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The Special Evaluation Office has been operational since May 2004, but its origins lie in the scandals which occurred in the late 1990s. The establishment of an independent evaluation service was recommended by the Special Parliamentary Committee on Development Cooperation, in 1997.
Two years later, major reforms were undertaken within the Development Cooperation. It was decided to pay more attention to monitoring (financial control) and evaluation in order to avoid ineffective use of Belgian Development Aid. These reforms form the basis of the current institutional structure of Belgian Development Cooperation.
In 1999, the Belgian Administration for Development Cooperation (ABOS) was split into an administration, namely DGIS (later DGD), and an executive service, namely the Belgian Technical Cooperation (since 2018 Enabel). The first Special Evaluator for International Cooperation was also appointed, the start of an independent evaluation.
In 2003, the Special Evaluator got the support of a full-fledged team: the Special Evaluation Office of the International Cooperation. Since the merger of the internal evaluation department of the DGD and the SEO in 2010, there is no longer an internal evaluation function within DGD. However, DGD does still have a 'results' department.
In 2014, the SEO was officially named the Special Evaluation Office of the Belgian Development Cooperation.
DGIS: Directorate General for International Cooperation
DGD: Directorate General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid
RD 4th of May 1999
Appointment of the Special Evaluator for International Cooperation
RD 17th of February 2003
Creation of a Special Evaluation Office for International Cooperation
RD 4th of April 2003
Appointment of a Special Evaluator of the Special Evaluation Office
RD 25th of February 2010
Creation of a Special Evaluation Office of the International Cooperation (merger between internal evaluation service of the DGD and the SEO)
RD 25th of April 2014
Amendment of the RD of 2010
Name change: the Special Evaluation Office of the Belgian Development Cooperation
RD 8th of June 2016
Appointment of Cécilia De Decker as Special Evaluator for a mandate of at least six years