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Woodhill, J., J. Guijt, F. Bodnar and B. van Elzakker. 2009. Independent Evaluation. Switzerland's economic development cooperation in the field of trade promotion of organic agriculture products. Rep. TD4. Louis Bolk Instituut, Driebergen. 113 p.

Number of pages: 113

Type of document: Report

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Related webpage or webdocument: www.seco-cooperation.admin.ch/themen/entwicklung/00511/index.html?lang=en

More information on authors/freelancers connected to LBI :
Bo van Elzakker BSc.


Language of document: English

Title in English: Independent Evaluation. Switzerland's economic development cooperation in the field of trade promotion of organic agriculture products

Abstract / summary in English:

This report presents the results of the independent evaluation of Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) programme on trade promotion of organic agriculture products. The evaluation covers the period 2002 – 2008. This SECO programme was implemented in 9 countries (in Eastern Europe, India, and West Africa) and in the region of Central America. The programme’s main objectives were to develop the organic sector, thus contributing to increased trade and poverty reduction, as an illustration of the positive benefits of certification and labelling. The evaluation has made 8 key recommendations, which are further detailed in the report: Recommendation 1: SECO should continue to focus on organic agriculture as an appropriate niche area to promote and demonstrate the benefits of labelling and certification. Recommendation 2: SECO should strengthen its processes of situation (sector) analysis as a basis for designing intervention strategies and make the theory of change underpinning interventions much more explicit. Recommendation 3: SECO should provide continued support for those CBs it has established but be very critical of the need for and benefits of engaging with the establishment of new CBs in other countries. Recommendation 4: Based on its successful value chain orientated market initiatives, SECO should build its portfolio in this area and do so in a way that is more attuned to business needs and that is more likely to leverage business investment. Recommendation 5: At the country level, SECO should look more critically at the relationship between organic sector cohesion and coordination and export development and make such cohesion a more prominent part of its strategic approach. Recommendation 6: SECO should make promotion and scaling-up of successful programme activities and achievements a more explicit part of its strategic approach at project and programme level. Recommendation 7: SECO should substantially strengthen its performance orientated planning, monitoring, management and learning systems in a way that is flexible and responsive to the dynamics of a business/market environment. Recommendation 8: SECO reformulate the organic agriculture programme to explicitly include activities that demonstrate and promote, in international forums and to national policy makers, the benefits of labelling and certification for sustainable trade and poverty reduction, (i.e. SECO’s development objective).


Keywords in English: SECO, onafhankelijke evaluatie, ontwikkeling biologische sector, labelen, certificering, markt ontwikkeling, beleidsbeinvloeding