Poles of Expertise

Since our first footsteps when we started engaging in development aid we have grown to the extent of having niche sectors, our poles of expertise. Over the past 15 years, both our technical cooperation and framework contract units have been carving out reputations as solid providers of technical assistance and backstopping in their own sectors of expertise.

As well as consolidating our expertise in these areas, we have also managed to successfully make a sustainable positive impact to countries in transition in the following additional sectors. Below is a more detailed list.


For over 15 years at IBF we have been providing capacity building and institutional strengthening technical assistance services to improve governments' public affairs management. At the start this centred mostly on reforming the legal system by implementing the EU Acquis in pre-accession countries. Nowadays, the bulk of our work in this field focuses on providing legal expertise to advance the functioning and efficiency of judiciary systems in line with UN and European standards, and to respect the principles derived from the rule of law and democracy.

Sample of References:
- Support to the government of Albania's participation in EU programmes

- Technical Assistance for the preparation of border surveillance area survey - Turkey

- Support to the implementation of the agreements between the Republic of Moldova and the EU


Since our very establishment in 1977 - IBF's original mandate being the "Institut Belge de Formation" - has been dealing with training and education assignments across Europe and globally. Our services include fostering the development of learning systems and the creation of new employment opportunities. Our background in education covers formal and informal learning in primary and early childhood, as well as secondary and adult education. Particular attention is paid to vocational training to prepare individuals to face the requirements of a changing market and ensure future competitiveness and innovation. Alongside our interventions in reforming education systems, we contribute to improving entrepreneurship through innovation and curriculum development in transition countries.

Sample of References:
- Technical Assistance to support the education reform - Algeria

- EC support to education - Liberia

- Modernization of the education system - Turkmenistan

- Strengthening regional VET management - Ukraine

- Support for quality assurance within the national primary and secondary education examination system - Serbia


Our lifelong learning projects increase the employability of targeted groups by furthering personal development, and encouraging active citizenship and social inclusion. These projects also enhance the employability of particular groups in society, like elderly people who have difficulties in finding a job in today's fast paced labour markets. Additionally, we carry out capacity building projects aimed at designing labour market measures and defining employment strategies thereby ensuring socio-economic development and poverty reduction.

We also manage international Technical Cooperation programmes aimed at reducing social and gender discrimination, supporting civil society, and providing effective and efficient support (and training) to civil society organisations.

Sample of References:
- Support for the Development of the Policy Dialogue and Advice Programme (PDAP) - Republic of Kazakhstan

- Social partnership in Vocational Education and Training (VET) - Republic of Kazakhstan

- Labour Legislation and Arbitration -  Russia

- Helpdesk Support for Managing for Results in Combating Poverty Related Diseases and The Human Resources For Health Crisis


Within the health sector, at IBF we have been building upon years of experience providing short-term technical assistance in public health, health economics and financing, health care provision, human resource development, pharmaceuticals, and health promotion. We also provide these services to the European Commission as part of studies and Technical Cooperation projects worldwide. In parallel, since 2008 we have been assisting DG SANCO (link to CPC paragraph) with evaluation, impact assessment and related services in the areas of public health, consumer protection, and the food chain. We consider health as one of our key sectors of expertise and recognise the importance of supporting improvements in this area for populations across the globe.

Sample of References:
- Final evaluation review of the HIV/AIDS Prevention and care Programme  -  Swaziland

- Étude situationnelle de la Direction de la Pharmacie et du Médicament , du
Laboratoire National de Santé Publique et de la Pharmacie de Santé Publique de Côte d'Ivoire pour permettre un renforcement de la régulation pharmaceutique

- Evaluation of the avian influenza and HIV Control Programme - Indonesia

- Monitoring the European Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health Activities - EU member states

- Final evaluation of the EC/ACP/WHO partnership on health MDGs - ACP

- Support to the ministry of health to develop relevant documentation for the supplies of equipment to support the strengthening of the health information system in Tajikistan - Tajikistan


In recent years, we have had the opportunity to collaborate with the European Commission on a variety of migration specific projects related to labour/circular migration, visa free movement, the migration-development nexus, and data management.

