Evaluation of ISO Capacity Building on International Standards

Karsten Weitzenegger leads the Saana Consulting Team for external evaluation of the Sida-funded capacity-building activities of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).


The launching of the evaluation follows a considerable period of preparation and consultation, and a competitive international tendering process that concluded with the contracting of the selected team in February 2019. The contracted firm is Saana Consulting Ltd. of the U.K., fielding a diverse team that combines leading expertise in independent evaluations, Aid for Trade and gender equality.


The Team is charged with carrying-out an independent evaluation, in-line with Sida norms and standards as well as with ISO’s own Evaluation Policy and Guidelines. The evaluation is expected to assess progress in standards capacity development since 2013 and the results of its work, as well as providing guidance for the future.

  • A Mid-Term review for the ISO Action Plan for Developing Countries (APDC) 2016-2020, covering the years 2016-2018;
  • A Final Evaluation of the Project to Strengthen Institutional Infrastructure on Standards and Regulations to Support Business and Industry in Middle East and North Africa (MENA STAR) 2013-2018.

The overall purpose of the evaluation, as expressed in the Request for Proposal (November 2018) is to assess the performance and results (activities, outputs, outcomes) as well as planning, implementation and monitoring of activities under both projects.

Recommendations and lessons from the design, delivery, achievements and sustainability of the MENA STAR project are intended to inform future activities under the Action Plan. This highlights the underlying assumption that the issues within the regional MENA STAR project are pertinent at the global level, and therefore relevant to the Action Plan as a whole.


The Team is committed to carrying-out an evaluation that is relevant and of practical use to ISO itself, its beneficiaries, partners and donors. The evaluation reports shall be user-friendly, digestible, short and simple, useful and clear while at the same time complying with high-quality evaluation requirements.

The evaluation will be conducted in a consensual and transparent way while maintaining the principle of independence in-line with internationally recognized evaluation norms and standards. Stakeholder engagement will be important at all stages to build the necessary confidence, learning and engagement of the diverse audiences and stakeholders in both the process and results of the evaluation exercise.

It will apply the evaluation criteria of relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency, and assess the impact and sustainability of ISO’s interventions. It will apply a diversity of methods to answer the evaluation questions and relate its findings and recommendations credibly to reliable evidence. It will address what lessons with regard to impact, strategy and management can be learned from ISO’s operations over the past four years and will generate related recommendations.

Using desk studies, interviews and surveys, the evaluation will cover all activities carried out by ISO and partners as well as its governance, legislative, organizational and operational structures and processes. This will be supplemented by more in-depth and detailed analysis of a representative sample of ISO’s operations through six selected field missions to countries or regions where the organization is active. It will rely on a consultative and participatory methodology, including the interviewing of key stakeholders (namely: beneficiaries, in particular National Standards Bodies and other quality infrastructure stakeholders, trade support institutions, consumer and business associations and private companies).


More information about the ISO Action Plan for developing countries 2016-2020 is available at https://www.iso.org/capacity-building.html  and on the MENA STAR project at https://www.iso.org/sites/menastar/