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Evaluations in international development

Iceland regards evaluations as a critical tool for learning, informed decision-making and enhanced accountability in international development cooperation. This is clearly reflected in Iceland’s official policy for development cooperation for 2019-2023, which places high importance on a results-based approach to development and using evaluations to keep track of and demonstrating results.

Iceland‘s Evaluation Policy 2020-2023 outlines evaluation principles and criteria, in accordance with OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) criteria and quality standards for development evaluations.

Evaluations are initiated, prepared and managed by an independent Results and Evaluation Unit within the Directorate for International Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Development.  The process for evaluations is transparent and shall be independent from programme management and policy making. To ensure this independence, the unit reports directly to the Permanent Secretary of State. The cross-cutting priority issues of gender equality, human rights and environment are addressed in all evaluations.

Evaluations in 2020

A mid-term review of Phase II of the Mangochi Basic Services Programme 2017 – 2021 was completed in June 2020. Iceland works with District authorities to improve the livelihoods of rural populations by contributing to the health, education, water and sanitation, and gender and youth sectors.  The specific objective (outcome) of the programme is improved provision and use of basic services in maternal health and family planning, primary education, water and sanitation, and community development, for men and women living in rural Mangochi District.

The evaluation findings indicate that the programme is already generating some impacts based on trends in impact indicators. Maternal deaths are on the decline, school drop-out rate in Standards 5 to 8 has slightly fallen, and the incidence of water borne diseases is almost non-existent due to improved access to safe water. The evaluation also finds that overall the project is soundly managed, and that in particular that local ownership of the project has contributed to its sustainability and success.

In light of delays in implementation, however, the evaluation recommends that the programme be extended by a year. Further, it recommends that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Development considers an extension of the programme span for District Programme-Based Approach (PBA), considering that the programmes work towards a long-term impact of beneficiary livelihoods.

OECD DAC mid-term review was completed in October 2020. The review took stock of the status of Iceland‘s development cooperation in light of the findings from the DAC peer review in 2017. The results were positive and the team encouraged by the progress made by Iceland, the ability of its system to adapt to new opportunities and take decisive action.

The team was pleased to note that Iceland has already taken steps to address 9 out of 13 of the DAC‘s 2017 recommendations, in particular related to focusing development cooperation in areas where it has a comparative advantage and maintaining a poverty focus; establishing and working towards an interim target of 0.35% of GNI; and increasing the number of staff with development cooperation expertise. The next DAC peer-review will take place in 2023 which will be a crucial time after a number of important evaluations have taken place, and will allow a more in-depth assessment of progress on implementing a number of new and forthcoming strategies, how Iceland manages for results and links to the SDGs, as well as exploring the results of new private sector instruments and country partnerships.

The COVID-19 epidemic has an impact on evaluation fieldwork, the annual evaluation plan for 2020 was updated accordingly. Three evaluations were postponed until 2021: the final evaluation of Buikwe Basic Services Programme in Uganda; an impact evaluation of Iceland´s development cooperation within the fisheries sector in Sri Lanka 2005-2009; and an evaluation of Iceland’s humanitarian and emergency assistance 2010-2020.

Three evaluations are planned for the second half of 2020. A formative evaluation of collaboration with academia, and an evaluation of MFA‘s governance of Civil Society Organizations collaboration have commenced. A final evaluation of the Common Fund for Fisheries in Mozambique is planned in collaboration with Norway, but will be rolled-out when circumstances warrant.

Evaluations in 2019

In 2019, an external, final evaluation of the Geothermal Exploration Project was conducted.  The main objective of the project was to assist countries in the East Africa Rift System (EARS) to increase their knowledge of geothermal potential by conducting reconnaissance and surface exploration studies and to build capacity and expertise in the field of geothermal development and utilization. The project was jointly funded by the MFA and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) with a total budget of € 10 million and was implemented in collaboration with several partners, including UN Environment, the World Bank and the African Union.

Key findings of the evaluation indicate that project has clearly led to an advancement of geothermal development in partner countries and their capabilities to take further action. Relevant contributions were made, both towards individual countries achieving their overall goals, and in strengthening their organisational and human resource capacities to achieve progress. It is recommended that Iceland continues its collaboration, using a demand-led approach.

