Evaluation in Difficult Contexts and Hard-to-Reach Areas

Brussels, Belgium

The IEO participated in a lunch-break conference on Evaluation in difficult contexts and hard-to-reach areas organized by the Evaluation Support Service of DG DEVCO and the unit 'Results, Monitoring and Evaluation' of DG DEVCO. The focus of the conference was on improving international development evaluation through geospatial data and analysis.


  • Mrs. Geeta Batra, Deputy Director and Chief Evaluation Officer, GEF Independent Evaluation Office
  • Mr. Malte Lech, Independent Evaluator
  • Ms. Catherarina Bamps and Mr. Ola Nordbeck, Policy Officers European Commission, DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and SMEs - COPERNICUS Unit

Introduction: Mr Pavel Borkovec - DEVCO, Head of Unit ‘Evaluation and Results'

Increasing availability of new types of data strengthens geospatial research in different scientific fields and opens up opportunities to better measure results and evaluate the impacts of development interventions. A recent paper (published in the International Journal of Geospatial and Environmental Research in October 2018) presented examples where geospatial approaches have been applied in evaluations and thus demonstrate the potential use in informing policy design through scientifically sound evidence as well as learning.

In particular, the paper discussed the impact evaluation of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) support to protected areas and protected area systems; and the evaluation of GIZ's land-use planning and disaster risk management programme in the Philippines.

The first two speakers -who co-authored the paper- presented the methods used in these two evaluations and the main lessons learnt; they furthermore discussed the possible use of geospatial evidence in evaluating interventions in other contexts.

The third speaker presented the full, free and open data policy that Copernicus has adopted for its satellite data and service products.

Copernicus is the European program for monitoring the Earth and is coordinated and managed by the European Commission. Today, it is the most ambitious Earth Observation programme in the world.

More information available on the European Comission's Infopoint website.