Markus Palenberg is leading a comprehensive evaluation of Finland’s development cooperation programmes in 10 long-term partner countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Somalia, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Myanmar, Nepal, Afghanistan and Ukraine). The evaluation draws on desk review, stakeholder feedback, and moderated self-assessments by the 10 country teams. The final report is planned for June 2024.
Together with Diane Bombart, Markus Palenberg currently supports CGIAR (a global research platform for a food-secure future) with a study on “Lessons and Good Practices in Capacity Sharing for Development”.
Diane Bombart evaluated ILO STATISTICS’ global project “Closing the Gender Data Gap on Unpaid Care and Domestic Work to Support Monitoring the 2030 Agenda”. The project aimed at developing, testing and diffusing a cost-efficient methodology to measure unpaid domestic and care work. Click here to access the final evaluation report.
Markus Palenberg led the “Review of the MFA’s support to international recruitment” for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. This review included all types of temporary and permanent recruitments of Finns into international organizations and compares Finland’s approach with those of Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Click here for the final report.
With Diane Bombart, Markus Palenberg led the “Evaluation of UNESCO’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic”. The evaluation was conducted by a mixed team with two specialists from UNESCO’s Evaluation Office. Click here for the final report.
Markus Palenberg conducted an international benchmarking study as part of the “Strategic capture of progress and learning in Irish Foreign Policy outcomes”, on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Ireland.
Markus Palenberg supported the “Facilitated assessment of Finnish peace, democratization and sustainable livelihoods support in Myanmar” as evaluation specialist, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. Because of the security situation in the country, the final report of this evaluation is confidential.
Diane Bombart and Markus Palenberg assisted the Global Evaluation Initiative in developing and formulating intuitive and easy-to-use theories of change for the initiative’s four principal business lines.
Markus Palenberg led the the evaluation of Finland’s Institutional Cooperation Instrument (ICI) projects in Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, and Nepal for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. Click here for the final report.
Markus Palenberg supported the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) in an independent evaluation of its approach to Results-Based Management (RBM) across the entire organization. Click here for the final evaluation report, and here for the OSCE website for this evaluation.
Following up on the full evaluation he led in 2014, Markus Palenberg reviewed the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) in 2020. FTA is the world’s largest research for development program to enhance the role of forests, trees and agroforestry in sustainable development and food security and to address climate change. The review is led by Prof. Kalame Fobissie. Click here for the final review report, or go to the website of the CGIAR Advisory Services for extra information.
Together with Arne Paulson, Markus Palenberg edited The Realpolitik of Evaluation, a comprehensive book exploring the conundrum of why demand and supply of evaluation rarely intersect. Click here to order a copy, and here to download a flyer about earlier books in the Comparative Policy Evaluation series.
Markus Palenberg led a comprehensive evaluation investigating the relevance and effectiveness of influencing activities in the multilateral aid channel of Finnish development policy and cooperation. Download the main evaluation report, its annex, or the presentation of the evaluation results (webinar recording and presentation slides).
Markus Palenberg contributed a chapter to Long Term Perspectives in Evaluation: Increasing Relevance and Utility, a text book that advocates the virtues of a long-term perspective for policy evaluation and shows how evaluations can take a longer-than-usual time perspective.
Together with John Mayne and Janet Vähämäki, Markus Palenberg supported Enabel in better defining and balancing learning, steering and accountability in the context of Results Based Management (RBM) of Belgian development policy and cooperation.
As team leader, Markus Palenberg led the evaluation “How do learn, manage and make decisions in Finland’s development policy and cooperation?” for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. Click here to download the evaluation report.
Markus Palenberg and Tonya Schütz assisted the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission for two consecutive years in developing and rolling out a pragmatic M&E framework that satisfies the needs of the Commission and its Member States Angola, Botswana and Namibia. The project was implemented under supervision of the Commission and was funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Linda Esche supported the work from the IfDS Office in Munich.
Brian Belcher and Markus Palenberg researched how international organizations define the terms “outcome” and “impact” using a fine-grained analysis framework with 16 definitional elements. It is apparent that there is much confusion about what the terms mean but also about the underlying concepts of how we imagine programs and policies interact with the world. The research is summarized by this paper in “Evaluation”, the Journal of the American Evaluation Association (2018). Feel free to share, the paper has a public license.
Evaluation of GRAID, a global program of the Stockholm Resilience Centre that aims at bridging the worlds of resilience thinking and development practice. The evaluation has been conducted by Markus Palenberg and Andrea Deisenrieder, with support from Linda Esche. The final evaluation report is available here.
In June 2018, Markus Palenberg was part of a team of experts conducting trainings on evaluation of efficiency at the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and at PARTOS, the Dutch membership body for organizations working in international development. This work was supported by Linda Esche and builds on earlier work with the “efficiency lab”. Click here for a comprehensive guide on tools and methods for assessing the efficiency of aid interventions.
