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Beginning in 2017, the Special Evaluation Office of the Belgian Development Cooperation (SEO), the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD), together with ngo-federatie, ACODEV and Fiabel, co-managed and co-financed the impact evaluations of five different development cooperation interventions (2017-2021 Programme).
Three programmes were implemented in partner countries, and the two others, that were in the field of education for global citizenship and solidarity, were carried out in Belgium.
The interventions were the following:
- Gender-based support within trade unions in the textile factories in Indonesia – IFSI-ISVI
- Support for women’s empowerment through women entrepreneurship in Morocco – APEFE
- Multidimensional support to highly vulnerable farmers in rural Rwanda – ADA
- Youth engagement to promote human rights – Solidagro, KIYO and Viva Salud
- Advocacy for climate justice in Belgium – implemented by civil society organisations coordinated by CNCD-11.11.11 and 11.11.11
The objective of these impact evaluations was twofold. The first objective was to measure the impacts of the each of these programmes, and to rigorously demonstrate to what extent the intervention contributed to the observed changes; in other words, to what extent the impact could be attributed to the intervention.
Second, funding impact evaluations from the very beginning of the interventions was an opportunity for the sector to learn about the use of rigorous mixed-methods impact evaluation approaches within specific contexts and sectors and to transfer lessons learned on the added value of such approaches to Actors of the Non-Governmental Cooperation (ANGC) and their partners, as well as proving value for all Belgian development cooperation actors.
The goal of this brochure is to summarise, using non-technical language, the main impacts achieved by each intervention, as well as the main recommendations derived from these findings. Even though the content relates to specific interventions, it could be useful for other ANGC working in similar sectors, such as those that support entrepreneurship & private sector development, decent work conditions, youth engagement, improved food security & nutrition, women’s empowerment, or climate justice. This brochure is also relevant for ANGC working with comparable target groups, for example those dealing with extremely disadvantaged groups, women, youth, etc.
Many of the lessons learned were a result of the evaluation process itself, since the evaluation team and partners had worked in close collaboration over the entire programme cycle, and since each evaluation used different methods to assess the impact of the selected interventions. Some takeaways from the process are briefly mentioned in each chapter of this brochure.
The chapters follow a similar structure, and synthetise the main findings and recommendations of each impact evaluation. They begin with a short introduction to the programme under evaluation, then the methodological approach is briefly presented. The two subsequent sections expose the main impacts achieved by the programme, and the most relevant recommendations.
The last chapter derives, in a non-exhaustive way, lessons at the intervention level learned from the five impact evaluations. Overarching lessons derived from the methodological approaches used, and on learning potential offered by rigorous impact evaluations are gathered in another publication “Tips and ideas to strengthen monitoring and evaluation practices”.