found that assistance was an effective instrument for supporting progress in social sectors such as education and health, and supporting poverty reduction, where political will and government policy and capacity were in place. Where partners disagreed on priorities for reform, as was the case for decentralisation, budget support was unable to induce changes and progress was slow. The evaluation also points to weak investment in rural areas. 


An evaluation of aid effectiveness efforts was carried out by an independent evaluation team working with Mali's Ministry of Economy and Finance. The review found that changes in donor behaviour, notably efforts to make aid less fragmented and more in-line with national priorities, have made a difference.




7 April: World Health Day

To celebrate World Health Day, we are highlighting recent development results in the field of health, focusing on Uganda and Botswana.


While some good results have been achieved in Uganda, the Paris Declaration Evaluation found that some work still needed to be done to ameliorate the impact on the ground, with many local governments still lacking fully adequate service delivery capacity. Still too many resources entering Uganda do not trickle down to the local level, remaining in the country's capital, as explained by Ugandan local health officials in the video above.
One success story in the health sector stems from Norwegian development cooperation with Bostwana. The recent Evaluation of Norwegian Health Sector Support to Botswana describes how Norway’s assistance, from 1975 to present, has contributed positively to the development of the Botswana Health System over the past decades. This was achieved principally through comprehensive support (infrastructure and systems) to the development of a functioning primary care health system enabling wide access for the people of Botswana, with the cooperation taking a Programme approach rather than a Project approach. Norway's use of Bostwana's country systems proved to be an effective strategy, contributing to a sustained improvement in the country's development of its health sector.
Many of these lessons learnt from improved results in health sector development can be taken to build the foundation for a better approach to aid effectiveness, as described in this recent Guardian article on healthcare and development.
More resources on development cooperation in the health sector:

- More evaluation findings for the health sector

Aid statistics to the health sector

Learn about the OECD's Task Team on Health as a Tracer Sector



Food security: what lessons learned?

Photo: Farmers working in rice field, Bandung, Indonesia (Jisse Kranen 2009)


As food prices nearly doubled from 2006 to 2008, the number of people suffering from hunger soared, as witnessed by the current food crises in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel region. By 2009 the world was suddenly confronted with the record number of one billion undernourished.

After two decades of gradual neglect of the issue, and a steady drop in investment agriculture, there is now a renewed interest in food security as one of the key themes in international development co-operation.

Improving food security - A systematic review of the impact of interventions in agricultural production, value chains, market regulation, and land security: This systematic review by the Netherlands used information from 38 selected case studies and 46 other reviews to evaluate the impact of interventions aimed at increasing production, developing value chains, reforming market regulation, and improving land tenure security, on food security.


Agricultural input subsidies in Sub-Saharan Africa: This study by Denmark provides an assessment of the overall performance of agricultural input subsidy programmes in Malawi, Zambia, Ghana and Tanzania, where so-called “smart” subsidies have been introduced in an attempt to maximise effects at the lowest possible costs.


Key Findings on Food Security

In January 2012 the DAC Evaluation Network published an Evaluation Insights on Improving Food Security. This note summarises findings from a  Improving food security - A systematic review of the impact of interventions in agricultural production, value chains, market regulation, and land security.Some of the emerging findings include:

- Genetic crop improvement and interventions reducing production losses have shown convincing results...

- The reduction of trade barriers combined with the abrupt abandonment of government support to the agricultural sector discouraged domestic food production in several  African countries ...  

-Evaluation Insights on Improving Food Security.                    




20 November: Universal Children's Day


Primary school children in class, in Harar, Ethiopia.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe


Universal Children's Day marks the anniversary of the signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a human rights treaty setting out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. In honour of Children's Day we highlight a recent evaluation of child rights-focused programmes, conducted by Norway and Sweden.The findings from four country case studies – Guatemala, Kenya, Mozambique and Sudan – underpin the conclusions and recommendations in this synthesis report.


The evaluation examined the extent to which a child rights perspective was effectively integrated into development projects. Interventions supporting child rights should reflect the four main principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC): (i) non-discrimination; (ii) the right to life, survival and development; (iii) the right to express views and be heard; and (iv) the best interest of the child. 

