Development assistance has always had the ambition of delivering sustainable results, and, by implication, foster endogenous capacities that eventually would make aid redundant. Despite the focus on results over the last decades (particularly on results-based approaches), it has been difficult to provide hard evidence as to whether capacity development support actually contributes to strengthened endogenous capacities and performance.
Denmark, Norway and Sweden commissioned separate but closely coordinated evaluations to cast light on the issues above. The purpose of this evaluation was to improve decision-making and strategy development regarding Norwegian support to capacity development in developing countries. The evaluation addressed aid that has an explicit intention to support institutional capacity development in the recipient country and focuses on public sector institutions.
Itad led a small team of high calibre experts specialised in research and evaluation, capacity development, public sector strengthening, and Norwegian development cooperation.
For this theory-based evaluation, our approach relied on the articulation of a clear and detailed Theory of Change that underpins capacity development interventions. Evidence collected and generated through the evaluation process was compiled against a Theory of Change, thereby testing the causal inks and assumptions that underpin it. Three phases servde to collect the evidence, drilling down from a portfolio review of Norwegian investments into capacity development, to a desk review of a selected number of interventions, to three country studies which will allow for an in-depth assessment.
Image © View from Rams Hill – Bærum and Oslo Photo Credit: Randi Hausken