IEO @UNDP Quarter 4 Newsletter Issue: December 2014 FROM THE DIRECTORS DESK As the year comes to an end, I would like to take this opportunity to

   
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IEO @UNDP Quarter 4 Newsletter Issue: December 2014
FROM THE DIRECTORS DESK
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As the year comes to an end, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for the continued collaboration and support of our valued stakeholders, the UNDP Executive board members, UNDP colleagues, government representatives and partners. I would also like to thank the IEO team for their hard work and dedication. 2014 has been an eventful and interesting year for us and I foresee an equally challenging and motivating 2015. We look forward to exploring new pastures, collaborations and setting milestones. As we come at this juncture I would like to share IEO's 2014 snapshot which sums up our action-packed year! I wish you happy holidays and a happy new year.

-- Indran Naidoo, Director, IEO UNDP

NEWS
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European Evaluation Society (EES) - 11th Biennial Conference

IEO participated in the 11th EES Biennial Conference which took place in Dublin from 1-3 October 2014. The event provided an opportunity to forge closer relationships within the evaluation community and foster a wide ranging debate about the future of evaluation.

Indran Naidoo (Director, IEO) chaired the session on “Overview on evaluation ethics, capabilities and independence” and “Meeting the booming demand for national evaluation capacity” with Ana Rosa Soares (Evaluation Specialist, IEO). The presentation described the evolution of the National Evaluation Capacity (NEC) work in UNDP and mentioned progress across the various commitments. Indran also presented on “What are Evaluation Ethics and how do you Ensure Responsible Use of Power”. The presentation brought to light the concept of evaluation power, risks to the power, and formal and informal rules of the game. As part of the side event, Indran chaired a session during the Parliamentarian Forum meeting. During the meeting, an agreement was reached to form a Global Parliamentarian Forum with support from EvalPArtners, IEO, UN Women and others. Indran also served as a panelist for “Evaluation – what role in the post-2015 development agenda?” alongside panelists Rob van den Berg, Eva Klove and Robert Picciotto. He presented lessons from the MDGs and their relevance to the post-2015 development agenda.

Vijaya Vadivelu (Evaluation Advisor, IEO) presented on “Peacebuilding and Governance: Lessons from the Evaluations of UNDP Response in Conflict Affected Countries”. The presentation described UNDP’s approach to peacebuilding and state-building and key findings and conclusions from UNDP’s evaluation in this area. Roberto La Rovere (Evaluation Specialist, IEO) presented a paper on the “Evolution of the National Evaluation Capacities Development process by UNDP”. The paper described the history and process of NEC since 2009 to 2014, and the main changes that occurred recently within the NEC evolution from ‘biennial conferences’ to a more articulated initiative, with increasingly regional focus.

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UNDP Associate Administrator visits IEO

Recently appointed Associate Administrator of UNDP, Gina Casar and Chief of Staff, Alberic Kacou, visited IEO on 10 October 2014. Gina highlighted the importance of evaluation to human development and stressed how the relationship to results can be strengthened through evaluation. IEO presented an introduction to its work and upcoming projects which can be accessed here.

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Assessment of Development Results – Armenia

The Armenia ADR stakeholder workshop was held in Yerevan on 15 October 2014, where the results were presented and validated together with a draft of the management response from the Country Office. The workshop was held in the UN house and was attended by 70 participants including government counterparts, Civil Society Organizations, donors, UN agencies and Country Office team. The workshop was co-chaired by Davit Harutyunyan (Prime-Minister Chief of Staff), Bradley Busetto (UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative) and Indran Naidoo (Director, IEO). The Country Office highlighted that the ADR was timely, providing inputs on the efficacy and relevance of the Country Office support to the Government and feeding into the design of the new country programme. They also found that it a useful summary of UNDP’s work in Armenia since 2005, including results achieved, and provided some useful feedback to align with global corporate priorities.

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IEO's Evaluation Advisory Panel (EAP) Bi-Annual Session

The EAP session is an opportunity to gather members to provide direction on an array of strategic, programmatic and operational issues related to IEO’s ongoing evaluations, methodological approaches, and other activities.The EAP had its bi-annual session in New York with IEO from 20-23 October 2014, during which IEO provided an update of progress and reported on how it implemented previous recommendations. There were a total of 25 internal meetings and 4 external meetings with UNDP Executive Board members and UNDP senior management. All 11 EAP members (Michael Bamberger, Rachid Benmokhtar, Chen Zhaoying, Sue Funnell, Jayati Ghosh, Zenda Ofir, Ray Rist, Thomas Schwandt, Elliot Stern, Miguel Székely and Daniel Weiner) participated in the session and are scheduled to visit IEO again in May and October 2015, and at the June 2015 Executive Board to interact directly with the Board and provide a statement on the Annual Report on Evaluation.

