Evaluation of development programmes

Netherlands - DAC Evaluation Network Member


Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)

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Organisation Background


The Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) is an independent unit responsible for evaluation activities for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Given the mandate and independence of IOB, the directorates general remain responsible for the evaluation of foreign policy, foreign trade and development co-operation. In addition to evaluations led by IOB, departments and embassies commission decentralised evaluations.


The Evaluation Policy (2009) and guidelines for evaluation define the objective of IOB as: “to increase insight into the implementation and effects of the Dutch foreign policy realised by the MFA and its operations. Better knowledge of the outcomes of development cooperation allows policy makers to devise measures that are more effective and focused.”


IOB conducts policy reviews, impact evaluations, process and other evaluations and studies. The policy reviews give an assessment of a specific policy area of the Dutch government with a comprehensive analysis of a general or operational policy objective. Ministries are obliged to conduct these reviews every five to seven years. The policy reviews rely on information gathered in separate evaluations. Ex-post impact evaluations look into the net effects of the policy. IOB also carries out short evaluations, synthesis studies and ad-hoc research. Operations departments and embassies undertake evaluations of projects and programmes.


In line with policy developments in the Netherlands, the IOB’s work has shifted from evaluation of individual projects towards evaluation of foreign trade and foreign policy.

                    Netherland's Evaluation Profile

Netherland's Evaluation Reports (DAC Evaluation Resource Centre)