Environmental governance
Climate change
Natural resources management
Biomass energy
Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity
Rural development and food security
International cooperation policies and strategies


Development cooperation may be regarded as a relatively novel addition to the complex edifice of international policy and relations, one that emerged in the late 1940ies alongside the post-war world order. It has since been subject to profound change, criticism and development.

While development cooperation initially formed part of foreign policy against the backdrop of decolonization and the Cold War, it has since gained in depth and complexity. Most notably, the established relation between donors and recipients/beneficiaries of “aid” has given way to partnership and cooperation in response to common concerns and the pursuit of shared global goals.

Bilateral/intergovernmental development assistance has gradually lost its dominance to multilateral cooperation under the auspices of international organizations and regimes, and non-governmental proponents of development have increasingly entered the stage.
With its focus on sustainable development, the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) marked a historical watershed in the development of cooperation policies, strategies and instruments, and provided new momentum to the conceptualization of development policy.

As post-UNCED processes continue, the world has witnessed increased mainstreaming of development cooperation efforts by means of various Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA – e.g. UNCBD, UNCCD, UNFCCC) as well as the so-called Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). On the other hand, enhanced partnership and civil-society participation create a new and unprecedented need for transparency and justification in development cooperation. Policies, strategies and instruments are critically challenged and increasingly judged by the results they provide.

In 2005, ministers of developed and developing countries came together in Paris to review the headway made in pursuit of the Millennium Declaration and the MDGs. Acknowledging the need for greater accountability and transparency, they adopted the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness designed to improve the overall performance of development cooperation by means of alignment, harmonization, managing for results, and mutual accountability. Results-based management (RBM) has since been increasingly streamlined into the strategies and instruments of development cooperation actors, and the five OECD-DAC Criteria for Evaluating Development Assistance (relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability) provide a comprehensive yardstick whereby their activities are judged. Monitoring, evaluation and information and knowledge management are instruments of choice for promoting aid effectiveness and enhancing the overall performance of development cooperation.

ECO Consulting Group has gained considerable experience in providing cross-cutting advice on development policy strategies and instruments, providing monitoring services and carrying out evaluations (sector-specific as well as cross-cutting), and communicating lessons learnt to decision makers and stakeholders in development processes. Recent experiences include, inter alia

• Evaluations of EC budget lines (environment and forests) as well as Country-Strategies pursuant to the EDF
• Advisory support to the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) regarding the harmonization of technical and financial cooperation by means of integrated programming
• Documentation of lessons learnt from German development cooperation contributions to combating desertification
• Documentation of lessons learnt from 25 years of Sino-German technical cooperation in the forest sector.
ECO Consulting Group services include
• Cross-cutting as well as sector-specific monitoring and evaluations
• Assessment and presentation of lessons learnt
• Capacity development in regard to RBM and M&E
• Moderation of and support to multi-level/multi-stakeholder consultation processes and fora
• Advisory support, conceptual analyses, and strategy-development.


Your contact:
Dr. Stefan Mann

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