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The Special Evaluation Office (SEO) is responsible for certifying the evaluation capacity of all Belgian development actors financed with federal funds.
The 2013 Belgian Development Cooperation Law stipulates that these actors are responsible for the evaluation of their interventions. The certification of their evaluation systems and an ex-post evaluation will ensure the quality of these systems.
In 2017, the SEO conducted a pilot study and tested the certification tool. The chosen approach is primarily focused on learning and continuous improvement.
The instrument for certification, the Evaluation Capacity Building (ECB) Initiative, consists of several documents, namely the self-assessment manual, the assessor's manual and the study report.
In concrete terms, the instrument leads to the awarding (or not) of an "ECB certificate" to individual organisations, by the SEO. This certificate confirms the quality of the (external) evaluation system, of the evaluation practice and the commitment to improvement of an organisation.
To date, more than three quarters of the recognised organisations have committed themselves to this exercise and have made substantial efforts to integrate the evaluation function more strongly and to improve its quality.
In order to give an additional opportunity to organisations that have not yet applied, a certification round will be organised at the end of 2023. Organisations must submit their application before 1 December 2023. The conditions for preparing and applying for certification can be found in the manual for self-evaluation (PDF, 355.72 KB).
For organisations that have already been certified, the certificate obtained remains valid during the 2022-2026 cycle. Follow-up will continue to take place within the institutional dialogues.