Iceland participated in a joint Nordic Evaluation of the Nordic Development Fund in 2019. Key findings were positive and indicated that the NDF is well-functioning and has good future potential. At the same time, the evaluation also concluded that if the NDF´s programs are to continue, its owners need to contribute more capital and the Fund´s system for monitoring, evaluation and learning to be improved.

In addition, internal reviews were conducted for the United Nations University Programmes in Iceland, as a part of MFA´s feasibility studies for the establishment of GRÓ Centre for Capacity Development,  Sustainability and Societal Change.

Holistic evaluations:


UN Women

World Bank

IDA (International Development Association)

MOPAN Assessment of the World Bank

ESMAP (Energy Sector Management Assistance Program)

PROFISH (The Global Program on Fisheries)

Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality

Human Rights and Development Trust Fund

Nordic Development Fund (NDF)

GRÓ Centre for Capacity Development, Sustinability and Societal Change

Fisheries Training Programme

The Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme

The Land Restoration Training Programme

The Geothermal Training Programme

Other Organizations

WFP - World Food Program





Maternal Health Thematic Fund


Mangochi Basic Services Programme Phase II: 2017 - 2021 Mid-term Evaluation


External Final Evaluation of the Geothermal Exploration Project Final Report (GOPA)


Malawi - Mangochi Basic Services Programme Final Report (GOPA)

Uganda - External Evaluation of District Development Cooperation Programmes in Kalangala District in Uganda Final Report (GOPA)


OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Iceland 2017

Evaluation of Iceland´s Gender Equality Policy - Final Report Nov 2017

Evaluation of the UNU Programmes in Iceland, október 2017

PROJECT FINAL REPORT: Rehabilitation of Jalazone Multisport Pitch, West bank, janúar 2017 

Evaluation Brief 1/2017 – External Evaluation of Support to Quality Assurance for Fish Marketing Project in Uganda

Support to Quality Assurance for Fish Marketing Project (2009-2014): External Final Evaluation



Mid-Term Review, Support to the Fisheries Sector of Mozambique, 2013-2017


Impact Evaluation of the Monkey Bay Health Care Project, desember 2015



Mangochi Basic Services Programme 2012-2016, Mid-Term Evaluation, september 2014

ICEIDA Malawi WATSAN Project Nankumba - Final Evaluation Report, jan 2014


External independent review of fisheries surveillance operations in Mozambique 2014, february-april 2014


Final Impact Evaluation of ICEIDA interventions in the fisheries sector in Namibia 1990-2010 : Final Evaluation Report, May 30, 2014



Special Review of Iceland - Final Report DAC Meeting, 28 February 2013


Program: Iceland - Nicaragua: Geothermal Capacity Building Project 2008-2012 : Component: Report on the External Final Evaluation of Iceland - Nicaragua: Geothermal Capacity Building Project 2008-2012 / Alta Consulting ; Reykir Consulting, June 2013

Programa: Islandia - Nicaragua: Proyecto de Fortalecimiento de Capacidades Geotermia 2008-2012 : Componente: Informe de la Evaluación Final Externe del Proyecto de Fortalecimiento de Capacidades en Geotermia 2008-2012 / Alta Consulting ; Reykir Consulting, Junio 2013


Report On Status of Fisheries And Fishing Communities in Buikwe District - Baseline Study, August 2013

External evaluation Development of a short Training Course on Gender and Climate Change Uganda 2011 – 2013, / Erla Hlín Hjálmarsdóttir ; Elizabeth Kharono, June 2013



Expanding Literacy and Life Skills in Jangamo District Inhambane Province Programme 2010 - 2012 : Mid Term Evaluation / Guðrún Haraldsdóttir ; Alda Saute, June 2012

Mid Term Review Assistance to the Fisheries Sector of Mozambique Co-financed by Norway and Iceland 2009-2013, Final Report - Revised July 2012


External Mid-Term Review Support to the Implementation of the Quality Assurance for Fish Marketing Project 2009-2013, November 2012 / Food Safety Associates Ltd



Gender Audit of the Adult Literacy Programme in TA Nankumba, Final Report - September 2011 / Ásdís Bjarnadóttir


