Security and Rule of Law Programme Evaluation – Final Report

Client: Dutch Research Council Science for Global Development through Ecorys


The Security and Rule of Law (SRoL) research programme was launched in 2014 with the aim of
promoting research that contributes to strengthening the knowledge base of SRoL policies,
interventions and programmes in fragile and conflict-afflicted settings, in order to improve their
effectiveness. The SRoL Programme, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), was
developed in close cooperation between the Knowledge Platform for Security and Rule of Law
(KPSRL) and the Dutch Research Council’s Science for Global Development division (NWOWOTRO).

Two competitive research grants were used: the Strategic Research Fund (SRF); and
the Applied Research Fund (ARF).

Between 2014 – 2019, eight calls for proposals, each with a specific thematic focus, were launched
under the SRoL Programme, two under the SRF and six under the ARF. These calls have
generated 58 projects, which have addressed a number of key themes in fragile countries – in line
with the Dutch SRoL policy – and with a broad geographical scope that ranges from Sub-Saharan
Africa, the Sahel, the Middle-East, North-Africa, Europe, South-East Asia to West Asia.

With the programme ending in 2019, NWO-WOTRO commissioned Ecorys to conduct an external
final evaluation to assess its relevance, effectiveness and efficiency, placing a particular focus on
the functioning of the key assumptions underpinning the programme design: that research
produced under the ARF and SRF funds would provide different outputs and outcomes; that
northern-southern cooperation, transdisciplinary teams and co-creation would contribute to stronger
research results, and that monitoring and evaluation activities and tools (i.e. impact pathways)
would help keep the projects on track and work towards the achievement of outcomes and impact.
Furthermore, the evaluation looked into the working mechanisms and experimental design of the
tripartite relationship between NWO-WOTRO, the KPSRL and the MFA, which is at the basis of the
functioning of the programme.

The evaluation was conducted through the application of qualitative and quantitative data collection
methods, including desk research, a survey, interviews and three field visits (to Tunisia, Lebanon
and Kenya). Evaluation activities took place from June 2019 to April 2020.

Full Report is available at

Topics: Rule of Law, Security

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