IOB has served as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ evaluation service for over 40 years. During this period, IOB has adapted to developments in society and the ministry.
The department is founded in 1977 and given the name: Inspectie Ontwikkelingssamenwerking te Velde (IOV), which translates as ‘Development Cooperation Inspectorate in the Field’. Initially, IOB mainly provides individual project evaluations for the minister of development cooperation. From around 1985 onwards, the studies become more extensive: they cover sectors, themes or countries. The reports are presented to parliament and are therefore public.
1996: From IOV to IOB
When foreign policy is reassessed in 1996, the name of the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department changes it name from IOV to IOB (Inspectie Ontwikkelingssamenwerking en Beleidsevaluatie, which translates as ‘Development Cooperation and Policy Evaluation Inspectorate’). IOB’s remit is extended to cover the entire scope of the Dutch government’s foreign policy. The department cooperate more with foreign evaluation services, which includes carrying out joint evaluations.
2017: IOB opts for a new name
In 2017 IOB becomes Internationaal Onderzoek en Beleidsevaluatie, literally, ‘International Study and Policy Evaluation’. The new overtone of the IOB brand accentuates the fact that our work encompasses broader foreign policy and not only development cooperation. Since 2010, this also includes sustainable trade and investment policy. The new name also conveys that we are more of a policy evaluation service than a traditional inspectorate that monitors compliance with legislation and standards. IOB is also keen to promote policy learning.
On occasion of its 40th anniversary IOB organised the lustrum symposium 'Changing directions in foreign policies'.