2020 Public Administration Evaluation

Institution Building In Practice: An Evaluation Of Swedish Central Authorities´ Reform Cooperation In The Western Balkans

Richard Allen, Giorgio Ferrari, Krenar Loshi, Númi Östlund, Dejana Razić Ilić

Every year around SEK 600 million of Swedish international development assistance is directed through Swedish government authorities (SGAs).

This evaluation aims to gain an in-depth understanding of the long-term effects, sustainability and cost-effectiveness of Swedish government authorities’ capacity development initiatives, and to
generate lessons to inform Swedish reform cooperation ahead. It focuses on the work of the SGAs in the Western Balkans, a context which provides a long-term perspective within clearly defined and
coherent boundaries.

The report was presented during the seminar Swedish Capacity building in the Western Balkans.


  • The SGAs’ work in the Western Balkans has contributed to tangible improvements in the capacities and performance of partner agencies, and a likely positive contribution to the EU membership aspirations of the countries and the quality of governance.
  • Swedish government authorities were able to contribute to sustainable results in terms of improved capacity of government agencies in the Western Balkans, particularly in relation to people and processes.
  • There were variations between the projects: interventions with higher perceived added value tended to be those with wider impact across a system or with large numbers of the general population affected.


  • The distinctive contribution and capabilities of Swedish government authorities should be recognised and factored into strategic planning as a key component of development assistance.
  • Where project opportunities for capacity development of partner institutions are identified, embassies and Sida should lead on the design process.
  • The SGAs should consider developing medium- to long-term development plans for their international capacity development work.
  • Sida and the SGAs should work together to find solutions for supporting SGAs’ core international development capabilities.

Richard Allen, Consultant based in the Western Balkans

Giorgio Ferrari, Consultant in the MDF Evaluation Team

Krenar Loshi, Consultant based in Pristina, Kosovo

Númi Östlund, Consultant in international development assistance and specialises in effective use of aid finance