Annual Report 2014: Evaluation of Norwegian Development Cooperation
The annual report of the Evaluation Department in Norad is based on the last 11 reports in the period from September 2014 to May 2015. The main topic of this years’ report is the lack of focus and capacity in aid management and how evaluation can help Norwegian development cooperation become more effective. The report identifies three recurrent lessons in the past year’s evaluations. The three lessons are: Norway's assistance is not systematically executed and spread too thinly. The quality of the individual initiatives are highly variable, from good results to wasted resources and little positive change. The Norwegian aid administration is characterized by limited access to human resources. Fewer employees have the responsibility to allocate more aid than before. We find the same result if we compare ourselves with countries like Sweden and the UK.Put in context, we see a picture of a lack of capacity that has consequences for the quality of the aid management. The answer to that must be either to increase capacity or concentrate assistance, so that each employee carries the responsibility for a more realistic number of initiatives. The last lesson is related to the first two. The evaluations and studies this year also point out that we miss important possibilities of learning and improvement. A common explanation is that we use too little time in both preparation, execution and follow-up. More time to familiarize ourselves with the context in advance, more time to document decisions along the way, and more emphasis on collecting experiences, would make Norwegian assistance better.