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Assessment of Development Results – Algeria

The Algeria ADR stakeholder feedback mission was held in Algiers from 27 – 29 October 2014 and the objectives of the mission were to present the ADR report to the Country Office and Algerian counterparts, gather final feedback and discuss follow up actions useful for future Country Office plans. There was no formal stakeholder meeting given the context of this specific evaluation and the scope of the ADR covers the last 5 years of Country Office activities in Algeria (2009-2013). The mission comprised high level meetings with two branches of the Minsitry of Foreign Affairs - DGRECI (General Direction of Economic Relations and International Cooperation) and DGAPSI (General Direction of Political Affairs and International Security). Meetings were attended by Indran Naidoo (Director, IEO), Roberto La Rovere (Evaluation Manager), Cristina Amaral (Resident Coordinator for the United Nations System & UNDP Resident Representative), Randa Aboul-Hosn (Country Director), ADR consultants, and the Country Office team. Additional meetings were held with donors, UN Country Team and with the Board members. There was also a very useful debriefing with Country Office staff that included presenting the position of the IEO and the functions of evaluation, which proved to be very useful for highlighting the purpose and utility of these country level evaluations. The Country Office highlighted that this evaluation which was a first in Algeria's case, will serve as a baseline and reference document for future evaluations.

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17th Meeting of the OECD DAC Network on Development Evaluation

The 17th Meeting of the Network was held at the OECD headquarters in Paris from 19-20 November 2014. Indran Naidoo (Director, IEO) participated in the meeting and shared IEO and UNEG experiences during sessions. As the UNEG Vice Chair for the evaluation function, Indran updated participants on the status of the UNEG-DAC peer reviews. As Chair of the UNWOMEN Peer Review panel, Indran shared the findings and recommendations of the Peer Review of the Evaluation Function of UN Women to the UN Women Global Evaluation Committee. Deborah Rugg (UNEG Chair) provided the keynote address and presented the newly adopted UNGA Resolution on “Capacity building for Evaluation of Development activities at the Country-level”.

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Assessment of Development Results – Uruguay

The Uruguay ADR stakeholder workshop was held in Montevideo from 1-2 December 2014 to discuss evaluation conclusions and recommendations with the key stakeholders. The scope of the ADR covers the last 7.5 years of the country office activities in Uruguay (2007-2014). Indran Naidoo (Director, IEO) and Roberto La Rovere (Evaluation Manager) were joined by ADR evaluation team consultants, Uruguayan Agency for International Cooperation, UN Country Team, Country Office team and other national counterparts including the reference group members. It is also the first time that IEO’s Evaluation Advisory Panel member Miguel Székely joined a stakeholder meeting and provided valuable inputs and comments. Denise Cook (Resident Representative) highlighted that the ADR process was very satisfactory due to its rigorous methodology and the wide participation of Government counterparts, civil society, donors, academics and UNCT contributed to the legitimacy of its results. She also pointed out that the evaluation will be valuable for the preparation of the new UNDAF and Country Programme Document and the dialogue process with government counterparts during the upcoming transition process.

UNGA Resolution “Capacity building for Evaluation of Development activities at the Country-level”

On 13 November 2014, a landmark, stand-alone UN Resolution on national evaluation capacity development was adopted by the Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly. UNGA Resolution A/RES/69/237 was presented to the Committee by Fiji, and supported at global and country level by the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) and national evaluation partners around the world. It received very strong cross-regional sponsorship from more than 48 countries and a general consensus recognizing evaluation capacity as a country-level tool to strengthen evidence-based policy making. Watch the resolution being adopted.

