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The evaluation gives an appraisal of the impact of the Dutch development cooperation.budget cuts in 2010 on countries and programmes. One general conclusion for designing exit strategies is: 'less assumption and more evidence' .

TitleThe gaps left behind : an evaluation of the impact of ending aid
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2016
Authorsde Kemp, A, Lobbrecht, C
Secondary TitleIOB evaluation
Pagination164 p. : 14 fig., 23 tab.
Date Published07/2016
PublisherMinistry of Foreign Affairs
Place PublishedThe Hague, The Netherlands
Publication LanguageEnglish
ISBN Number978-90-5328-484-1
The evaluation gives an appraisal of the impact of the Dutch development cooperation budget cuts in 2010 on countries and programmes. The impact is measured by a) assessing the effectiveness of the discontinued projects and programmes and b) comparing the exit with the counterfactual situation of continued support.
The conclusions of the evaluation are mainly based on an analysis of the impact on six countries: Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Zambia. These countries represent 47% of the budgets in the 18 exit countries on the eve of the exit decision.
The main conclusions are:
  1. The reduction of the number of partner countries was mainly motivated by budgetary considerations. In practice, arguments of aid efficiency and effectiveness were less decisive.
  2. The country selection was largely consistent and in line with the selection criteria stipulated by the Ministry, though with some exceptions. Nevertheless, it was not based on a thorough analysis of the impact of ending ongoing Dutch programmes. This conflicted with the argument of enhancing aid effectiveness.
  3. Developments in exit countries during the years of implementation of the Dutch budget cuts show that there was little coordination among (European) donors to improve efficiency and effectiveness through a better division of labour.
  4. While embassies tried to adhere to the recommendations of the joint exit evaluation, the absence of an in-depth analysis of the potential consequences, the desire of a quick exit, and a lack of flexibility undermined the possibility to comply with the recommendations.
  5. With the exceptions of Tanzania and especially Burkina Faso, the macro-economic impact of the Dutch exit was limited. Nevertheless, the impact was larger in case of a joint exit (Nicaragua). Moreover, the ending of budget support had a negative impact on the budgets for the social sectors.
  6. If the Netherlands had continued its support, the budgets for the health sector would have been higher and the funding gap would have been smaller. It would have improved the availability of essential drugs, the functioning of health posts and overall health.
  7. While in general the Dutch exit from the education sector has not led to a decrease in spending, major investments are needed to reduce the funding gap and to improve the quality of education in developing countries and emerging economies.
  8. The budget cuts had a major impact on local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs). They have not had enough time to find other donors, while the support from the embassies was often limited. CSOs had to cut back expenditure, dismiss personnel and reduce activities.

Includes ref. (p. 121-127)



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