External End-Term Evaluation Report

Publicatiedatum: 13/01/2021

The Civic Engagement Alliance , with ICCO Cooperation taking the lead, commissioned an external end-term evaluation of the five-year CEA strategic partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign
Affairs under the Dialogue and Dissent programme framework (2016-2020). The assignment was executed by ACE Europe who organized . We are grateful to the staff of CEA members and partners for having
taken the time to share their perspectives with us through workshops and interviews with members, partners and external stakeholders in The Netherlands, Indonesia, Myanmar and Uganda.


The objective of the evaluation (see the pdf below) is to assess to what extent and how CEA and their in-country implementing partner organisations have progressed in reaching sustainable results as formulated in the Theories of Change of the specific country pathways during the period 2016-2020. In particular, the evaluation seeks to assess the effectiveness, relevance, sustainability and efficiency of the programme, related to changes the programme has contributed to in relation to:

  • capacities for lobbying and advocacy of implementing partner organisations, and
  • agendas, policies and practices of government and market actors.

The evaluation consisted of four phases:

  1. an inception stage,
  2. a desk study phase
  3. a phase of primary data collection, involving three country case studies and an analysis of the L&A interventions conducted at the Netherlands and EU level
  4. a phase of consolidated analysis, reporting, debriefing and communication.

The report synthesises the findings of the three previous phases of the evaluation, and provides recommendations CEA members to increase the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of future related interventions.

CEA evaluation questions


To what extent has the programme been relevant in relation to the country context, needs and priorities of smallholder farmers and workers (incl. women, youth and people living with a disability)?


To what extent have expected and unexpected outcomes of capacity development activities and L&A interventions been achieved in line or beyond country thematic pathways?


To what degree are the changes with regard to L&A capacity development and with regard to L&A outcome sustainable?


What has the programme done to ensure a proper use of available/limited resources?


The very thorough evaluation counts more than 300 pages. Many conclusions are drawn and recommendations are made. Even though the program has stopped, the lessons learned are valuable experiences for all involved to apply in current and future programs. Three generic conclusions about the program are:

  1. The evaluators assessed the CEA program as relevant for the local partners and target groups, and effective, with a focus on enhancing civic space, applying a smart mix of lobbying and advocacy strategies.
  2. CEA contributed to an increased understanding of lobbying and advocacy processes among civil society organisations and helped them to engage in lobbying and advocacy activities more effectively. Partners referred to an evolution from a confrontational approach towards a dialogue-based approach with government and private sector actors.
  3. CEA enabled civil society organisations to navigate under restrictive laws and to lobby for a more conducive environment for civic space. CEA promoted citizen-led and evidence-based advocacy

Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with people who are doing something you don’t believe is right.

Jane Goodall

Civic Engagement Evaluation Report

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