Findings from the evaluation

The evaluation strongly recommends using the CRC as a common basis for political dialogue between development partners, as well as for programming of development assistance aimed at promoting children's rights. Building a public system that respects, protects, promotes and fulfils child rights as enshrined in the CRC is a very demanding task and a long time horizon is required. Development partners must be prepared to engage in the long run in a way that nurtures national ownership.


The interventions reviewed in the four countries suggest that headway is being made but formidable challenges remain before a functional system can be said to be in place. Arguably Kenya has made the most progress, but even that country has a long way to go. UNICEF, with donor support, appears to have adopted a holistic approach to child rights that is bearing fruit...


Read the full evaluation "Supporting Child Rights: Synthesis of Lessons Learned"


October 24: United Nations Day


Families at a United Nations refugee centre. Photo: UNHCR/P.Taggert


In honour of UN Day: Spotlight on Evaluation in UN Agencies


Joint External Evaluation of the UNHCR Joint Organisation Strategy : While all four partners of the Joint Organisation Strategy recognise the potential of the Strategy and its importance, the operating modalities of the arrangement are proving to be more complex than working in a bilateral fashion.

Evaluation on Multilateral ODA: The United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security: The evaluation highlights the need for the Trust Fund to clarify mid- and long-term objectives, since its overall objectives are indefinite. Considering the fact that the finances of the Trust Fund are decreasing, it is desirable to formulate and execute strategically selected projects that can become best practice examples - rather than implementing many different projects.


The OECD DAC Evaluation Network works with the United Nations Evaluation Group to peer review evaluation systems of UN agencies:

Peer Review of the Evaluation Function at the World Food Programme : The peer review of the evaluation function of the WFP found that much effort has been made to improve the evaluation function and that there is a strong evaluation unit with committed, knowledgeable staff. Some deficiencies were noted regarding the use of evaluation findings and the need to rethink stakeholder engagement throughout the evaluation process so as to ensure broader buy-in. Not enough effort has been made to find opportunities to build local evaluation capacities.


Peer Review of the Evaluation Function of UNIDO (UN Industrial Development Organisation): To fully meet recognized evaluation standards, current efforts to improve the basic foundation for evaluation and build up a sound monitoring system that supports assessment of outcomes and impact should be continued. This is fundamental for ensuring evaluability and credibly in establishing outcomes and impact of programmes. The Evaluation Department has the potential to contribute even more significantly to the strategic thinking of UNIDO by ensuring that evaluations address the twin issues of relevance and overall impact on sustainable development.


Learn more about our work on multilateral effectiveness
Learn about the United Nations Evaluation Group



Back to school edition: Focus on Support to Education

Children share notes in a school in Serbia.
Photo: Christina Lakatos/World Bank

To celebrate a new school year, the DAC Evaluation Network looks at the education sector, where significant aid has been provided. Over the years, evaluations have pointed to the need to focus on the quality of education and improving learning outcomes, not just increasing the number of students in schools. Evaluations provide useful evidence on how best to achieve shared global education goals on primary education and have begun to also look at the challenges of secondary and tertiary education.


We highlight here an evaluation of Finland's higher education institution programme. Beyond the lessons for higher education, the evaluation also looks at the values and challenges of a triangular or South-South approach to co-operation:

  • The North-South-South Higher Education Institution Network Programme: 
    This programme was found to be a good instrument for building relationships with other institutions in the South. One important value of the programme lies in its nature of reciprocity, as there are very few instruments, in Finland or elsewhere, that allow mobility from the South. One important challenge faced in such networking of higher education institutions has been the potential brain drain from partner countries. The evaluation finds that this programme has been successful in preventing this effect by accrediting the studies to the home university, and by making it impossible to use the programme funding to study for an entire degree, thus diminishing the brain drain in either direction.