We lead interventions taking place at varying phases of the EC's external assistance cycle of operation - Project Cycle Management (PCM) - supporting EC policy officers, programme managers and more recently, the European External Action Service. Our projects develop and help better formulate key documents, policy initiatives, and specific activities (within EC Annual Action plans, multi-annual Programmes, Instruments and Funds) in Brussels and at EU Delegations globally.

All missions include extended visits to the field thereby serving to link policy, programme and practice.

Sample of References:
- Formulation study of the joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) Support Programme

- Evaluation of the concrete results obtained through projects financed under AENEAS and thematic programme for migration and asylum

- Evaluation of the EC/UN joint migration and development initiative

- Identification study for Western Africa regional migration support under the 10th EDF


Our successfully completed projects in this ambit assist governments in their formulation of culture sector policy, in evaluating significant national culture programmes and events, and in implementing cultural bilateral cooperation programmes. Our regular collaboration with professionals and policy-makers involved in the cultural sector is what sets us apart. Considering the experience gained in this field, the European Commission entrusted us in 2009 with the preparation and launch of one of its major international events on culture policy: "Culture and Creativity: vectors for Development", and for the first time, many professionals and policy makers gathered to vitalise EU cultural cooperation. This project was part of the EC's willingness to launch a new era of development cooperation in the culture sector to better recognise the role of culture in development policies and to encourage formulation of sector policy at a national level.

Sample of References:

- 9 ACP MLI 28 - AT court terme au ministère de la culture malien - préparation de la stratégie culturelle

- Evaluation finale du programme de soutien aux initiatives culturelles décentralisées -Benin

- Identification study in the field of culture under the thematic programme 'Investing in People' - Worldwide

- Colloquium "La création culturelle comme vecteur du développement" - ACP

Monitoring & Evaluation

Against the background of a rapidly changing aid landscape - new aid delivery modalities, new players and new challenges - efforts in Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) have acquired a renewed significance. They are tools to improve the quality and effectiveness of development cooperation itself and to ensure greater accountability (by enabling the European Commission to report to the European Parliament or the Council of the European Union, but also to EU citizens at large, on the results and impacts of the initiatives and strategies). In this context, IBF, through our projects, strive to provide the EC and its partners with high quality assessments of their funded interventions. We have substantial experience in M&E implementation, backstopping and follow-up of: monitoring missions; ex-ante, mid-term and final/ex-post evaluations, as well as calls for proposals on five different EC Framework Contracts.

Sample of References:

- Evaluation of the EC/UN joint migration and development Initiative - Worldwide

- Evaluation of Erasmus Mundus, external cooperation window - India

- Mid-term evaluation of AL-Invest Phase IV - Latin America

- Monitoring of food facility projects - Philippines

- Assessment and preparation of contracts for the call for proposals for African Union research grants programme

Natural resources and agriculture

In the past ten years, natural resources & agriculture have become an increasingly important issue on the international agenda as donors attempt to find ways to contribute to poverty eradication and to promote environmentally sustainable activities. Since 2007, we have been expanding our services into this sector with projects on food facility, fisheries and aquaculture, regional development strategies, agricultural policies and studies, forestry policies, sustainable management and use of natural resources, as well as supporting the improvement of environmental governance.

Sample of References:

- Practical application of CGIAR research results by smallholder farmers - Worldwide

- Joint mapping exercise of forest interventions and specific review of NFP facility and EU FLEGT facility - Worldwide

- Mid-term evaluation of the SWITCH Asia Programme - Asia

- Natural resources and sustainable development - Laos

- Working paper on sector approaches in the Environment and Natural Resources sector (ENR) - Worldwide

- Management of protected areas to support sustainable economies - Jamaica

Civil Society

Over the past 10 years, IBF has been contributing to the formulation and evaluation of many civil society development programmes, aimed at supporting citizens' movements and turning them into key actors of democratic societies. We regularly assist donors and national governments in the formulation of policies and programmes, and handle significant capitalisation/lessons learned exercises. In the framework of our activities we endeavour to reflect donors' priorities and civil society concerns to ensure that cooperation between these two actors is as efficient as possible.

