For the quality development of our work and for innovation of our methodologies, we also benefit from our active role in European and global networks. At European level, within Platforma, we facilitate the exchange of experience with Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning.


An inspiring network, relevant for the development of our methodologies and for coordination between the various organisations in the field of decentralised cooperation and capacity building of local government, is the Capacity and Institution Building working group (CIB) within United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). We find it enriching to chair this working group together with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). The CIB Working Group brings together senior staff of cities, regions and national associations of local governments from more than 40 countries dealing with international projects and programs. CIB activities focus on knowledge sharing, innovation in intervention methodologies and policy development on dossiers like development effectiveness, innovative use of decentralised cooperation, capacity building approaches, etc.


VNG International Annual Update 2017

Our Organisational Development

and Learning








From 1 July 2016, the legal status of VNG International has changed. For fiscal reasons our mother organisation VNG decided to change the status from a cooperative to a limited liability. At the same time, the objectives of VNG International have been better formulated in the statutes and the ‘not-for-profit’ character has been made explicit.


In 2015 we formulated our general Theory of Change (ToC), a systemised presentation, based on analysis, of how we believe our work will contribute to the positive change we want to support. In 2016 we developed more specific ToCs for our various fields of expertise.


We also started applying the reporting standards of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). Compliance with these standards is a requirement of, among others, the Netherlands ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Given the growth of our work in fragile and conflict-affected states, the security risks for our staff and experts are also increasing. With a strong involvement of our staff and with the professional support of Expat Preventive, we took several actions including a revision of our security policy and measures and a simulation game for the crisis management team.


For the continuity of the organisation it is also important to have multiple clients and assignments in a variety of countries. We have therefore increased our attention for account management and, like in the last several years, managed to keep the share of other clients than our main client, the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs, above 50 %.


Furthermore, on the basis of close monitoring of our environment, and together with our staff and experts, we have responded to new developments and upcoming themes, such as ‘financing for development’, ‘migration’,  and ‘territorial and integrated development’. Product development and talks with relevant partners and donors in these areas are ongoing.