August 2011: Food Crisis and Famine in the Horn of Africa   

A mother and her four children at the Dolo Ado refugee camp, Ethiopia. 
World Food Programme Photo/Judith Schuler


This week, world leaders will meet in Rome to assess the evolving situation in the Horn of Africa and look at the root causes of the crisis and the longer-term needs of countries in the region to sustainably enhance livelihood resilience on a wide scale. As governments, NGOs and private citizens support the ongoing relief efforts, we contribute to discussions on some of the core issues by drawing on evaluations from DEReC.

  • Recurrent drought and food shortages: In Ethiopia, which has not faced the levels of political instability and violence in Somalia, solutions are being found to combat seasonal food shortages. For example, the government's Safety Net Project, supported by international donors, has been found to be effective at helping families ride out dry seasons and getting food and water quickly to those in need.  Read the full assesment of Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Project
  • Child malnutrition claims the lives of millions of children each year. While there is good knowledge about specific interventions that work - such as micronutrient supplements - implementation challenges and barriers such as political instability and conflict have prevented key interventions from being adequately delivered at scale, according to a report on addressing the underlying and basic causes of child malnutrition.

  • Difficult terrain: Continued armed conflict and political instability in Somalia have rendered the implementation of aid programmes there very difficult - compounding the effects of drought and rising food prices and contributing to the current crisis. An evaluation of UNDP programmes in Somalia identified a number of factors that have contributed to poor performance in this context, including short-sighted planning and the reliance on contracted NGOs or local firms for monitoring of projects. 
  • Read more on aid in fragile states 



19 July 2011: Nelson Mandela International Day

Photo: Mr. Mandela and Ms. Graça Machel with children during a
Nelson Mandela Children's Fund event  August 2007. NMF Photo/NMBCF



To celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day, 18 July 2011, we have highlighted recent evaluation reports looking at results of development assistance to South Africa.

Evaluation of Norwegian Business-Related Assistance to South Africa: The program focuses on the initial stages of supporting business relationships between Norwegian and South African companies. It provides this through a partner search for Norwegian companies and travel grants.This impact is assumed to be achieved indirectly through increased economic activity and employment. However, this is not corroborated with findings from interviews with staff at Norad, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and Innovation Norway nor with performance indicators for the programme which do not keep any records on poverty or development impact.


Evaluation of the Paris Declaration Phase II, South Africa: There is strong, ongoing application of country ownership principles, where South Africa continually seeks to maintain its independence from development partners, and where recent restructuring around sector priorities in order to better ‘deliver’ aid has occurred. South Africa does not have a formal agreement for the implementation of the PD, but has an Aid Effectiveness Action Plan.


Managing Aid Exit and Transformation: This report presents the findings from an evaluation of how four donor countries – Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden – are approaching and managing aid transformation in South Africa.The renewed focus on peacebuilding in Africa coupled with the efforts to phase out traditional development aid has led to stronger emphasis on working with South Africa, including through trilateral efforts


20 June 2011: World Refugee Day

Photo: Denmark, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2010)


Evaluation of the Protracted Refugee Situation for Burundians in Tanzania: This evaluation, published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Danida Evaluation Department, looks at efforts  to promote durable solutions and improvements in the life of refugees that have been outside of their home countries for decades. The study focuses on the situation of Burundian refugees in Tanzania. The evaluation found that strong commitment of top-level officials in the Tanzanian Government played a crucial role in shaping durable solutions for refugees. Political will and leadership are key.


Impact Evaluation of Humanitarian Assistance to the Repatriation and Reintegration of Burundi Refugees: This study examines humanitarian assistance provided to Burundian refugees during their return to, and reintegration in their home country, between 2003 - 2008. The analysis concludes that near-complete repatriation and reintegration are facts of life and were achieved with an indispensable contribution from the program of assisted return. Risks to sustainable reintegration are discussed and recommendations provided on how to control some of them.


Evaluation of the UNHCR Joint Organisation Strategy with Canada, Denmark and the UK: This joint evaluation examines a collaborative effort to improve coordination between donors and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the primary UN body dealing with refugees. It concludes that, notwithstanding some limitations, the joint strategy improved UNHCR's overall performance and increased harmonisation of bilateral efforts. It suggests renewing the agreement and outlines a number of suggestions for doing so.



