German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval) Evaluation and Research Division, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Corporate Evaluation Unit, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Evaluation Department, KfW Development Bank

Evaluation Mandate

At the request of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) an external evaluation of the German development evaluation system was carried out and published in 2009, which found the German system to be incoherent, fragmented and lacking sufficient capacity at the strategic level. This led in 2012 to the creation of a separate public entity, the German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval), which is primarily tasked to perform strategically relevant and mostly complex evaluations for all German development activities. The main actors involved in the German development cooperation evaluation system are1 :

  • • The German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval). DEval is mandated by the BMZ to conduct independent and strategically relevant evaluations for all German development activities. It also conducts meta-evaluations, selective quality checks of project evaluations, contributes to the development of evaluation methods and standards and engages in evaluation capacity building.
  • • The Evaluation and Research Division, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The Evaluation and Research Division was the primary entity performing strategic evaluations in Germany until 2012, when DEval was established. Since then, it has largely ceased commissioning evaluations, with occasional exceptions, including reviews and participating in management groups of joint evaluations. However, BMZ retains the function to guide the overall evaluation system, setting core standards and assigning roles and responsibilities to the main evaluation actors2 as far as the area of its competence is concerned.
  • • The Corporate Evaluation Unit, Deutsche Gesellschaft far Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). GIZ and KfW Development Bank are the two largest implementing agencies of the BMZ. The Evaluation Unit of GIZ performs corporate and strategic evaluations; examines the methodological quality of project evaluations steered by project implementers and carried out by independent evaluators; releases the summary reports of project evaluations; develops the evaluation instruments and standards; and designs institutional learning processes for its own activities.
  • • The Evaluation Department, KfW Development Bank focuses mostly on standard expost and impact evaluations of individual projects and programmes financed by the Bank (with federal funds and leveraged private funds) on behalf of the German Federal Government. It also conducts thematic evaluations and meta-analysis of its evaluations.

While each implementation agency has an evaluation policy, the evaluation functions of DEval and the BMZ are guided by various policy documents that define its roles and responsibilities. Due to the significant restructure, there is a need for a new evaluation policy that reflects the formation of DEval, underlines the existing roles and responsibility of GIZ, KfW Development Bank and DEval, and delineates the new role of the BMZ.

Organisational Structure and Reporting Lines

DEval and GIZ, and KfW Development Bank (part of KfW Banking Group3) are federal government organisations. BMZ is represented to varying degrees in their governing bodies and is the main commissioning party for the implementing agencies. GIZ is responsible for the implementation of technical co-operation and capacity development and KfW Development Bank provides financial assistance in line with German development cooperation policy. In terms of evaluation, DEval conducts evaluations at the federal level. The reporting lines for each agency are summarised in the text box above.

Reporting Line

DEval reports to BMZ, to its Advisory Council; and through BMZ to the Committee of Economic Cooperation and Development of the German Bundestag.

GIZ Corporate Evaluation Unit reports to the responsible member of the Management Board* KfW Development Bank's Evaluation Department reports to the responsible member of the Board of Directors of KfW Banking Group*

*The evaluation units of GIZ and KfW Development Bank report to BMZ (both evaluation and policy departments) at least as far as project/programme-level evaluations are concerned (related to BMZ financing).

The evaluation functions of the three entities prepare their work plans in line with the following procedure:

  • • DEval: The multi-annual evaluation programme is drafted by DEval in consultation mainly with BMZ and DEval's Advisory Council4, which also includes parliamentarians from each political party represented in the German Bundestag. The consultation process also includes civil society and Members of Parliament. The draft version of the programme is sent to the Advisory Council and has to be approved by the political leadership of BMZ. It is subsequently submitted to the Parliament.
  • • GIZ undertakes decentralised evaluations of projects commissioned by BMZ with a commission volume of greater than EUR 1 million and a duration of at least three years at the end of their term. Based on a proposal submitted by the Evaluation Unit, an annual programme of corporate strategic evaluations is decided on by the senior management of GIZ. It is then approved by the management.

• KfW Development Bank: The annual work plan is formulated by the Evaluation Department itself and formally approved by the responsible board member of the KfW Banking Group.

Types of Evaluation



KfW Development Bank

Thematic/cross-cutting, Sector-wide,Programme, Country, and Policy/strategy evaluations

Corporate strategy evaluations (centralised) Service delivery, corporate strategy Project evaluations (decentralised)

Thematic/cross-cutting, Random sample (50%) of ex-post programme/project evaluations

Carried out mostly by the internal staff

Carried out by internal and/or external experts partly in collaboration

Carried out mostly by internal staff

OECD DAC. Occasionally complementarity and coherence

OECD DAC. Flexible addition of other criteria according to the evaluation issues

OECD DAC. Additionality when relevant

The table presents the types of evaluations conducted in the three largest entities carrying out evaluations. It also shows to whom the evaluations are assigned and what criteria are applied. DEval focuses on policy issues and conducts strategic evaluations. All evaluations include members of the DEval staff on the evaluation team. GIZ and KfW Development Bank conduct mainly project and programme-level evaluations. These evaluations form the basis of thematic meta-evaluations. GIZ also undertakes corporate strategic evaluations. Approximately 25-30% of KfW Development Bank’s and almost all of GIZ’s evaluations are drafted primarily by external experts. Currently, GIZ and KfW Development Bank evaluate an appropriate random sample of all completed programmes/projects (in the case of KfW Development Bank it is 50%). The evaluations conducted are aligned with national and international standards and quality criteria such as those laid down by the OECD DAC.


