GIZ Evaluation Report 2022: successful even in fragile contexts

Work in the areas of climate and energy and economic development and employment promotion achieved the highest scores/digitalisation potential not yet fully harnessed

Eschborn/Berlin, 29 March 2023. The work of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has received good scores. This is outlined in the current evaluation report, which the federal enterprise presented in Berlin today. According to the report, the projects that GIZ implements on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) achieved an average score of 2.3, the same result as in the previous evaluation report in 2020.

Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary at BMZ and Chair of the GIZ Supervisory Board, said: ‘Development cooperation is one of the most thoroughly evaluated policy areas. And that’s a good thing, because evaluations create transparency and help us to keep refining our work.’

For the current report, GIZ analysed 207 project evaluations that were conducted by independent experts before and during the pandemic. Their assessments were based on internationally recognised standards established by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Projects related to climate and energy sector and economic development and employment promotion scored highest (2.16 for both areas).

GIZ implemented most of the evaluated projects in fragile states. GIZ Managing Director Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven emphasised: ‘The general conditions in which we work have become considerably more difficult in recent years. The rise of armed conflicts and wars throughout the world, the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic are examples of how international cooperation must adjust to new challenges again and again. The consistently good evaluation results show that our work is effective even under these difficult conditions, and that is a great success for us.’

Capacity development provides important impetus for development

The project evaluations also show that capacity development is essential. Getting people and institutions in the right shape for their work is an important impetus for development. For example in Kenya, where GIZ is modernising the vocational education system and supporting implementation of the dual training system on behalf of BMZ and in partnership with the Kenyan Government. Combining theory and practice in vocational education was a completely new model for Kenya. GIZ therefore began by developing knowledge in the private sector, the training institutes and the relevant government authorities. Topics included establishing and coordinating an overarching system for vocational education and training and developing curricula that reflect the needs of the industry. With support from GIZ, companies from technical sectors, such as automotive engineering and mechatronics, were the first to start introducing the dual training system. And this paid off: six months after completing their training, 70% of trainees were employed and were being paid fair wages.

Opportunities of digitalisation not yet fully harnessed

As part of the current evaluation report, GIZ not only examined the project evaluations but also how it shapes up with regard to digitalisation. The company now uses digital components, such as apps and e-learning platforms, in more than 500 projects. To what extent, then, do these components contribute to achieving the objectives of the projects? The evaluation shows that digitalisation is increasing the effectiveness of GIZ’s work, as more people are benefiting from the services it offers. In Malawi, for example, citizens living in remote areas without health care can obtain information about nutrition and health via telephone hotlines and text messaging services. Even during the pandemic, they were able to receive accurate information about the coronavirus. Digitalisation leads to greater efficiency in many areas. Farmers in India can now obtain advice online, for example. Instead of having to wait weeks for a face-to-face appointment, they can now usually have a virtual consultation within 24 hours.

Hoven explained: ‘Our goal is to fully harness the potential of digitalisation. The evaluation shows that we are already getting a lot of things right, but there is certainly still room for improvement.’ The results of the evaluation indicate that GIZ should provide countries with even more support to shape their digital framework, as the necessary infrastructure is not always in place. There is often a lack of internet connections in rural areas or no stable power supply, hardware may be inadequate, and partners may not have sufficient knowledge. Moreover, the study revealed that GIZ should focus even more closely on integrating digital approaches into the partners’ national strategies. This, it showed, is the only way for the company to drive digital change sustainably. Hoven said: ‘The example highlights how important evaluations are for our work. The results show us what is working well and what needs to be adjusted so that we can work even more effectively. That is and must be our objective.’

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise with worldwide operations. We support the German Government in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. We are also engaged in international education activities around the globe. Through our work, we assist people and societies in shaping their own future and improving their living conditions.     

You can access the Evaluation Report 2022 here.