Making policies work

Paul Engel (Alumnus)

  • Development effectiveness
  • Policy coherence for development
  • Innovation
  • Knowledge networking
  • Evaluation and learning
  • Valuation of indigenous knowledge
  • Rural and agricultural development policy
  • Food security


Dr. Ir. Paul Engel was a Senior Fellow at ECDPM from 2015-2016. From 2001 until 2015, he was ECDPM’s Director.

His primary field of interest is the role of knowledge in policy and its implementation. After long term field work in Africa and Latin America as irrigation and communication specialist, project and programme manager, he joined  the Department of Communication and Innovation Studies of Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and directed international research programmes on strengthening multi-stakeholder interaction for agricultural and rural innovation and developed a practical approach and method to facilitate multi-stakeholder innovation for development.

A published author (English, Spanish), he also taught social organisation of innovation for water management and agricultural value-chain development at the University of Concepción, Chile. As a consultant he gained long term experience in project, programme and policy evaluation. As manager he directed organisational change in development organisations and networks.

Currently, he specialises in global development, policy coherence, impact evaluation and (endogenous) capacity development, with special attention to agriculture, food security, and water resource management. Since 2012 he chairs the Steering Group for the establishment of the Dutch Food and Business Knowledge Forum.

Areas of Work

  • Specialist on policy process management, chairs or participates in various initiatives in the fields of knowledge networking for development, development evaluation and learning, and the valuation of indigenous knowledge

Pre-ECDPM Assignments

  • Long term field work in support of local capacity development in Africa and Latin America.
  • Senior Advisor to EU Heads of Evaluation 3C Task Force.
  • Lectured at Wageningen University – Department of Communication and Innovation Studies.
  • Facilitated the design and implementation of six process-oriented evaluation studies looking at the practical application and impact of the 1992 Maastricht Treaty precepts of Coherence, Complementarity and Coordination in European development policy and operations.
  • Led various studies/evaluations of European efforts to promote Policy Coherence for Development, and into the monitoring and evaluation of (endogenous) capacity change and performance.

External publications and contributions

    New Diplomacy: Showing the Way in a Complex World?

    GREAT Insights Magazine | Published on 21-03-2014

    New Diplomacy and Development

    GREAT Insights Magazine | Published on 21-03-2014

    Paul Engel

    Senior Fellow




    English, Dutch, Spanish, French


    • +31 (0)43 350 29 00


    Maastricht office

    Onze Lieve Vrouweplein 21

    6211 HE Maastricht



    Director Paul Engel explains the work of ECDPM, a 'think and do tank'