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In 2014, experts working for the European Commission carried out a synthesis of budget support evaluations from seven different countries. “We have learned that the funds we provide don’t just go into a black hole,” said Jürgen Lovasz, Team Leader for Budget Support in the Evaluation unit at DEVCO. These funds have been used – as intended – to improve people’s livelihoods. 
As the European Union prepares its latest plan to support gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE) around the world, a timely evaluation of its efforts so far has found much room for improvement.
“Education is one of the foundations for development and Erasmus Mundus addressed the needs of developing countries in higher education. We tend to focus on basic education in our development programmes but this is not enough. We need to invest in a continuum of education and Erasmus Mundus provided this opportunity for students and for institutions to increase their capacity,” said Veronique Lorenzo, Head of Unit for Education at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development.
Over the last three years, Marcus Cornaro worked as Deputy Director General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO). Before taking up his new post as Head of the European Union Delegation to South Africa, he spoke to capacity4dev.eu about his views on development, the problems we’re facing today in the neighbourhood region, the migratory crisis and his hopes for his new post.
Capacity4dev Team created a new Article 13 October 2014
Wherever you are in the world, beekeeping is a guaranteed source of income. The international market varies but in developing countries honey production remains a vital means of subsistence. It supports the environment too, but plummeting bee numbers now jeopardise food chains in developing and developed countries alike, and experts are scrambling to coordinate a response.  
Capacity4dev Team created a new Article 10 December 2013
There is much discussion in the development arena about the struggle ahead to feed the seven plus billion, of the methods proposed towards food security, building resilience, safeguarding water resources and so on. But few stop to ponder the basic ingredient in all of this: the very land under our feet, and the starting point of all agricultural productivity. At the European Development Days, EuropeAid hosted a Lab session dedicated to the relevance of soils in development policy, featuring the release earlier this year of the first Soil Atlas of Africa.
Gary Quince, who is nearing the end of his five years heading the EU Delegation to the African Union, shares his experiences and discusses the EU's support to the AU, touching on the gap between optimistic treaties and their implementation, joint programming and engaging with the private sector. 
Capacity4dev Team created a new Article 12 March 2014
Insects are rich in protein and ecologically sustainable to produce, so why are we reluctant to put them in our mouths? According to Marian Peters, chairperson of the Dutch Insect Breeders Association, the answer is partly cultural.
Development gains are easily undermined by rising extremism in fragile contexts. In response, donors are keen to embed elements of CVE, or ‘combatting violent extremism’, in their cooperation programmes. Engaging young people in the projects is crucial, as it is they who are most at risk of recruitment by extremist groups, and they who can build a peaceful future for their countries.
“Sustainable development policies cannot be fully achieved without youth angles, perspectives and voices,” said Sana Afouaiz, a women’s advocate and blogger from Morocco. She believes that young people today should have the opportunity to participate in the political dialogue; it is their future that is at stake, and they need to ensure they are a part of it.

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