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Evaluation of Swedish development cooperation

Updated: 19 April 2018

Evaluations at Sida contribute to well-informed decision making, learning and accountability. Swedish development assistance and the work of Sida is evaluated both externally and internally.

The two main government actors engaged in evaluation of Swedish development cooperation are Sida and the Expert Group for Aid Studies (EBA), who both report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Agency for Public Management (Statskontoret) may at the request of the Swedish Government also carry out studies and evaluations of Swedish development cooperation.

The responsibility for evaluation of Sida funded programmes rests primarily with the development partner. Sida may commission an external evaluation for accountability purposes, to meet learning needs, or due to limited capacity by the partner. It is not mandatory to evaluate every intervention – the goal is to have the right things evaluated at the right time and in the right way.

Sida's approach to evaluation

Sida defines evaluation as a systematic and objective approach of determining the merit, worth or value of something. It plays a central role in results-based management and organisational learning at Sida. It provides an understanding of how and why certain results were – or were not – achieved, and if they were relevant and sustainable.

Evaluations at Sida can contribute to:

  • Well-informed decision making in projects, programmes and cooperation strategies.
  • Learning at Sida and other development actors about what works for whom, under what circumstances and how.
  • Accountability by providing transparency in Swedish development cooperation.

Sida's approach to evaluation is utilisation focused. In utilisation focused evaluation, emphasis is put on identifying who the intended users of a specific evaluation are, and being specific about their intended use of the evaluation. The evaluation process shall be designed, conducted and reported to meet the needs of the intended users. Sida financed evaluations shall build on the principles and criteria which have been developed by the OECD/DAC's Evaluation Network (EvalNet).

Evaluations that are commissioned and published by Sida or Swedish foreign missions are available in Sida's Publication Database.

Sida's evaluation team

Sida's evaluation team, led by Sida's Chief Evaluator, coordinates evaluation at Sida. The team conducts evaluations, provides advice to units and Swedish Embassies that commission evaluations, plans, publishes and disseminates evaluations – and also supports capacity buildning for evaluation in developing countries.

Page owner: Communication Unit

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