Using knowledge: GIZ presents its Evaluation Report 2020
Following reform of its evaluation system, GIZ has improved the quality and comparability of its evaluation data, which provide an important basis for project work.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has reformed its evaluation system. This evaluation report describes the first findings under the new system. The report covers a total of 215 project evaluations and their assessment. It shows that the reform is making a difference. Evaluations are now of a better quality and more comparable. As part of the reform, GIZ has tightened up its evaluation criteria and improved both its methodology and the independence of its evaluations: they are centrally managed by the Evaluation Unit, which works with independent external experts.
The report was presented to Members of the German Parliament and representatives of the press in Berlin on Thursday 25 February. Martin Jäger, Chair of the GIZ Supervisory Board and State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), said at the presentation, ‘Evaluation is – quite rightly – of growing importance in international cooperation and is attracting more and more attention, as it is both a corrective and a signpost to the future. We constantly need to check that our approaches remain viable and effective. GIZ’s evaluation reform ensures it can meet stringent German and international standards for quality and transparency.’
Member of the GIZ Management Board Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven added, ‘We want to design our work to be as effective as possible. Evaluations are crucial to our ability to do this. They provide us with the facts that underpin ongoing decisions about project work. As a federal enterprise in international cooperation, our aim is always to be transparent, develop our instruments and improve our services in the long term. We want to know what works and to learn as an institution.’
One focus of the latest evaluation report is on GIZ’s work in the area of good governance. Anti-corruption, strengthening civil society and ensuring functioning local government are just three aspects of a wide-ranging portfolio in this area. The 65 good governance projects included in the report have an average rating of ‘successful overall’. Evaluation also shows that advisory services in the area of governance are strongly influenced by the political framework. Fragile countries represent particular challenges in this context. GIZ has therefore introduced what it calls a context analysis, in which the framework conditions are analysed even before a project gets under way, to ensure that its work is as effective as possible.
Displacement and migration form a further focus of the GIZ Evaluation Report. Here, the report does not make a final assessment of projects but seeks to identify the lessons that can be learned from the experience of ongoing projects. Some of these projects came under severe pressure at the beginning of the migrant crisis in 2015 and were implemented under difficult conditions. The evaluation findings confirm the validity of GIZ’s integrative approach to supporting not only refugees and the displaced but also host communities. The analysis also makes clear that direct support must always go hand in hand with medium- and long-term measures. And it is important to involve local organisations and to provide continuing training for their staff.
You can download the Evaluation Report 2020 here (available only in German).