DEval sets up a reference group for every evaluation. It includes the various responsible persons from politics (usually the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)) as well as the implementing or promoting organisations such as the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) or KfW Development Bank.
National or international experts and other relevant actors are also consulted if necessary. For example, in addition to the reference group in Germany, a Filipino reference group accompanied our evaluation on land-use planning in the Philippines.
The reference group provides an important sounding board in the evaluation process. It advises the evaluation team, provides the necessary data and background information, provides key contacts and comments on the evaluation process. In this way, it ensures that the evaluation and its results are relevant to development policy and are highly useful.
The evaluation team regularly informs the reference group about the status of the evaluations and the group meets when key milestones are reached. An important factor is that DEval’s work is independent. It reserves the right to make decisions regarding questions, the design and implementation of the evaluation, its conclusions and recommendations.