Reliable statements regarding the effectiveness of development cooperation are also important with regard to accountability to taxpayers; in addition, information about what is effective in development cooperation makes it possible to plan and steer development cooperation programmes and projects more effectively. This information is obtained through evaluations. At the beginning of 2007, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development commissioned a “system review” to establish the situation with regard to the quality of evaluation practice in German development cooperation.
This review gave rise to recommendations as to how the development organisations investigated could improve their internal evaluation practice. The ministry was also advised to establish an independent evaluation institute. It put this recommendation into practice in 2012 by establishing the German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval).
In one of its first studies, DEval investigated the status quo of evaluation practice in German development cooperation at the time the institute was established and determined how this was perceived by the environment in which DEval operated. The institute used this as a basis for its strategic positioning. Moreover, the study was intended as a baseline against which to later measure the changes effected by the institute’s work. It also analysed the extent to which the recommendations from the system review conducted in 2007/2008 had been implemented. The study was completed in 2015.