Assessment, a tool for steering instruments, policies, and ministerial strategies
Assessment is a working tool, aiding decision-making, that provides for understanding the underlying rationales in a project, program or policy based on their initial goals, whether explicit or implicit, then making as objective a judgment as possible regarding the actions implemented, resources mobilized, and the results obtained.
Assessment fulfills a dual goal:
reporting on an activity or policy. The assessment produces a statement of what has been achieved (achievements, results, and impact) with regards to the goals as they were stated and the resources mobilized to achieve them;
improving the effectiveness of policies, programs, projects or instruments. Assessment is aimed at judging how the actions have been conducted by various actors to analyze the strong and weak points, reach conclusions, and formulate recommendations to improve the design and steering of future actions.
Practiced since the early 1990s in the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry (MAEE), strengthened with regards to the implementation of the LOLF and monitoring administrative performance, assessment is materialized in the Globalization, Development, and Partnerships General Directorate (DGM) by the Assessment Pole (programs and networks service, DGM / SPR / PRG); assessment in the DGM takes the form of the creation of an assessment program regarding:
project and program assessments for a country (country FSP projects), a group of countries (regional projects) or thematic (mobilizing projects). Such assessments are now widely decentralized and conducted under the direct responsibility of the ministerial services or SCACs with methodological support from the assessment pole;
strategic assessments, retrospectively, but with a prospective outlook, conducted on a policy or a set of resources; they are conducted under the supervision of the assessment pole in the DGM and concern in particular:
country assessments for all or part of a geographic cooperation field: a country,
sector assessments (sector policy or covering a sub-sector) or
instrument (technical or financial), operator (assessing management by an operator of delegated resources) assessments. Assessments are systematically entrusted to external consultants; they are conducted under a steering committee formed for each assessment. The latter validates the terms of references (specifications) for the assessment and selects, after a call for bids, the external, independent experts who will conduct the assessment. The committee maintains a dialogue with the experts with regards to orienting their analysis, validates their report, and contributes to disseminating their conclusions and recommendations.
Assessment is becoming systematic with respect to:
operators or associations benefiting from financing over €300,000
Priority Solidarity Funds projects (final assessment) which is taken into account when examining new projects.
The assessment pole provides for disseminating the assessment culture:
To partners in the south through a “Partnership support for assessing public policies in priority solidarity zone countries” FSP: conducting partnership assessments, supporting foreign assessment associations, training action for local experts.
Within the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry: the assessment pole provides methodological support for conducting assessments by posts and other services, providing an opinion on projects presented to the FSP’s examination committee, participating in the reflection about monitoring indicators, and providing assessment training.
At the national level, the assessment pole participates in conducting joint assessments with the Treasury and Economic Policy General Directorate (DGTPE) and the French Development Agency (AFD). Moreover, it participates in the French Assessment Company’s (SFE) activities.
On the international level the Globalization, Development, and Partnerships General Directorate (DGM) contrasts its practices and sources its strategic reflection on the development of assistance modalities from what it learns from the assessments (conducting joint assessments, participating in the OECD DCD’s efforts, participating in reflections conducted by European Union member countries about assessing development assistance...).
Updated on 24.02.10