How far have we come and where are we heading?


During the second Advisory Board of this year (31 October 2019) we focused on the findings from the mid-term measurement and external evaluation of the IDEAL programme. The evaluation intended to serve as a ‘sailing boat that can further guide the team in designing and adapting their interventions’.


During the meeting, the IDEAL team was joined by the evaluator herself, one expert from The Hague Academy for Local Governance (THALG) and board members from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the field and research community. The meeting was chaired by Mr Carol van Eert, mayor of Rheden and member of the VNG Commission ‘Europe and International’. Rheden is one of the Dutch municipalities involved in the IDEAL programme.


A story from the evaluator’s field visit to Palestine taught us that IDEAL is indeed making a difference in people’s lives or work. It was indicated that “for the first time some indicators were written down, and discussions have taken place in a group-setting about what we want to implement in our community. It is creating spaces where people come together, replacing the previous bilateral methods of traditional networks.” Stories like these demonstrate the potential of the programme, but show at the same time that change is hard to grasp and can be measured in many ways.


Both the mid-term measurement and the evaluation provided the IDEAL team with sufficient food for thought to improve the programme for the years to come. Some of the actions that will be taken, as part of the IDEAL Management Response, were already shared with the Advisory Board.