Sample of References:

- Independent evaluation of the civil society fund for governance - Congo, Democratic Republic

- Technical Assistance for the formulation of the 10th EDF funded civil society support Programme -Namibia

- Three studies (mapping, guidelines on cooperation between donors and NSAs centre for civil society) of NSAs - Papua New Guinea

- Evaluation finale du programme d'appui à la société civile - Mali (ARIANE)

- CBSS/European instrument for democracy and human rights mapping and evaluation - Worldwid

- Appel à l'expertise dans le cadre du renforcement de l'accès à l'information de la société civile dans le développement - Worldwide

Development policy

IBF's efforts towards the formulation of development policies for various institutional donors, aimed at establishing successful worldwide cooperation activities, have been the backbone of our consultancy. We are currently involved in the formulation of key development policies and sector-focused policies in the fields of good governance, education, health, culture, civil society and poverty reduction. We have a proven ability to respond to policy challenges and to satisfy high-level institutional expectations and we can quickly mobilise senior practitioners and academics who know how to reach the right balance between diplomacy and the in-country reality of development projects.

Sample of References:

- Etude des définitions légales des acteurs non étatiques - EU member states

- Study on EIDHR lessons learnt to provide recommendations for the new strategy 2011-2013 - Worldwide

- Case studies on best practice for MDG - Worldwide

- Development of case studies and preparation of a paper on how to improve aid effectiveness in the field of decentralisation and local governance - Worldwide


The CETRI is a specialised division of IBF which focuses on delivering high level policy advice and capacity building support to emerging economies and regional economic commissions. Through CETRI we offer strategic advice on critical management and policy issues in the areas of macroeconomic stabilisation and long term growth strategies, regional economic integration, trade policy formulation and negotiation of trade agreements, trade related poverty reduction strategies, trade and the environment, and private sector development. CETRI has in-house trade specialists but also builds upon a network of highly experienced practitioners and academics in the fields of international economics and law to deliver advisory services to private and public sector organisations and donor funded projects.

Sample of References:
- ASEAN programme for regional integration

- Economic Cooperation Programme: trade development and investment promotion - Bolivia

- PMU to support ACP integration in the Multilateral Trading System (MTS)

- Study on the policy options for a trade facilitation architecture required for the establishment of the OECS Economic Union

- Assessment of seafood safety standards - Pacific ACP countries

- Capitalisation of best thematic practices developed in the execution of Technical Assistance projects for intermediary organisations - West and Central Africa  


The CPC was set up as a division of IBF that designs and manages projects in the area of consumer protection and market surveillance, food safety and conformity assessment - both within Framework Contracts (DG SANCO) and Technical Cooperation projects. The objectives of the Centre are to offer expertise, research and studies, on policy, legal matters, via technical cooperation programmes and training activities worldwide within two core business areas:

- the preparation and implementation of Framework Contract missions funded by DG SANCO (in the sectors of evaluation, monitoring and impact assessment of health policies - Lot 1, economic and legal aspects of consumer policy - Lot 2, food chain and safety - Lot 3, and market studies - Lot 4)

- the design and implementation of Technical Cooperation programmes worldwide on various kinds of quality-related issues

Sample of References:
- Technical Assistance for capacity building of the Bureau of Metrology of Macedonia

- Quality support - short-term Technical Assistance and study assignments for the
programme to support SMEs/SMIs and ICT management - Algeria

- Mobilisation d'experts court-terme au profit des entreprises industrielles et des institutions d'appui tunisiennes dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre du Programme d'Appui à la Compétitivité des Entreprises et à la Facilitation de l'accès au Marché (PCAM)

- Promoting mutual trade by removing technical barriers to trade between Ukraine and the European Union

- Strengthening consumer protection - Serbia