22 April 2011: Earth Day


UN Photo/ Eskinder Debebe
A farmer maintains his field in the Altai-Sayan Eco-Region of Uvs Province, Mongolia


Lessons from evaluation reports:


The Sustainability Dimension in Addressing Poverty Reduction (Finland): The lack of clarity in the concept of sustainability needs to be addressed: studies should be undertaken to identify options for measuring sustainability; guidelines should be developed to ensure that proxies of sustainability are integrated into activity design.

Environment Capacity Development Projects in Indonesia and the Philippines (Asian Development Bank): Environmental agencies need to take ownership of technical assistance projects, while in parallel requiring long-term sustained assistance. Building strong environmental governance, to ensure transparent and cost-effective assistance outcomes, should also be improved.



UN Photo/Sophia Paris
Haitian women celebrating International Women Day - Port-au-prince, Haiti


Integrating gender equality into evaluations means assessing how an investment has contributed to the achievement of results in improving the lives of women and men. More thematic evaluations of gender equality and women’s empowerment are taking place but more progress in incorporating gender perspectives into general evaluations of development assistance needs to be done.


Lessons from evaluation reports:


Gender and Value Chain Development : Ensuring that gender issues are taken into consideration in value chain-related interventions is vital for facilitating the development of inclusive value chains that benefit both women and men.


Lessons from Evaluations of Women and Gender Equality in Development Cooperation (Norad): As efforts are made to promote gender equality in development cooperation, the evaluations include recommendations that organisations must have clear goals for their activities, must ensure stronger leadership of work on women and gender equality, must invest more resources and must organise their work better and more systematically. The evaluations recommend clarifying concepts and terminology, providing clearer mandates and improving training.


Resources on gender and evaluation:

Review of Gender and Evaluation
Gender Equality Tip Sheet on Evaluation

- Economic Empowerment of Women : How can specific projects and/or policy interventions work to increase gender equality and to foster economic development through increased empowerment of women.
Gendernet Practice Note on addressing gender equality and women’s empowerment through development co-operation


January 2011: South Sudan: Are donors aiding peace?

Polling station during the Sudan referendum, Jan 2011.
UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

Sudan is at a critical stage in its history. In the referendum of January 2011 citizens of Southern Sudan voted for independence, six years after the peace agreement that ended the civil war with the North. The new government will need to diffuse the potential for violence in order to build a foundation for long term development. What can the international community do to support this process? A recent joint evaluation sheds light on how donors have done so far, and what changes are needed to better support peacebuilding in Africa's newest state:

"Aiding the Peace: A Multi-donor Evaluation of Support

to Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Activities in Southern Sudan" 

Key findings and recommendations:  Policy Brief 

Full in-depth analysis:  Evaluation Report


In 2010 this independent evaluation was conducted on behalf of the largest donors in Southern Sudan. The central question was: to what extent has the international community contributed to conflict prevention and peacebuilding  in Southern Sudan since the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), and what needs to be done now as the country enters a new era? The evaluation was conducted by a multidisciplinary team of international and Sudanese evaluators.

The evaluation concludes that support to conflict prevention and peacebuilding has only been partially successful. Donor policies and strategies did not fully take into account key drivers of violence resulting in an overemphasis on basic services and a relative neglect of security, policing and the rule of law, which are essential in state formation. Ongoing insecurity compromised effectiveness and sustainability of basic services and livelihood development...Read more


This evaluation is part of an ongoing collaborative effort to encourage quality, independent evaluation in the fields of conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Read more


Other reports on donor peace and development programmes in Sudan:



12 January 2011: Haiti Earthquake Recovery One Year On


Photo: Debri in Port au Prince. Patrick McManus, Irish Aid


Evaluations of the immediate earthquake response have been carried out by humanitarian organisations and donor countries -- demonstrating their will to both learn from and improve the current response. These evaluations and other resources can be found on the ALNAP Haiti Learning and Accountability Portal. The OECD is also working with donors to how we are working to support evaluation in Haiti and provide better evidence about what is working, what is not and why.


