In practice

Switzerland's system for measuring results of development co-operation

Key messages

Switzerland has developed a comprehensive system for measuring the impact of its international co-operation. The system aims to meet rising demand from the Swiss Parliament and other stakeholders for evidence-based, aggregated results. The main challenges were to bring results measurement into line with the realities of project implementation and to align the corporate level with the country and project levels.


Switzerland’s main challenge was to establish an evidence-based monitoring and evaluation system for measuring the impact of its development co‑operation, from the project to the corporate level. In addition, the Swiss Parliament, academic development experts and other stakeholders were calling for a more scientific and systematic results measurement system.

Specific challenges included:

  • measuring results of transversal themes, such as gender

  • aligning results with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • assessing results jointly with partner countries

  • measuring funds mobilised from the private sector.


After several iterations, Switzerland established its results measurement system. The system is based on the following pillars:

  • A results framework for monitoring strategy. Switzerland established a framework for monitoring implementation of the objectives of the Switzerland’s international co-operation strategy 2021-24. The framework comprises sub-objectives, impact hypotheses and standard indicators to monitor and evaluate both the intervention logic at the corporate, country and project levels, and contribution to the SDGs.

  • Results frameworks for co‑operation programmes. All co-operation programmes with Swiss partner countries comprise specific results frameworks. These contain outcome statements and impact hypotheses that provide a basis for setting targets and for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on results. The results frameworks of the country co-operation strategies are aligned with the SDGs and help to assess Switzerland’s contribution to the SDGs in partner countries. They also allow measurement of results of transversal themes. Methodologies for measuring funds mobilised from the private sector are being developed.

  • Standard indicators. Switzerland has developed a standard indicators set at project level, in project logframes and results frameworks. They help to aggregate quantitative results in terms of outputs and outcomes at the country and corporate levels. Result indicators at population level need to be disaggregated by gender and, for the Swiss Agency for Development and Co‑operation, by a targeted group of those left behind or vulnerable.


Switzerland’s approach provides better results measurement at a number of levels.

  • Basing the evaluation of country co-operation strategies on clear outcome statements and impact hypotheses makes it easier to track success and failure, and to assess contributions to the SDGs at country level.

  • Standard indicators have already provided aggregated results figures that were highly appreciated when used in accountability reports to the Swiss Parliament.

  • Corporate and country results frameworks as well as standard indicators should allow for more systematic and specific reporting of results on transversal themes.

  • The use of standard indicators has allowed Switzerland to start digitalising results monitoring. An IT project is currently under development. The results data management system should be productive from the beginning of 2023.

Lessons learnt

Courage, creativity and co‑operation were required to meet the results measurement needs of government, academia and development agencies. It was important in particular to:

  • Be bold, systematic and comprehensive. Courage and sound reflection helped to bring results measurement into line with project implementation realities, and to start creating a systematic and comprehensive results measurement system joining the corporate, country and project levels.

  • Be creative. It took innovative, outside-the-box thinking to try new ways of monitoring and evaluating at various levels.

  • Co-operate closely. Co-operation with partner countries, and among partners within and outside the government agencies implementing Switzerland’s international co-operation strategy, was key to establishing a systematic and comprehensive methodology that remained close to reality.

Further information

Swiss Agency for Development and Co‑operation, International co‑operation strategy 2021-2024,

Swiss Agency for Development and Co‑operation, SECO’s projects have an impact,

Swiss Agency for Development and Co‑operation, The SDC’s impact,

OECD resources

OECD, Results in development co-operation,

OECD, Guiding Principles on Managing for Sustainable Development Results,

To learn more about Switzerland’s development co-operation see:

OECD (2021), “Switzerland”, in Development Co‑operation Profiles, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2019), OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Switzerland 2019, Development Co‑operation Peer Reviews, OECD Publishing, Paris,