Evaluating democracy and governance assistance


Over a decade after the introduction of development co-operation activities aimed at promoting democracy and good governance, the question of evaluation has become a crucial one. What has democracy and governance (DG) assistance achieved? What impact has it had on democratisation processes in recipient countries? How (in)significant is the role of external actors? Evaluating democracy and governance assistance poses considerable challenges, however, notably the establishment of linkages between DG assistance and political change. In a previous ESCOR study, Mark Robinson noted that “donors lack a systematic approach to evaluation [of democracy assistance and political aid] and there is no generally accepted methodology”. This research addresses the extent to which evaluation in this field has subsequently progressed. It is essentially a methodological study and has two related aims. One is to provide a ‘state-of-the-art’ review and critique of DG evaluation studies, concentrating on programme not project evaluations. The other is to develop an appropriate evaluation methodology for conducting country impact studies, that is, the impact of DG assistance on democratisation in the countries concerned.


ESCOR Research Report No. 7894, 139 pp.

Evaluating democracy and governance assistance

Published 1 January 2001