Research – European development cooperation with sub-Saharan Africa

European development cooperation with sub-Saharan Africa dates back to the 1950s when the European Development Fund was created. Over the years, that cooperation has expanded, both in terms of the themes and the funding. This cooperation is also an important part of Dutch development cooperation policy. However, our understanding of what Europe is achieving with this aid is limited. That is why IOB has started a literature review.

The literature review will examine EU policy documents, evaluations, scientific literature and other documentation. These cover the period 2013-2018. No new research will be carried out.

Key questions

The study addresses the following questions:

  • How has European (development) policy evolved in recent years, particularly regarding sub-Saharan Africa?
  • What kind of funding did this policy involve?
  • What do we know about the results of European development policy, particularly in terms of its impact on areas such as peace and security, private sector development, agriculture and social development?


The study will be carried out by ECDPM, the European Centre for Development Policy Management, in cooperation with DIE, Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik.


Paul de Nooijer