Making policies work



EU development cooperation with Sub-Saharan Africa 2013-2018: Policies, funding, results


Alexei Jones, Niels Keijzer, Ina Friesen and Pauline Veron, study for the evaluation department (IOB) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, May 2020

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ECDPM, jointly with the German Development Institute (DIE), conducted a study on EU cooperation with Sub-Saharan Africa for the evaluation department (IOB) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

The review analyses EU policies, aid spending and results achieved by EU development cooperation with Sub-Saharan Africa between 2013 and 2018.

The research is based on existing sources of material (EU policy documents, reports, EU evaluations, scientific and other literature). It gives a picture of:

  • European development policy as it has developed in recent years.
  • The expenses associated with that policy and where the money has gone to.
  • What we know about the results achieved, particularly in the areas of peace and security, private sector development, agriculture and social development.

It also addresses topics such as gender, budget support, cooperation between the EU and the EU member states, and the added value of European development cooperation.

This study is used as a reference in this year’s letter to parliament by the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands to inform the House of Representatives about European development cooperation.

Read the study

Download (PDF, 2.19MB)

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Alexei Jones


2020-06-09 15:58:36

Dear Martin, thank you very much for your feedback! Climate change is indeed not covered in great detail in the study, there was actually not a lot of evidence in relation to it in the evaluation reports we analysed. This might already point to the need for more independent evaluations in the area of development cooperation and climate change... While our study suggests that EU support has indeed contributed to tangible results in the environment and climate sectors, it also points out that long-term impacts were mixed and that the scale of the support was not sufficient to reverse worsening trends in environment degradation and climate change. More generally, this confirms the challenges in assessing the long-term impact and sustainability of the EU’s cooperation engagement.

Martin Kaspar


2020-06-08 19:23:00

Congratulations on the study on EU development cooperation EU-Africa 2013-2018, good work as far as I can judge. My main issue of interest (climate change) was not the focus of this study. However, it still seems that the critical summary on p.6 ('where transformative change and reversing worsening trends in some cases (e.g. in the environment and climate change sector) require more time and an up-scaling of support') does not really fit with the rather positive short climate remarks in the rest of the text. Thanks in case you have any further remarks on this subject.

EU foreign and development policyStudyEuropean Union (EU)Sub-Saharan Africa