There are separate budget lines in the federal budget for evaluations performed by DEval and BMZ, including funds for evaluation capacity development. The budget for DEval is provided in the form of institutional grants as part of BMZ’s annual budget plan.

GIZ has a separate allocation of funds for centralised evaluations, whereas decentralised evaluations, mainly project evaluations, are covered by project funding. KfW Development Bank’s Evaluation Department receives an annual allocation of funds (and of staff) within the overall operational budget of the Bank. Both are indirectly financed through the federal budget to a large extent. In total, the expenditure on evaluations adds up to approximately 0.2% for independent evaluation and less than 0.5% of bilateral ODA.

Principles of Evaluation Independence

Scientific independence in conducting evaluations (selecting evaluation questions and designs and approaches/methods and drawing conclusions and making recommendations) is enshrined in the DEval charter. DEval is an independent entity and institutionally separated from BMZ, but it requires the consent of BMZ for its evaluation programme. Transparency of the evaluation processes is also strengthened by the involvement of DEval’s Advisory Council, which includes Members of Parliament, academia and civil society. The Director of DEval is recruited externally on a three to five year contract and is not permitted to subsequently take a position in DEval, GIZ or KfW for a 12-month period after completing the term.

The GIZ Corporate Evaluation Unit reports directly to the Management Board. As a corporate unit it is separate from and independent of GIZ’s operational business.

The Director of the Evaluation Department of KfW Development Bank reports to the responsible member of the Board of Directors of the KfW Group. The Director is recruited externally from academia. The Director’s contract usually covers a five-year term initially, but it can be renewed or extended by mutual consent.

Competence and capacity building

DEval is staffed by experienced and qualified evaluation professionals. Similarly, GIZ and KfW Development Bank staff is knowledgeable and highly skilled. When specific knowledge is required, gaps can be closed by recruiting external experts. Moreover, the demand for evaluation expertise from the operations departments is high. The KfW Evaluation Department co-opts staff from relevant operational departments, as long as the delegated staff member is independent from the design and implementation of the projects to be evaluated. This secondment is considered to facilitate institutional learning. Most of GIZ’s programmes include a component for strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems, which contributes to capacity building of partner countries M&E skills.


Currently, each agency has its own platform for dissemination. DEval reports are published and available on the institute’s website as complete documents, as well as policy briefs that summarise the most important findings of an evaluation.

BMZ, GIZ and KfW Development Bank also disclose summary reports on their respective websites. KfW Development Bank has published summaries of all of its project/programme evaluation reports since 2001 on its website in both German and English (currently around 800 reports). GIZ also has a publications database with a search function that includes approximately 38 000 publications, including evaluations. In addition, BMZ, GIZ and KfW Development Bank each maintain a transparency portal that discloses the information on its development co-operation per sector, region, and country with an interactive map. Germany is a founding member of IATI and has been publishing budget and ODA data for years according to the standards.

BMZ and GIZ have a formalised management response system. BMZ makes public its responses to the evaluations conducted by DEval and external consultants, while GIZ publishes the findings of evaluations on the internet, in accordance with GIZ transparency policy. Every two years, GIZ and KfW each publish a report on the evaluation findings from all evaluations commissioned on BMZ-funded projects and programmes.

Knowledge management

DEval is currently developing a system to monitor the outputs and outcomes of the institute in order to advance knowledge management within the institute. Moreover, DEval intends to improve the linkages between individual evaluations in order to create synergetic messages in key areas of interest. Co-ordination and harmonisation among the different organisations in knowledge sharing is not yet sufficiently ensured and will be a priority in the coming years.

Co-ordination with donors and country recipients

KfW Development Bank conducted 15 joint evaluations during the past five years with other bilateral agencies and multilateral organisations, as well as partner countries. Until 2012, BMZ also actively conducted joint evaluations mainly with other bilateral agencies and partner countries where feasible, and participates in several joint evaluations. DEval currently carries out joint evaluations with partner countries. GIZ has not participated in joint evaluations.

Quality assurance

In the current setup of the German evaluation system, DEval also undertakes metaevaluations and selectively quality checks project-level evaluations conducted by GIZ and KfW Development Bank. The GIZ Evaluation Unit conducts a quality check of decentralised project evaluations and is responsible for assisting in the formulation of summary reports. Every 8-10 years, BMZ initiates evaluation system reviews (including also financing for NGOs).

Notes to reader: The section at the beginning of Part II entitled “Introduction and key for the member profiles” provides explanatory notes on the profiles.

  • 1. Besides the four main actors mentioned here, there are other public agencies and a considerable number of German nongovernmental organisations that receive BMZ-funding and also perform their own evaluations in accordance with the BMZ guidelines.
  • 2. DEval, GIZ and KfW Development Bank evaluation units
  • 3. KfW is an agency under the German public law and is jointly owned by the German federal government (80%) and the 16 federal states (20%). KfW Development Bank provides development finance on behalf of BMZ, funded partly by the federal (BMZ) budget, partly by leveraged private or third party funds.
  • 4. The GIZ Vice-Chair of the Management Board is member of the Advisory Board of DEval.
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