The DAAD is a learning organisation that constantly improves the quality and transparency of its work. In order to do so, the DAAD places an emphasis on the results-oriented planning and monitoring of its programmes. Dialogue with German universities and their partners in developing countries is a key factor in this.
What changes do we achieve in the partner countries? Where are the risks and challenges? What are success factors? And how can the contribution of university collaboration be further increased in line with internationally agreed development targets?
To answer these questions and to continuously enhance the quality and effectiveness of its funding programmes, results-oriented planning, monitoring, and evaluation are an integral part of the DAAD’s programmes. Hereby, the DAAD also follows up on the basic principles of effective development cooperation agreed in the Aid Effectiveness Agenda.
The DAAD aims to
- further support the ownership of partners,
- foster the existing structures and capacities in the partnership ,
- facilitate dialogue between equal partners,
- plan and manage programmes according to results-oriented monitoring, and
- consistently measure the success of development policy measures by the results achieved.
Based on these objectives, the programmes, which are financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and other funding bodies are regularly reviewed for their relevance, effectiveness, and impact by external assessors. Simultaneously, the DAAD reports on activities, results, and the extent to which objectives have been achieved in annual progress reports. As a non-governmental organisation, the DAAD essentially depends on the results-oriented project planning, management, and reporting of the universities as implementing agencies. Continuous dialogue is part of the DAAD’s learning experience. This way the DAAD can gear its work to the needs and demands of different partners and continue to develop funding programmes accordingly.
Results-oriented monitoring: observing progress and recognising trends at an early stage
A key factor for the ongoing tracking of results and effects of DAAD commitment to development cooperation is the tool Results-oriented Monitoring (RoM). The DAAD sees this as an ongoing process of collecting and evaluating data using indicators to compare actual changes with expected changes. As a programme or measure is implemented, conclusions can be drawn on the extent to which the intended results (outputs) and short and medium-term objectives (outcomes) of that programme or measure are likely to be achieved. As a result of continuous data collection, results-oriented monitoring also forms an important basis for carrying out evaluations. These make it easier to assess whether a programme has for example achieved its long-term objectives (impacts) or caused unintended effects.
Results-oriented planning, monitoring, and evaluation are key tools used by the DAAD to continue to develop its programmes in line with perceived needs so that an effective and sustainable contribution can be made to develop higher education systems and to tackle global challenges.
Evaluation: learning from experience
The analysis and assessment of progress by means of evaluation is firmly established in the work of the DAAD. Evaluations serve the internal management and further development of funding programmes and accountability towards the public and funding providers. Furthermore, evaluation findings contribute to public and academic dialogue on the internationality of research and teaching.
Evaluations may refer to one single project or programme, but also strategic or regional issues across programmes. The assessment of development cooperation is based on five key criteria agreed by the international donor community in the Development Assistance Committee (DAC): relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, overarching developmental impact, and sustainability.