Independent evaluation confirms effectiveness of partnerships and identifies potential for improvement

Article, 19.10.2017

Partnerships with Swiss non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are central to Switzerland’s efforts in development cooperation and humanitarian aid. This was confirmed by an independent evaluation mandated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in order to assess the results that have been achieved and find areas with potential for improving institutional partnerships.

People weaving.
The commitment of Swiss NGOs contributes greatly to the implementation of international cooperation objectives. © SDC

The SDC reviews the effectiveness of its programmes and activities regularly. This process is based on evaluations that also underpin any changes the SDC undertakes as a result. According to the evaluation report published on 19 October 2017, SDC partnerships with NGOs have also contributed to improvements at the institutional and thematic level, which has greatly helped in terms of implementing Switzerland's international cooperation objectives. The UK-based IOD Parc evaluation team identified three areas with the greatest potential for improvement: a clearer strategic approach for partnerships in relation to the 2030 Agenda, harmonised reporting on joint results, and a review of the approval process for NGOs. 

The SDC’s senior management gave a statement on the evaluation to partner organisations yesterday, reacting positively to the results and recommendations that had been set out. They found that the evaluation had met its objective to assess the relevance and advancement of common learning processes. “The recommendations are useful tools to help us continue to strengthen our collaboration with partner organisations,” said SDC director general, Manual Sager. The statement also highlighted the importance of the contribution made by Swiss NGOs in relation to implementing Switzerland’s international cooperation and humanitarian aid objectives, such as by improving access to resources like water and land, supporting education and health, promoting human rights, strengthening social justice, and by contributing to disaster prevention and conflict resolution. 

At the heart of efforts to implement the recommendations will be a new strategic framework aimed at meeting the growing need for a variety of partnerships to help find common solutions to complex development issues. This will be developed together with partners from civil society, the scientific community and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and will also provide a basis for streamlining the approval process for NGOs.