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Evaluation of NGO Certifications for the International Cooperation Strategy 2025-2028 : Final Report for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation


Bundi, Pirmin; Bonny, Stéphane; Widmer, Thomas (2023). Evaluation of NGO Certifications for the International Cooperation Strategy 2025-2028 : Final Report for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Zurich and Lausanne: University of Zurich und Université de Lausanne.

Abstract

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has commissioned the Institute of Public Administration (IDHEAP) of the University of Lausanne and the Department of Political Science of the University of Zurich to conduct an evaluation of NGO certification labels for the International Cooperation Strategy 2025-2028. The aim of the evaluation is to determine which certifications meet the eligibility conditions required by the SDC for programme funding. The evaluation process involved a comparative analysis of two selected certifications, Ehrenkodex and Zewo, and an evaluation of their usefulness for the SDC through a meta-evaluation process. The meta-evaluation consisted of three dimensions: the requirements for certification, the organization of the certification process, and the transparency of the certification
process.
The results of the meta-evaluation indicated that Zewo is the best option due to its expertise and methodological approach in the certification of NGOs. However, Ehrenkodex also proved to be a valid contender, offering a certificate of quality that addresses many needs of the SDC. Both certifications consider similar topics in their respective criteria, but there are differences in the type of documents required for certification and the certification methodology used. Zewo is more explicit in its descriptions and verification procedures, while Ehrenkodex's definition of neutrality could be more explicitly clarified. Regarding the organization of the certification process, both labels showed similarities, with the main difference being the level of financial resources. Both foundations compensate for additional costs through additional financial sources or subsidies, but while Zewo has more resources, Ehrenkodex relies more on
voluntary work. This could impact the validity and reliability of the certification process in exceptional circumstances, but it is also a strong sign of the foundation's motivation and involvement in the certification process. Overall, the results of the meta-evaluation suggest that both certifications could potentially be used for programme funding, but NGOs without a Zewo certification would need to provide further evidence to the SDC that go beyond the Ehrenkodex certification.

Abstract

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has commissioned the Institute of Public Administration (IDHEAP) of the University of Lausanne and the Department of Political Science of the University of Zurich to conduct an evaluation of NGO certification labels for the International Cooperation Strategy 2025-2028. The aim of the evaluation is to determine which certifications meet the eligibility conditions required by the SDC for programme funding. The evaluation process involved a comparative analysis of two selected certifications, Ehrenkodex and Zewo, and an evaluation of their usefulness for the SDC through a meta-evaluation process. The meta-evaluation consisted of three dimensions: the requirements for certification, the organization of the certification process, and the transparency of the certification
process.
The results of the meta-evaluation indicated that Zewo is the best option due to its expertise and methodological approach in the certification of NGOs. However, Ehrenkodex also proved to be a valid contender, offering a certificate of quality that addresses many needs of the SDC. Both certifications consider similar topics in their respective criteria, but there are differences in the type of documents required for certification and the certification methodology used. Zewo is more explicit in its descriptions and verification procedures, while Ehrenkodex's definition of neutrality could be more explicitly clarified. Regarding the organization of the certification process, both labels showed similarities, with the main difference being the level of financial resources. Both foundations compensate for additional costs through additional financial sources or subsidies, but while Zewo has more resources, Ehrenkodex relies more on
voluntary work. This could impact the validity and reliability of the certification process in exceptional circumstances, but it is also a strong sign of the foundation's motivation and involvement in the certification process. Overall, the results of the meta-evaluation suggest that both certifications could potentially be used for programme funding, but NGOs without a Zewo certification would need to provide further evidence to the SDC that go beyond the Ehrenkodex certification.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Published Research Report
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
320 Political science
Language:English
Date:13 January 2023
Deposited On:25 Jul 2023 14:20
Last Modified:25 Jul 2023 14:29
Publisher:University of Zurich und Université de Lausanne
Number of Pages:54
Additional Information:Bericht im Auftrag der Direktion für Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit (Deza)
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://www.eda.admin.ch/content/dam/deza/en/documents/partnerschaften-auftraege/auftraege-beitraege/20230113-evaluation-ngo-certifications-IC2025-2028-final-report-UNIL-UZH_EN.pdf
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English