Bossuyt, J., Shaxson, L., Datta, A. 2014. Assessing the uptake of strategic evaluations in EU development cooperation: Study on the uptake of learning from EuropeAid's strategic evaluations into development policy and practice. Brussels: EuropeAid.
Every year, EuropeAid produces 10 to 12 ‘strategic evaluations’ dealing with countries, regions, themes or aid modalities. As their name suggests, they adopt a broader perspective than project and programme evaluations, which are of a more operational nature. Strategic evaluations are interested in the overall relevance and coherence of EU interventions. They have a dual objective to provide accountability and promote learning. Most importantly, they seek to generate knowledge to help decision-makers to improve development policy, programming and practice.
But to what extent is this knowledge effectively used in EU development cooperation? Are the necessary conditions, systems, processes and incentives in place to ensure the ‘uptake’ of strategic evaluations? Or do these labour-intensive and relatively costly reports remain under- utilised?
In order to address these questions, EuropeAid commissioned an ‘uptake study’ with two very clear objectives: (i) to collect evidence of the translation of knowledge from strategic evaluations into EU development policy and practice, and on that basis (ii) to make recommendations for strengthening uptake in EuropeAid and the wider EU external action system.
Read the study here