External Evaluation of ICEIDA Support to the Implementation of FALP in Kalangala District 2006-2010



Evaluation of the Project Signs Speak as Loud as Words - February-August 2011



Mid-Term Review ICEIDA´s Support to the KDDP, OCT 2010

The Entrepreneurship Training Programme (2006-2009) - Evaluation Report, July 2010


Research, Monitoring and Development Project of Fisheries in the Cahora Bassa Reservoir – Phase II (2007-2010) - Evaluation Report, June 2010



Baseline Study on the health care services in the Monkey Bay area, Mangochi District, eftir Geir Gunnlaugsson og Jónínu Einarsdóttur, November 2009

External Review of the Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) Project in the Monkey Bay Health Zone, Mangochi District, Malawi, March 2009


Project Evaluation. Capacity Strengthening in Geothermal Energy. J. A. Rodríguez. May, 2009


External Evaluation of the Cooperation between ICEIDA and the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs (MMAS) 2004-2008

Final Report of the Institutional Capacity Building Project Including Advocacy and Women´s human rights 2007-2009  

Assessment of the Impact of the Rehabilitation works in Maputo Primary Schools, April 2009


ICEIDA Support to Implementation of Uganda FALP in the Island Sub-Counties of Mukono District 2005-2009



The ICEIDA-supported REFLECT Programme in Monkey Bay, Malawi: a Process Review, September 2008

External Review of the Small-Scale Offshore Fishery Technology Development Project (SOFTDP), September 2008


A Status Evaluation Report of the Assistance to the Fish Quality System of Mozambique, April 2008

Mid Term Review of the project: Fish Processing and Quality Control, at the Fishery School (Escola de Pesca) in Mozambique, November 2008


Report of Consultancy of Functional Literacy Programme in Kalangala and Buvuma Islands Provided by the Government of Uganda Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Supported by ICEIDA

Malawi and Uganda:

A Comparative Assessment of ICEIDA´s Rural Development Programmes in Uganda and Malawi with the Millennium Villages Project Approach

Comparative Study of the Malawi-REFLECT Programme and the Uganda-FAL Programme and a Suggestion for Future Strategies



Evaluation of the ICEIDA Project: support to Monkey Bay Health Care 2000-2007, April-June 2007/ Maurizio Murru and Winstone K. Mkandawire

Supporting the work of NGOs: An assessment of two NGO projects in Malawi and Mozambique and ICEIDA's collaboration with the Icelandic Church Aid in supporting them / Guðrún Haraldsdóttir


Status Evaluation of the project “Assistance to the Fisheries Laboratories in Maputo, Beira and Quelimane concerning quality assurance and accreditation" 



Project Completion Report, Assistance to the Marine Administration of Malawi and the Malawi Marine Training College 1999-2005 / 2005


ICEIDA Intervention in Quality Assurance of Fish Products in Uganda - Fish Quality Laboratory in Entebbe 2002-2005 (pdf) 

ICEIDA Support to the Implementation of FALP in Kalangala District 2002-2005



Support to the Regional Aquaculture Training Program at Bunda College of Agriculture - University of Malaví 2000-2005

An Evaluation of the Project: "Charting of Lake Malawi for the Safety of Navigation" Monkey Bay 2001-2004

Support to the National Adult Literacy Programme Monkey Bay 2001-2004 External Evaluation


Project Evaluation: Upgrading of Laboratory Facilities in Maputo and Inhambane / 2004

Consultation Service in Connection with Preparation of Establishing and Organising the Training Component of the Infomation and Training Centre (ITC) in the Ministry of Fisheries (MoF) in Mozambique


An Evaluation of Social Projects in Namibia Supported by ICEIDA 1999 - 2004 /2004

An Evaluation of the NAMFI/ICEIDA Cooperation Project 2002 -2004

Report on Evaluation of GMDSS Communication Courses at NAMFI



Evaluation of Co-operation and Project Activities of the Ministry of Women and Co-ordination of Social Action in Mozambique and ICEIDA / 2003



Community Based Health Care, Maputo Province, Mozaqmbique: Project Evaluation/2002


An Evaluation of NAMFI - 2002



An Evaluation of the ICEIDA-Sponsored Project at the Marine Training College, Monkey Bay/2001

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