Evaluation of the Statistics Cooperation on the Western Balkan 2013-2016 and Partnership in Statistics: A cooperation project between Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia (SORS) and Statistics Sweden (SCB)

Sida commissioned SIPU International AB to carry out the "Evaluation of the Statistics Cooperation on the Western Balkan 2013-2016" and "Partnership in Statistics: A cooperation project between Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia (SORS) and Statistics Sweden (SCB)".

The assignment included evaluations of two separate projects, both implemented by Statistics Sweden (SCB). The regional project was currently in its fourth project-period 2013-2016; the previous project phase covered 2008-2012. The budget of the current project was 28.4 MSEK.The partner to SCB in the regional project is a Regional Statistics Committee (RSC) consisting of one representative from each of the six participating countries and SCB BPO. The participating countries are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.

The “Partnership in Statistics” started back in 2004 as a cooperation between Statistics Sweden (SCB) and the local National Statistical Institutes. The project was the fourth phase of that cooperation between SORS and SCB and was planned to be implemented from December 2012 to December 2015. A no-cost extension was granted in 2015 for 12 months until December 2016 . The cooperation project between SORS and SCB had a budget of 9.5 MSEK, with an additional component in the form of a grant to SORS for covering the cost of statistical surveys implemented by SORS, with a budget of 4.5 MSEK.

The purpose of the evaluation was to undertake a result-based evaluation of both the “Partnership in Statistics" project in Serbia and the Regional Cooperation project. Both projects are essentially aimed for competence and capacity building in their own specific fields. The evaluation was primarily used by Sida and the Swedish Embassy in Belgrade but also by the SCB and the SORS. The results of the evaluation was used as an external input to guide the decision on another continuation phase for both projects, the strategy and design of its focus and possible new priorities.

For both projects we looked at relevance – did the interventions conform to the needs and priorities of the countries and donors, effectiveness – were the right activities carried out giving rise to the right outputs aimed at the desired outcomes, were the objectives achieved, efficiency – were the costs of each intervention justified by its results considering the alternatives, impact - the positive and negative changes produced by each intervention, directly or indirectly, intended or unintended, sustainability – were the activities and their outcomes likely to be in place after the end of the project, and organisational learning – lessons learned.

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