About the Special Evaluation Office


The Special Evaluation Office (SEO) is authorised to evaluate the Belgian Development Cooperation. It 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.

Every year, the SEO sends a report on the previous year's activities to the Minister of Development Cooperation, who then submits the report and any comments he or she may have to the Parliament.

Evaluation helps to account for the use of these public funds, to learn lessons from what works and what does not in order to improve the Belgian Development Cooperation and support decision-making.

Read our annual reports here

The six evaluation criteria

The evaluations are carried out according to the six evaluation criteria for development cooperation, established by the OECD. These are also known as the DAC criteria.

  • relevance
  • coherence
  • effectiveness
  • efficiency
  • impact
  • sustainability

Relevance: is the intervention doing the right things?
The extent to which the intervention objectives and design respond to beneficiaries, global, country, and partner/institution needs, policies and priorities, and continue to do so if circumstances change.

Coherence: how well does the intervention fit?
The compatibility of the intervention with other interventions in a country, sector or institution.

Effectiveness: is the intervention achieving its objectives?
The extent to which the intervention achieved or is expected to achieve its objectives and its results, including any differential results across groups.

Efficiency: how well are resources being used?
The extent to which the intervention delivers or is likely to deliver results in an economic and timely way.

Impact: what difference does the intervention make?
The extent to which the intervention has generated or is expected to generate significant positive or negative, intended or unintended, higher-level effects.

Sustainability: will the benefits last?
The extent to which the net benefits of the intervention continue or are likely to continue.


The SEO is a member of:

It also follows the work of NONIE (Network of Networks on Impact Evaluation) and the European Evaluation Society (EES).