Evaluation by SEO


The Special Evaluation Office - SEO - is authorised to evaluate 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 distribution of its evaluations.

Every year, the SEO sends a report on the previous year's activities to the government member responsible for development cooperation, who then submits the report and any comments to Parliament.

The three functions of an evaluation

  • Accountability: accounting for the use of public funds
  • Learning: learning lessons to identify what works or does not work
  • Decision-making: reporting objective information to support decisions.

An evaluation checks the extent to which the expected results of an intervention were achieved and what other effects were produced; it also attempts to identify the causes of the successes and failures.

The five evaluation criteria

  • Relevance: does the intervention (or strategy or policy) meet major needs? will it lead to a better quality of life for the beneficiaries? is it consistent with the priorities of the partner State on the one hand and Belgium Cooperation on the other?
  • Effectiveness: did the intervention achieve the expected results?
  • Efficiency: did it achieve the results as well as could be expected with regard to the means and resources used?
  • Sustainability: did it achieve sustainable results?
  • Impact: did it have a long-term effect for the beneficiaries and did it have an impact on the community or society as a whole? Can these effects definitely be attributed to the intervention?

Note: the evaluation is not an audit.

The audit focuses on respect for the regulations and procedures. The evaluation stresses the practices and the achievement of results and attempts to explain why certain interventions work well and others do not.