Evaluation of development programmes

Belgium - DAC Evaluation Network Member


Special Evaluation Office (SEO)

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Organisation Background

The Special Evaluation Office of the Belgian Development Cooperation (SEO) is responsible for the evaluation of the Belgian Development Cooperation. The SEO conducts policy and strategic evaluations. Programmes and interventions’ evaluations are realized by the development actors themselves.

The Special Evaluation Office is an external evaluation office under the administrative authority of the President of the Management Committee of the FPS Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. This status guarantees its independence in the choice, implementation and dissemination of its evaluations.
The Special Evaluation Office is led by the Special Evaluator, who has financial delegation to contract the expertise required for achieving credible evaluations. The Special Evaluator has to be filled externally and is appointed for a period of six years. Upon contract end, the Evaluator is not permitted to take up another position within the organisation.
The Special Evaluation Office has six statutory tasks, laid down in the Royal Decree of 25 February 2010, and its amended version of 25 April 2014.
  1. Planning, execution and follow-up of evaluations. These evaluations may concern any form of aid, by any instrument, organisation or channel financed or co-financed by the Federal State.
  2. Accountability to the Parliament and the public opinion on the policy pursued and the use of funds.
  3. Drawing conclusions from evaluations and formulating recommendations that can be used optimally to improve or adjust development cooperation policy.
  4. Participating in international joint evaluations and in activities to support the evaluation capacity in partner countries.
  5. Provide technical support to the Directorate General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD).
  6. Harmonise and certify the evaluation systems of the actors of the Belgian Development Cooperation.
The evaluation policy describes the way in which the Special Evaluation Office intends to evaluate the results of the Belgian development policy. This policy also clarifies the role of the SEO within the Belgian Development Cooperation and the types of evaluations it wants to carry out.
The Special Evaluation Office sets up a Reference Group for each evaluation. Representatives of different stakeholders involved in the evaluation participate. The Reference Group is responsible for: commenting on the methodology, the intermediary and the final evaluation products, controlling the quality of the evaluation process and contributing to the dissemination of evaluations.
Every year, the Special Evaluation Office publishes a report containing the results of the evaluations. It sends this annual report to the Minister of Development Cooperation, who can comment on it. The annual report is then discussed in Parliament. The Special Evaluator presents the results and recommendations of the evaluations at a session of the Committee on External Relations.

                  Belgium's Evaluation Profile

Belgium's Evaluation Reports (DAC Evaluation Resource Centre)