Evaluation of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), a USD 1.5 billion global program that has been conducted between July 2017 and March 2018. As method’s lead, Markus Palenberg developed and coordinated the theory-based evaluation approach.
Evaluation of Results-Based Management (RBM) at Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), covering all intervention domains from 2008 to today. Markus Palenberg led the evaluation of RBM in SDC’s contributions to multilateral organizations and global programs, and of SDC’s quality assurance function. The final report is available here.
Assistance to the HarvestPlus Challenge Program for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). This included amongst others managing the development of the Phase 3 Strategic Plan (2013-2018) and developing the global partnership policy. Go to the HarvestPlus website here.
Markus Palenberg led the evaluation of Capacity Development at CGIAR, a global agricultural research program with a USD 1 billion annual funding envelope. A summary of the full report can be downloaded here (published 2017). The respective volumes of the complete final report are available under Vol I, Vol II, Vol III. Click here for the project-related video.
Markus Palenberg conducted a research on the delivery of products and innovations in developing countries (three articles in a special edition of the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, published 2017). Click here to get to the journal’s website.
Markus Palenberg developed a multi-year M&E program for the International Climate Initiative on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (2016). The implemented M&E program includes an independent evaluation function and, among other, several comprehensive mixed-method evaluations of environmental impacts.
Evaluation of the CGIAR Research Program “Forests, Trees and Agroforestry”. This evaluation represents both the first evaluation undertaken by the Independent Evaluation Arrangement of the CGIAR and the first evaluation of a CGIAR Research Program (CRP). This evaluation was led by Markus Palenberg and supported by IfDS fellow Andrea Deisenrieder. Find all documents related to this evaluation here (published 2014).
Evaluation of Finland’s Development Policy Programmes from a Results-Based Management point of view from 2003 to 2013 for the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. IfDS manager Markus Palenberg co-led an evaluation team composed of IfDS member Diane Bombart and members of the Finnish consulting group Indufor. Download the report here.
Global program review of the World Bank Group’s partnership with the Global Environment Facility, covering nominal commitments of USD 4 billion over a period of 22 years. IfDS members Markus Palenberg and Diane Bombart conducted this review in collaboration with IEG. Download the report here (published 2013).
Assistance to the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) in building a global governance and service structure. IfDS also supported the development of the new Affiliation Management Strategy, as adopted by the GDLN Global Board in September 2012.
Ex-ante assessment of the governance of the planned Consortium Research Programs of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) on behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2011-2012)
Governance and management review of the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2011-2012).
Research project ‘Tools and Methods for Evaluating the Efficiency of Development Interventions’ for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Download the final report here (published 2011) or at www.aidefficiency.org.
Markus Palenberg was the principal investigator of the research project: “Foundations of the Results Chain Concept” at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), co-funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2010). Click here for more information and here for an early concept paper on this effort.
Evaluation of the regional program ‘Water Governance in the MENA region’ for Capacity Building International (InWEnt). Download the final evaluation report here (published 2009).
Evaluation of the ‘Development Partnership Program’ of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). This project was implemented through GPPi. Download the summary report in English (published 2009).
Evaluation of the global partnership program ‘Generation Challenge Program’ for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Download the report here. Download the report annex here. Go to CGIAR’s website for more information (published 2008).
Markus Palenberg was a member of the advisory panels on development of alternative fund models and governance structure options for CGIAR as part of the CGIAR reform process (2008).
Assistance in developing guidance and tools for evaluating global and regional partnership programs for the World Bank Independent Evaluation Group (IEG), as part of the technical advisory committee. Download the IEG/OECD DAC Sourcebook here. Download the GRPP guidelines here (published 2007).
Benchmarking study on international PPDP programs for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). This project was implemented through GPPi. Download the research paper (published 2007).
Evaluation of the global partnership program ‘Understanding Children’s Work’ (UCW), for the International Labour Organization (ILO), UNICEF and the World Bank (2007). This project has been implemented through GPPi. The final report has not been made public.
International learning forum ‘Engaging Business in Development: Reviewing Best Practices – Exploring the Potential for Donor Collaboration’. This project was implemented through GPPi. Download the conference proceedings (published 2007).
Evaluation of the global partnership program ‘Challenge Program for Water and Food’ for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Download the report here. Download the report annex here. Go to CGIAR’s website for more information (published 2007).
Evaluation of the global partnership program ‘HarvestPlus Challenge Program’ for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Download the report here. Download the report annex here. Go to CGIAR’s website for more information (published 2007).
Evaluation of the ‘Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)’ for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This project was implemented through GPPi. The evaluation report has not been made public. Download the research paper ‘Trends in non-financial reporting’ (published 2006).