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15.03.2021 - Costa Rica evaluates international development interventions in biodiversity and climate change

In January, the Costa Rican planning ministry Mideplan completed an evaluation of “non-repayable international development interventions in the fields of biodiversity and climate change in Costa Rica in the period from 2010 to 2018”. This is the first time that a partner country has evaluated an entire sector of development cooperation, i.e. the activities of all donors in multiple SDGs.

On 4 and 19 February, Mideplan presented the evaluation results to key figures at the institutions involved and to the general public. The experts who performed the evaluation concluded that Costa Rica is on the right path but also that the project needs to be aligned more closely with national objectives in the fields of climate and biodiversity. They recommended that this be addressed in dialogue with the donors.

“Important contribution to promoting the evaluation culture”

“Evaluating international development cooperation projects is particularly important for Costa Rica as one of the group of middle-income countries,” said Pilar Garrido, Minister for Planning. “Costa Rica’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and implement the Sustainable Development Goals and national development targets are crucial in view of the urgent problems relating to biodiversity and climate change.” Garrido also highlighted Mideplan’s key contribution to promoting the evaluation culture in public administration and showcasing the benefits of evidence-based decision-making processes, transparency and accountability.
This nationally run evaluation of international cooperation was possible thanks to funding from Germany. The DEval project Focelac, which strengthens evaluation capacity in partner countries, provided technical support to the Costa Rican planning ministry.

Digital evaluation process

Another innovation was that the bi-national evaluation team, made up of experts from Spain and Costa Rica, performed its work 100 percent digitally, despite the large scope of the evaluation and the need to survey numerous different actors. Sven Harten, Head of the DEval Competence Centre for Evaluation Methodology: “Congratulations to the management and evaluation teams on successfully completing an evaluation in the difficult circumstances of the pandemic. The teams were unable to travel and had to break new ground at short notice to gather information remotely on a topic that is as extensive as it is complex. The evaluation project is therefore a positive example and true success story both for the evaluation community and for Latin America and other regions of the world.”

Mideplan’s evaluation department, headed by Eddy García, will use the evaluation results for analyses and to develop recommendations. Based on these recommendations, specific measures will then be implemented to improve the management of projects in international development work.

You can view Mideplan’s full press release here (in Spanish).

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