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The evaluation policy of the Special Evaluation Office describes the way in which the SEO intends to evaluate the results of the Belgian development policy. This policy also clarifies the role of the Special Evaluation Office within the Belgian Development Cooperation and the types of evaluations it wants to carry out. The policy document is currently being updated.
The SEO pays a lot of attention to the results and impact of the Belgian Development Cooperation in the partner countries. It also harmonises and certifies the internal evaluation systems of the actors of the Belgian Development Cooperation.
To carry out evaluations, the SEO bases itself on the evaluation criteria of the OECD Development Committee (DAC). It defines the scope of the evaluation, draws up the evaluation terms of reference to be assigned to external experts, and ensures the quality control of the evaluation process.
The experts are recruited for a limited period as part of a government tender. Their independence and competence ensure the credibility of the evaluations.
The main stakeholders of evaluations are:
- the Cabinet of the Minister of Development Cooperation;
- the Directorate General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD);
- the embassies/consulates;
- the Belgian Development Agency Enabel;
- the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO);
- the federations of non-governmental and institutional actors (ngo-federatie, ACODEV, Fiabel);
- the umbrella organisations of NGOs and associations of the grassroots movement (11.11.11. and CNCD-11.11.11.);
- multilateral organisations;
- partner organisations (national and local authorities in partner countries, civil society organisations, local NGOs, etc.).
The SEO also sets up a steering committee for each evaluation. Representatives of different stakeholders involved in the evaluation (and sometimes also other experts) participate. The committee members actively participate in the evaluation process. The SEO takes their comments and advice into account.
Depending on the subjects and themes of the evaluations, other actors may also be involved in the steering committees (other FPSs, Finexpo, individual NGOs, etc.).
The Royal Decree of the Special Evaluation Office stipulates that the SEO should organise a review of its own work on a regular basis. This is done according to the OECD-DAC peer review principles. The results of this peer review will help to improve the quality of its evaluations and to revise the 2014 evaluation policy.