Aims and types of study

The Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (known by its Dutch acronym IOB) is the independent evaluation service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. It reports on the results of Dutch foreign policy over the longer term.

Accountability and learning

The aims of the evaluation studies are:

  • Accountability: evaluations help the Minister to explain the results of policy and justify expenditure of funds to Parliament and taxpayers.
  • Learning: evaluations reveal why results have (or have not) been achieved and what the consequences are (whether intentional or unforeseen). This information can be used to improve policy.

Types of study

IOB conducts various types of study:

  • Policy reviews answer questions about the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and consistency of policy.
  • Impact evaluations give insight into the results of policy over the longer term.
  • Synthesis studies and other studies explore other questions that are relevant for policy.

IOB also carries out specific studies at the request of the Ministry or the House of Representatives.