The Challenge

From the beginning, development cooperation has been confronted with sceptical views on its value and effectiveness. With the new orientation towards impacts, development cooperation has set itself the goal of becoming more effective and more transparent. Besides accountability, the goal pursued by impact orientation is to learn from the results of development interventions, i.e. to formulate best practices where possible or to correct mistakes where necessary.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations in 2015, puts follow-up and review processes at the heart of global and national efforts to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With development cooperation geared to the SDGs, however, the hoped-for impacts are also being increasingly sought at the people’s level, i.e. at micro level. With the interventions occurring mainly at macro level and the impacts at micro level, the attribution gap between certain interventions and impacts is becoming even wider.

Consequently, the application of robust monitoring and evaluation systems gains more and more importance in development cooperation, to determine which interventions have what impact and – more importantly – why.