Tightened budgets and an increasingly critical public opinion in donor and recipient countries regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of development cooperation in recent years have put policy makers and donors under pressure for results. This pressure introduced a paradigm shift – the so called Aid Effectiveness Agenda. It refers to five principles: ownership for developing countries, alignment to partner countries’ objectives and local systems, harmonization of donors’ action, managing for results and mutual accountability. Progress has been made since the Paris Declaration in 2005. But monitoring and evaluation reports on the implementation of aid effectiveness principles show that concentrating on clear results and how to measure these is still a challenge. Participatory and comprehensive monitoring and independent evaluations founded on baseline data cannot be taken for granted yet. In many fields, it is still not known what works in which context and why. On top of that, the effectiveness of capacity development interventions is generally hard to measure as it is difficult to quantify and measure this on an impact level. Establishing a culture of learning from evaluations and considering evaluation recommendations consistently in future programming is probably most difficult of all. Building on the efforts already undertaken to achieve the best possible development results, planners and practitioners in development assistance are more than ever challenged to achieve a roll-out of result orientation in their everyday work challenges.
GFA concept and services
Implementing development cooperation is GFA’s core business. Therefore, managing for results is the one of the five principles for aid effectiveness we are most experienced with. Learning, delivering value for money and ensuring accountability for all the projects is our prime concern. Quality management and monitoring is an integral part of GFA projects. The performance of our project teams is measured against actual results achieved. At the same time, we provide specific monitoring and evaluation (M&E) services. For more than 15 years, GFA has been appointed by different bilateral and multilateral donors to provide M&E related expertise. Our services comprise mid-term and final evaluations of projects and programs, design and implementation of M&E systems, complex and strategic evaluations at sector or country level, and development of M&E methodologies and tools.
GFA’s strength in focusing on results is founded in a wide range of project implementation and M&E experience as far as donors, regions and sectors are concerned. We master the differences in donors’ understanding of M&E. In addition, we have excellent contacts to M&E experts all over the world and can provide specialized in-house and external experts for almost any sector.