The SDC uses evaluations to assess its projects, programmes, strategies and institutional issues. Evaluations foster learning, support objective decision-making by management and ensure accountability to political authorities and the public.

The SDC mandates experts or specialised institutions to conduct its evaluations. The evaluations are done in accordance with the international criteria of the OECD-DAC (Development Assistance Committee). The SDC also complies with the directives and standards of the Swiss Evaluation Society (SEVAL). 

The main evaluation criteria are: 

  • Relevance
    Is the right work being done in this context?

  • Effectiveness
    Are the objectives being met/have they been met?

  • Efficiency
    What is the relation between invested resources and achieved results?

  • Sustainability
    Will the results have a lasting positive effect?

  • Impact
    What are the overall positive and negative effects, both intended and unintended? 

These criteria form the basis for the key questions in an evaluation and are used to decide on the most appropriate approaches and methods.

Different types of evaluation

The SDC distinguishes between three types of evaluation: 

  1. Independent evaluations
    These evaluations, commissioned externally by the SDC Evaluation and Corporate Controlling division, cover a specific priority theme of the SDC or institutional matters. A learning group oversees the evaluation process to promote the implementation of the recommendations.

  2. Country evaluations
    They focus on implementation of the country and regional strategies and are coordinated by the Evaluation and Corporate Controlling division. They are conducted by mixed (i.e. hybrid) evaluation teams comprising an external expert and collaborators from the concerned federal departments (Peers).

  3. Evaluations of projects and programmes
    These evaluations are used to assess a specific project or programme and are mandated by the responsible operational unit. In most cases, these evaluations are carried out by external experts. However, the SDC also carries out critical self-evaluations, resulting in informative learning processes.