Key resources on the Haiti earthquake response:


A few important messages from evaluations so far:

In the context of broader debates about the functioning of the humanitarian system - and the adequacy of the Haiti earthquake response in particular - evaluators are providing some concrete lessons. Sadly, many of these lessons have been highlighted in the past (see this lEG brief or ALNAP's lessons note). More attention is needed on creating incentives for change and implementing lessons to ensure that these mistakes are not repeated (again).

  • Humanitarian coordination: An independent Real Time Evaluation three months after the quake showed evidence of the recurrent problems of weak leadership and limited collaboration among international humanitarian organisations working in Haiti, despite recent progress to improve the efficacy of the humanitarian system.
  • The role of the government: While international agencies work to support recovery in Haiti, long-term development cannot be a donor-led process but must be effectively driven by a legitimate government. Pre-existing governance weaknesses in Haiti were compounded by the earthquake itself as well as inadequate attention paid to consulting with and working through local and national institutions and engaging them in coordination mechanisms (IASC, 2010 and OXFAM, 2010). When formed, the new government will need to act decisively to approve projects, resolve issues around land ownership and set priorities for reconstruction and job creation.
  • Concrete results: Countries from around the world have pledged some $5.8 billion for recovery and reconstruction (Government of Haiti pledge data). In the first six months, 4 million people received food, 1.2 million people had access to potable water, 1.5 million people were provided with material for basic shelter, and 11,000 latrines were installed (IASC, 2010). In recent months, hundreds of thousands have benefited from preventative education and hygiene measures against the spread of cholera. Some 500,000 people have been vaccinated against common diseases and over 200,000 children have benefited from more than 200 Child Friendly Spaces and other temporary learning spaces. (AusAID, 2011 and UN OCHA 2011)
  • More attention needed on protection: Several reports have found disturbing gaps in protection of the rights and safety of children, women and disabled Haitians. According to the United Nations, "The protection situation across Haiti remains serious, with issues such as child protection, sexual and gender-based violence, forced eviction and challenges posed for those without identification documents."
  • A challenging urban setting: Reports from the Humanitarian Practice Network,  OXFAM and others, show that delivering water, sanitation and other basic services in urban areas poses very different challenges than those that arise in rural environments (where humanitarians have more experience). According to OXFAM: "Technical solutions need to be innovative and responsive to the specific physical, social and cultural circumstances of the disaster-affected population. Programmes are most effectively managed when they are implemented by dedicated groups of staff working with small communities with whom they develop clear reciprocal relationships and understanding. A balanced combination of these technical and management approaches can help to deliver an effective humanitarian response."
  • Making the right kinds of donations: The Haiti response operation received literally tonnes of unwanted relief items, including old medicines that had to be destroyed at considerable expense. Efforts should be made in public communication campaigns to emphasize how best to help and governments should restrain from sending goods for which there is not a clearly expressed demand or established means for distribution. (IASC, 2010





Photo source: UN Photo/X

Don't miss:

- The Evaluability of Democracy and Human Rights Projects: A logframe-related assessment

- A Review of Ireland Aid’s Human Rights and Democratisation Scheme

- Parliamentarians for Global Actions, Peace and Democracy Programme

Human rights are essential in enhancing good governance including the rule of law, fighting against corruption, addressing impunity and building effective justice sector reform. Evaluation experiences can help identify best practice and lessons for the future, with particular reference to measuring whether human rights are being adhered to.

Evaluation tells us that human rights and democratisation assistance require frequent dialogue, management and adjustments as well as a combination of short- and long-term interventions. Evaluations are most effective when they are flexible, responsive, timely and inventive.

Human rights must be implemented and embedded in local politics and processes. Most human rights projects successfully operate at the margin of the political process, facilitating transitions that are driven primarily by the internal dynamics of the societies in which they are working.


Hot topic!   Human Rights Day 2010, Speak up, Stop discrimination!


