National evaluation policy in Switzerland

This case study, prepared by Katerina Stolyarenko for the Parliamentary Forum for Development Evaluation outlines the process that was used to develop and implement a government-wide monitoring and evaluation system in Switzerland.


"This case study presents the policy evaluation practices of Switzerland, underlines its major strengths and weaknesses. The Swiss NEP is focused on evaluating the effectiveness of public policies and legislation. Switzerland is the first country in the world to have an evaluation clause at the constitutional level. There are two main actors in evaluation domain in Switzerland, i.e. the Parliamentary Control of the Administration and the Swiss Federal Audit Office. Swiss Federal Administration spends annually approximately 15 million Swiss francs on evaluation. In spite of that, the evaluation supply is still more developed than evaluation demand due to the peculiarities of the Swiss political system, i.e. federalism and semi-democracy. The quality of evaluation is high and the process for the handling of evaluations are structured in a sensible and appropriate manner; however, yet evaluation findings and recommendations are used only rarely in the decision-making process, and when they are used, it is then often as a means of legitimation."


  • Introduction   3
    • Political, Economic and Development Context  3
    • M&E Context  5
  • Institutional setting of NEP in Switzerland   6
    • NEP’s Focus and Purposes  6
    • Legal and Policy Framework  6
    • Institutional Arrangements  7
    • M&E Tools, Components, Evaluation Methodologies and Quality of Data   10
    • Professional Capacity for M&E   13
    • Utilization of M&E   15
  • Achievements and Challenges   15
  • Good Practice(s)   16
  • Conclusion   17
  • Documents consulted   17
  • Interviews held   18


Stolyarenko, K., (2014) National evaluation policy in Switzerland, Parliamentary Forum for Development Evaluation. Retrieved from:

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