With this website, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs presents the results that the Netherlands, together with national and international partners, has achieved in the field of development co-operation in 2016.

Insight into the results is important, in order to make adjustments and in terms of accountability: to Parliament, to Dutch citizens and to the people whose position we aim to improve.

Inclusive sustainable development
Investing in inclusive sustainable development pays off. This was also apparent in 2016. The number of people living in extreme poverty has been further reduced to less than 10% of the world’s population. In 2010, this figure was 22% (and in 1990 it was 47%).

But the remaining number of people living in extreme poverty is still unacceptable. In addition, (geo) political tensions in the Middle East, parts of Africa and the fringes of Europe continue to cause instability and risks to security. The number of refugees and displaced persons rose to more than 65 million people in 2016. Poverty remains persistent in fragile states and inequality within countries is increasing. Making trade and investment flows sustainable is no easy feat in an unpredictable global economy. Climate change is not only leading to long-term drought but also to major flooding. And for truly equitable development to exist, attention must be paid to the disadvantaged position of women and girls. The Netherlands continues to work on these challenges. The Sustainable Development Goals – the UN’s global agreements to combat poverty, inequality and climate change – therefore form the framework up to 2030.

Dutch policy

Aid, trade and investment
Dutch development policy focuses on fair and sustainable growth and prosperity, from which everyone benefits. The core of the policy is stated in the document ‘What the world deserves: a new agenda for aid, trade and investment’ .

The main goals of the agenda are:

  • Eliminating extreme poverty within a single generation (getting to zero);
  • Promoting sustainable and inclusive growth throughout the world;
  • Success for Dutch companies abroad.

In order to achieve these ambitions, the Netherlands invests in themes in which it is strong: food security, water, sexual and reproductive health and rights, security and rule of law. Extra attention is also paid to the themes of women’s rights and gender equality, private sector development and climate change.

In addition, this website includes results in the field of humanitarian aid and the strengthening of civil society in low- and middle-income countries.

Working with partners
In order to implement its policies, the Netherlands works with governments in low- and middle-income countries, civil society organisations in those countries, Dutch development organisations and universities, companies and international organisations, such as the United Nations and the World Bank.

The Netherlands has a special development relationship with 15 partner countries and there are specific programmes for the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa.

The Netherlands also supports people’s development in many more countries, through international organisations.


This report covers results achieved in 2016 as a direct consequence of resources invested by the Dutch government. A part of this comes directly from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in The Hague. Another part is provided via the Dutch embassies in the countries concerned.

Results are presented in two ways:

  1. Thematic: the complete results per policy theme;
  2. Geographic: the complete results per partner country. In addition, an overview of progress is provided for two African regions in which the Netherlands is active: the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa.

Based on information from partners, the ministry and embassies determine the progress and results of programmes on an annual basis.

This information is summarised in a results overview, which is the source material for this report. This material is accessible to the public on .

Progress is measured and determined based on indicators. This makes it possible to measure and compare results on an equal footing. Considering the dynamic and varied context of development efforts, this is not always possible. The measurement of results therefore has a quantitative and qualitative dimension.

Methodological notes  explain the indicators used by the various themes.