Evaluation of development programmes

European Commission - DAC Evaluation Network Member


Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO)

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Organisation Background


The Evaluation Unit covers the evaluation of the development co-operation policy for the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) and the European External Action Service (EEAS). The Evaluation Unit is in charge of the evaluation of the European Union’s (EU) co-operation and development programmes in third countries, with the exception of enlargement candidate countries, neighbouring countries and humanitarian aid. It covers the following regions and their corresponding EC external co-operation instruments: Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP), Asia (including Central Asia) and Latin America.

The DG DEVCO Evaluation Unit works on the basis of an Evaluation Policy that covers evaluation of development co-operation in the framework of the EU. It states what is to be evaluated and how evaluation is managed in the EU. In addition to this, the Better Regulation package has set out new guidelines for evaluation.

Various stakeholders are involved in the evaluation of projects, programmes, policies and instruments across the EU. The Evaluation Unit is an independent unit that, since 2015, has organisationally been part of the Taskforce Knowledge, Performance and Results. The unit is led by the Head of Evaluation, who reports to the Head of Taskforce Knowledge, Performance and Results and to the Deputy Director General of DG DEVCO. The unit manages centralised geographical and thematic evaluations, as well as evaluations of instruments, while programme and project evaluations are decentralised (carried out in the field or by operational units in the headquarters) but are supported and co-ordinated by the Evaluation Unit.

The Evaluation Unit operates on a five-year rolling evaluation work programme. The definition of the programme is based on an extensive, internal consultation process, including bilateral discussions with all DEVCO geographic, thematic and policy directors. The draft work programme also includes consultations with the EEAS and comments from the DGs of NEAR and ECHO. The evaluation work plan is approved by the Development Commissioner, in agreement with the High Representative/Vice-President (HR/VP) and Commissioners for Neighbourhood and Humanitarian Affairs.

      European Commission's Evaluation Profile

European Commission's Evaluation Reports (DAC Evaluation Resource Centre)