German Institute for Development Evaluation


Evaluation capacity development in selected countries in Latin America - FOCEVAL

FOCEVAL (Fomento de Capacidades en Evaluación) is an evaluation capacity development (ECD) project in Costa Rica and other selected countries across Latin America. Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), DEval is in charge of implementing the project with its political partner, the Costa Rican Ministry of National Planning and Economic Policy (MIDEPLAN).

The overarching goal of ECD measures is to strengthen the role of evaluations in policy-making. Costa Rica, in particular, already has a conducive environment for evaluation: The Costa Rican government has expressed a strong interest in strengthening evaluation capacity, with training and continuing education programmes already implemented at university level to promote professional expertise. By establishing a national evaluation agenda (ANE), the Costa Rican government has already established evaluation at policy level. FOCEVAL is designed to build on these foundations in Costa Rica, but also involves networking among key players based in other Latin American and Caribbean countries with the aim of advancing evaluation throughout the region.

The first phase of this project was conducted from July 2011 to June 2014 by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); from July 2014 to December 2016, DEval assumed responsibility for implementing the second phase of FOCEVAL on the German side. The second phase built on the work performed during the first phase while setting new priorities. January 2017 marked the beginning of the third phase of the project, which aims to consolidate and further disseminate the results achieved so far during the project.

Aims of the project

The project aims to achieve an enhanced role for evaluation in policy-making and in steering policy interventions in Costa Rica and in other selected Latin American countries by 2018. It operates in the following strategic areas:

a) Consolidation in Costa Rica: Specific activities are being carried out to strengthen and develop the groundwork that has already been laid in Costa Rica. These include consolidating existing training and continuing education structures and raising awareness among decision-makers in government, parliament and society. The project aims to make targeted efforts to help young and upcoming evaluators acquire practical experience and to foster participation in evaluations by civil society. To ensure that any progress towards institutionalisation is sustainable, steps are being taken to ensure that such progress is not affected by any change in government.

b) Dissemination in Latin America: To harness the regionalisation effects of the projects, selected learning and advisory products and the evaluation standards developed for the region are being disseminated in collaboration with international networks and partners. Tried and tested measures are being adapted to the context as required and mainstreamed in other countries in the region. Through specific activities and, above all, a regional platform, the project also provides a forum for sharing experience among country representatives from the region.

Moreover, project experience is to be used to draw up an ECD strategy.

c) ECD strategy development: Lessons learned are being analysed throughout the entire project term. The resulting conclusions provide key inputs for an overarching ECD strategy for German development cooperation.

Status and planned course of the project

At the end of 2016, basic work packages were developed in collaboration with the project partner MIDEPLAN. Other key actors were also involved in this planning phase. Implementation of activities began in January 2017.

The first Plataforma Nacional meeting was held in Costa Rica in February 2017, facilitating exchange between relevant actors in government, civil society, research and academia in Costa Rica and providing an opportunity to set up cross-institutional working groups to implement the work packages.

The work packages to be implemented over the next two years include the following:

- assisting in developing a national evaluation policy in Costa Rica

- supporting evaluation systems in other Latin American countries

- supporting young and upcoming evaluators

- disseminating evaluation standards for Latin America and the Caribbean

- increasing the use of evaluations in parliaments

- enhancing participation by civil society

- expanding training programmes for evaluators and evaluation Managers.


Team leader: Erwin Geuder-Jilg

Evaluators: Sarah Desiree Klier, Juan Carlos Sanz

Picture gallery

Project head Dr Stefanie Krapp during a presentation for the presidential economic council of Costa Rica in November
Dr Stefanie Krapp (3. from the left) and Juan Carlos Sanz (2. from the left) from the DEval with Helio Fallas (Vice President of Costa Rica, Middle) and other members of the government