October 2010
The Millennium Development Goals:
Challenges for evaluation

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) guide the work of most donor agencies. As a result, evaluators often use the MDGs to frame their assessments. Some have also carried out specific evaluations of MDG progress. While monitoring of the MDGs shows what has or has not been achieved, evaluations try to explain how results occur and why they matter - and in these ways support collective learning and accountability for results.
However, making the link between specific aid programmes and achievement of higher-level goals like maternal health or poverty reduction remains difficult. More and better evaluation is more

Learn more about evaluating the MDGs on DEReC or visit the Evaluation Platform to share your own ideas!

Don't miss! Lessons from evaluation on strengthening MDG performance


FOCUS ON WATER - August 2010


According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), more than 1 billion people – about one in six people in this world – have no access to clean and safe drinking water while over 2 billion lack accesses to adequate sanitation. The effects of unclean water contribute to a cycle of poverty, conflict, and disease.


UN Photo/Martine Perret
Dryland near Manatuto, Timor-Leste


What evaluation tells us

World Bank has recently completed an evaluation on its support in water and development and this evaluation recommends:

- The supply and use of data on water should be strengthened to better understand the linkages between water, economic development, and project achievement by supporting more frequent and more thorough water monitoring of all sorts in the most vulnerable countries.

- Donors should work more with clients and partners will help ensuring that critical water issues are adequately addressed, for example to pay extra attention to groundwater conservation and its extraction, to help countries strengthening attention to sanitation, coastal management, irrigation.


Don’t miss:
- Water and Development - An evaluation of World Bank support
- Thematic Evaluation of the water and Sanitation Sector
- Support to Rural Water Supply and Sanitation in Republic of Yemen  (See Yemen Front Page)
- Projet d’assainissement collectif de la ville de Ouagadougou Office national d’eau et d’assainissement
- Check the 3IE synthesis on water and health

- World Bank/KfW Conference "Water and Development: Taking Lessons from Evaluation"





UN Photo/ Ian Steele
Children fill their containers with water from a community pump on the dry
Tihama plain near Hodeidah.



The Republic of Yemen is one of the least developed countries in the world and remains a growing priority for donors. It ranks 150 out of 177 countries on the UNDP Human Development Index (2006). About two thirds of the population, including 80 percent of the country's poor people, live in rural areas and most of them depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Agriculture is a vital economic sector and the lack of water is a crucial issue. Building the capacity of Yemen's government is  a cornerstone to improve governance, reduce instability and introduce sustainable development. Another major issue is to better coordinate foreign assistance and to make sure that it has an impact on the ground (US State Department review on Yemen policy).


What evaluation tells us

DFID recently completed a country programme evaluation in Yemen and this evaluation:

• Highlights the need to focus on strengthening local staff capacities when funding is increased,
• Outlines some of the challenges of working in situations of fragility,
• Recommends strengthening links between headquarters and the field to support coherence.

The Netherland’s evaluation of water supply interventions in rural Yemen, provides specific advice in this crucial sector: Institutional issues, especially community ownership and management, are the most fundamental determinants of viability and sustainability in rural water supply projects.


Don’t miss:
- Basic Education in Yemen  
- Transport and Privatization Support in Yemen
- Land and Water Conservation Project




UN Photo/Marco Dormino

As donors help Haiti recover, they should draw on evidence of what works from evaluations of past aid efforts.
Some key lessons from evaluations of reconstruction efforts:

  • Assess real needs: Needs assessments should differentiate and prioritise between vulnerabilities resulting from chronic conditions and those generated by the disaster, and, in particular, issues perceived as a priority by the 'beneficiaries' themselves rather than those development agencies assume are important. In-kind donations such as used clothing and canned goods are often not helpful; releif should be demand-driven. Read the evaluation
  • Prevention counts: Risk reduction and preparedness measures should be incorporated into reconstruction to make communities and nations more capable in the face of future disasters. Read the evaluation
    See also UNISDR Risk Reduction and Poverty
  • Information is power: Local people should be provided with timely, relevant information about the relief and recovery efforts. Information about aid and development plans is the starting point for people to decide for themselves how they wish to get on with their lives. It is also their most basic tool with which to hold their governments and aid providers to account. Read the evaluation
  • Keep learning, but avoid "evaluation avalanche":  Efforts should be monitored and evaluated to contribute to learning and hold actors accountable for the results of the outpouring of aid for Haiti. But donors should work together to make sure that evaluations are coordinated and harmonised to avoid overwhelming local partners with a wave of evaluations.DAC Guidance for Evaluating Humanitarian Assistance

