05 Oct

Inconvenient Realities - Discussing the recent IOB evaluation

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Pour le français voir ci-dessous

The Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law (KPSRL) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ independent Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) jointly organize an online discussion on Thursday 5 October (13:00 – 15:00 CEST).

In this session, we unpack IOB’s recently launched report ‘Inconvenient Realities: An Evaluation of Dutch Contributions to Stability, Security, and Rule of Law in Fragile and Conflict-affected contexts' with an international audience.  

The goals of the session are: 

  • Understanding the key arguments and recommendations from the IOB report; 
  • Providing space for international partners to relate to these findings; 
  • Identify paths to realistically reframe development cooperation in FCAS, with specific attention to stabilization and security, and rule of law. 

You can register here. For more information about this event, please contact Christian Kuitert (c.kuitert@kpsrl.org).  


13:00 – 13:05 


Christian Kuitert - KPSRL  

13:05 – 13:30 

Key findings & recommendations 

Rens Willems - IOB 

13:30 – 13:35 

First response  

Kadiatou Yacouba Keita – International Alert Mali 

13:35 – 13:40 

First response  

David Deng – International Growth Center  

13:40 – 13:45 

First response  

Masood Karokhail

13:50 – 14:40 

Open discussion 

Audience, IOB, panelists 

14:40 – 14:50 

Reflection & take-aways 

Nathalie Olijslager – NL MFA 

14:50 – 15:00 


Christian Kuitert - KPSRL 



On 28 August, IOB launched an evaluation report that covers Dutch development efforts between 2015 and 2022 in Fragile and Conflict Affected Settings (FCAS), with a focus on Mali, South Sudan, and Afghanistan. These efforts vary from defense-, development- and trade-oriented interventions.    

The report describes results on local and technical levels. However, there is little proof that within the timeframe of these programs, such results ‘trickle up’ or result in horizontal (between groups) or vertical (state and society) cohesion. Meanwhile, the ambitions of such efforts have been at the level of e.g., institutional change – a high bar for a small contributor like The Netherlands, especially in FCAS where it is even more difficult to ‘control’ constantly changing situations and trends of democratic backsliding is ongoing. 

On a more technical level, development cooperation in FCAS often finds itself exactly in that place between humanitarian aid and development, but the nexus with these sectors is thin. What adds to that complexity is the prominent role of defence and security goals in many contexts, that can be at odds with sustainable long-term investments in the social contract. Combine all this with a recurrent lack of conflict sensitivity and one can imagine the challenges for sustainable, systemic results. 

In this session, we, therefore, discuss what we can consider realistic and desirable results in FCAS, as well as how to make our ambitions of policy coherence and adaptive support a reality in Dutch development cooperation in FCAS. 

French simultaneous translation will be provided during the event.

Une traduction simultanée en français sera assurée lors de l’évènement.

Lisez la version française de la note conceptuelle ici.

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