Less Pretension, More Realism

Evaluation of the Reconstruction and SPCC programmes and the tender phase of ARC

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Results – Evaluation of the Reconstruction and SPCC programmes and the tender phase of ARC

IOB’s report "Less Pretension, More Realism" contains lessons and recommendations for improving programmes that aim to provide sustainable benefits to vulnerable people in situations of insecurity.

Two important programmes of the ministry’s policy priority Security and Rule of Law (SRoL) were the Reconstruction programme (2012 - 2015) and the Strategic Partnerships in Chronic Crises (SPCC) programme (2014 - 2016). Together, the Reconstruction and SPCC programmes supported 36 projects implemented by Dutch and international NGOs in 24 countries. The pooled budget was about EUR 154 million. This evaluation focused on the effectiveness of both programmes. Additionally, it looked at the tender phase of the subsequent Addressing Root Causes (ARC) programme (2016 - 2021).

Main question

Have the Reconstruction and SPCC programmes been effective and how can programmes that aim to address conflict and insecurity in fragile contexts be improved?


The main finding of the evaluation is that the Reconstruction and SPCC programmes achieved several tangible outputs but that in the longer term, the impact of these programmes has been limited. While concrete results were achieved, such as the establishment of peace committees or infrastructural works, outcomes were often restricted to individual cases or were local in scope. In only a few instances did outcomes ‘trickle up’ and have an effect on village or subnational socio-economic development or on reduced levels of conflict or insecurity. This is only partly attributable to the highly complex and dynamic environments, characterised by violence, political unrest and economic problems, in which projects were implemented. The subsequent findings shed light on other explanations.