Do development programmes deliver the intended results? Are they relevant, efficient and effective? How do you maximise the impact of a development programme and how do you ensure that this impact is sustainable? These are examples of questions our experts can answer.

Our experts are skilled in monitoring, evaluating and (re)designing development programmes according to international guidelines. Prior to executing a programme, we advise on the design (including the construction or reconstruction of a ‘Theory of Change and indicator framework) and perform baseline assessments, feasibility studies and cost-benefit analyses. During the execution of the programme, we monitor the implementation and perform interim measurements and evaluations. Afterwards, we perform final measurements and full impact evaluations where we measure the effects as precisely as possible, typically using a mix of qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods. These methods vary from purely qualitative (interviews, focus groups) to (quasi) experimental econometric studies based on baseline and endline surveys (e.g., using difference-in-difference estimation, propensity score matching, or randomised control trials).

Our research in developing countries and emerging markets focusses primarily on (1) the private sector, (2) the financial sector, (3) the labour market and (4) capacity building. Our clients include the Dutch government, the Dutch development bank (FMO) as well as other bilateral and multilateral development partners, such as the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Finance Corporation, World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).

sub expertise

What effects do investments and training programmes have on companies in developing countries? Are these effects permanent? To what extent are publicly financed investments ‘additional’ to the commercial market? Do they have negative spillovers (‘crowding out’) or positive spillovers (demonstration effects)? How can new markets be created? How do developing countries become more economically independent?

Our experts have excellent knowledge of international guidelines concerning the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of private sector development programmes. They also have experience with a wide variety of businesses (ranging from micro-entrepeneurs to large multinationals) across a variety of sectors (e.g., agribusiness, trade, private healthcare, and infrastructure).

What is the impact of investments in financial institutions on the financing options for entrepreneurs in developing countries? SEO has extensive experience in evaluating financing and training programmes aimed at improving access to finance for entrepreneurs. In addition, SEO provides policy advice to bilateral and multilateral development banks on setting up, monitoring and evaluating projects aimed at local financial sector development. Finally, we answer questions about promoting financial inclusion for entrepreneurs in a disadvantaged position—for  example, female or young entrepreneurs or those living in remote rural regions.

What is the impact of training and technical assistance offered to individuals, companies, or public sector employees in developing countries? SEO has significant experience in monitoring and evaluating programmes aimed at strengthening the capacity of individuals, groups and organisations. We do this for parties that focus on training disadvantaged groups (for example refugees, small-scale farmers, female micro-entrepreneurs) and for clients such as the IMF and the World Bank that conduct large-scale capacity building of public officials. We support clients with measuring, monitoring and achieving sustainable impact at the institutional and organisational level. In addition, SEO’s own experts also contribute themselves to capacity building by offering training courses to private and public sector clients (including in various evaluation methods) and by conducting research jointly with clients.

How can host countries ensure proper integration of refugees and labour migrants in the local economy? Where are the opportunities and what are the potential stumbling blocks? SEO has extensive research experience in the field of employment, migration and (higher) education.

We answer questions concerning the potential match between the labour supply of migrants and the demand for labour in host countries. SEO not only performs evaluations of labour market programmes, but also guides NGOs and governments in the successful integration of refugees and labour migrants.