World bank


International Day for the
Elimination of Violence Against Women
25 November 2009

How can development partners contribute to reducing violence?

Gender-based violence is a major public health and human rights problem throughout the world. Gender-based violence both reflects and reinforces inequities between men and women. It encompasses a wide range of human rights violations, including sexual abuse of children, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, trafficking of women and girls and harmful traditional practices.

Findings from featured evaluations:

  • Addressing gender violence is central to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and reducing poverty, but is too often not strategically addressed in practice   Read more...
  • A study of USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives found that the agency lacked understanding of Afghanistan’s gender issues, despite the fact that helping Afghan women was a key objective of the US intervention. As a result, there was no strategy to ensure women benefited from projects and the initiative didn't capitalize on Afghans’ desire for political change. Read more...
  • Gender based violence occurs because of a perceived unequal power relationship and while it affects both males and females, women are disproportionately affected. Improving health care, police and legal responses to violence will help women, men and children fufill their rights to administrative action and justice. Read more on institutional responses in South Africa...  and integrated responses to family violence in Central America


World Bank

Disarmament Week
24 – 30  October 2009

Disarmament Week begins each year on the anniversary of the founding of the United Nations with the goal of increasing public understanding of armed violence and the urgent need for action. Development evaluations shed light on how disarmament can be supported effectively.

Lessons from evaluations of disarmament, demobilization and peacebuilding programmes in conflict-affected countries:

  • What works? The ingredients of successful disarmament and demobilization include unambiguous political commitment, sustained financial support, realistic benchmarks, clear lines of communication between stakeholders and effective co-ordination. Read more
  • Good design counts – Too often, disarmament projects lack clarity of purpose or have unrealistic objectives – better programme design is needed. Read more
  • Don't forget women – The active roles of female combatants in violence and the special needs of other women involved in conflict cannot be ignored during demobilization. Read more on Gender and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration
  • Evidence needed – Good data on weapons and violence reduction are still largely lacking. Donor support for disarmament research  is needed in order to gather relevant and updated data and develop necessary tools for the fight against weapons proliferation. Read more



Photo: World Bank

World Health Day • 7 April 2009


World Health Day 2009 focuses on health infrastructure during emergencies. DEReC evaluations of health programmes and disaster recovery efforts have shown the importance of strengthening and rebuilding local capacities to respond to emergencies.

  • During the war in Angola, support to the health sector was less effective when it emphasized disbursement without addressing gaps in local management capacity. Read more
  • A major joint evaluation of the Indian Ocean Tsunami response found that local communities (not international volunteers) provided most first aid. Read more
  • There is a tendency after emergencies for donors to place too much emphasis on hardware and not enough on human resources and improving the quality of medical assistance. Read more 

New Report! The Quality of Health & Nutrition Data

Don’t miss! Evaluation of Community-led Initiatives for Child Survival in India which found evidence that the initiative contributed to a 20% decrease in infant mortality!


Photo: World BankDAC Guidance for Evaluating Humanitarian Assistance


Aid for Trade Report Launch

6 July 2009


Aid for Trade at a Glance 2009: Maintaining Momentum 

monitors the Aid-for-Trade Initiative to assess what is happening, what is not and where improvements are needed. Assessments on the impact of trade-related assistance are needed to inform ongoing efforts to promote more and better aid for trade as well as policy coherence for development.


Featured trade-related evaluations:

New! Trade Facilitation in the Mekong Region

Hot topic!  Coordinating Trade Capacity Building
Don’t miss!   World Bank Support 1987-2004