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On 17 December 2014, UNEG celebrated the adoption of the resolution where Peter Thomson, (Ambassador, Fiji Mission to the United Nations), Deborah Rugg (UNEG Chair & OIOS Evaluation Director) and Marco Segone (EvalPartners co-chair & UN Women Evaluation Director) lit the International Year Evaluation (EvalYear) torch to begin its journey. The torch was then passed on to Evaluation Directors - Indran Naidoo (UNDP), Colin Kirk (UNICEF), Scott Green (OCHA), Andrea Cook (UNFPA) as well as Navid Hanif (Director, ECOSOC/UNDESA), Rafael Lourenço Beleboni (Mission of Brazil), Peni Suveinakama (Mission of Fiji) and Vincent Herlihy (Mission of Ireland). The next stop for the torch will be India for the Indian Evaluation Week scheduled in New Delhi on 19-23 January.

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Country Level Evaluations for 2015 have been selected!

The UNDP country level evaluations (Assessment of Development Results- ADRs) which are carried out by IEO have been selected for 2015. Selection of the countries was based on those with country programmes ending in 2016 and from discussions with senior management from the UNDP regional bureaux. 2015 will emphasize on African countries in a deliberate attempt to increase IEO's evaluation coverage in the region. ADRs are not only important for accountability and learning at the country level but they are also the building blocks for IEO's thematic evaluations. Find out which countries IEO will be evaluating!

FEATURED VIDEO
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IPDET 2014 Guest Lecture

As shared in the August newsletter, Indran Naidoo (Director, IEO) instructed at the 2014 International Programme for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) in July 2014 in Ottawa, Canada. Indran presented a lecture on “Independence, Credibility and Use". He shared experiences of the IEO and UNEG in evaluation, emphasizing the importance of ensuring independence, credibility, and utility in evaluation. The video of his lecutre is now available.

NEW PRODUCTS
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Occasional Paper : Fast-Forwarding Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment - Reflections on Measuring Change for UNDP's Thematic Evaluation on Gender Mainstreaming and Gender Equality 2008-2013

This is the first in the series of IEO's occasional papers. It was commissioned as a thought piece designed to spark reflection and debate on the design of the Thematic Evaluation on Gender Mainstreaming and Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (concept note). The paper features three sections: firstly, a historical overview of the emergence of gender considerations in international development; secondly, an outline of gender mainstreaming in UNDP as a tool to fast-forward gender equality and women’s empowerment; and lastly key challenges, tools, and methods to measure complex changes in gender equality and women’s empowerment. Taken together, the aim is to stimulate brainstorming on diverse possibilities for measuring components of gender equality, women’s rights, and women’s empowerment, grounded in feminist analysis. A wide range of tools and methods are shared that could be used to capture more nuanced social and structural changes in women’s and men’s lives.It was written by Alexandra Pittman (Founder, AVP Global Consulting, LLC) and the methodologist for the evaluation. Read the paper and watch Alexandra explain what led her to write this paper.

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Occasional Paper: A Framework for a Systematic Assessment of Interventions on Access to Water and Sanitation: UNDP’s Every Drop Matters Programme

Every Drop Matters (EDM), a partnership between the UNDP and The Coca-Cola Company, works to improve water supplies and sanitation, and to promote responsible water resource management. It joins forces with government and non-governmental organizations to promote sustainable, cost effective and replicable ways of managing water. In 2013, EDM asked IEO to help assess its own impacts to date and help develop a system to document and monitor impacts of EDM interventions over time. The IEO proposed an incremental approach to first clarify the issues and obtain quick, qualitative data about EDM's impacts. To assess change rapidly, a quick impact assessment was conducted to generate early findings and lessons and to test a monitoring system of EDM achievements with a view to generating data for a more comprehensive and rigorous studies of EDM interventions. Between 2007 and 2011, EDM implemented 17 projects in nine countries and reports that it has provided over 513,000 people with access to clean water sources, reaching over 477,000 people by raising their awareness of the responsible use of water. This paper specifically discusses EDM project sites in Europe and the CIS region since the partnership was first designed as a regional initiative in that region in 2007. While this paper does not delve into the specific results of the assessment it refers to it to suggest a set of recommendations of a programmatic nature for EDM-type projects. It was written by Roberto La Rovere (Evaluation Specialist, IEO), Olivier Cossée (Evaluation Advisor, IEO) & Bogachan Benli (EDM Global Programme Manager, UNDP Regional Bureau of East Europe and CIS). Read the paper and watch the short video!

Armenia ADR

Assessment of Development Results – Armenia

This is the first ADR assessment of UNDP’s contribution to Armenia, and it covers the period 2005–2013. The collapse of the Soviet Union led to profound economic and societal changes in Armenia. Since the country’s independence in 1991, UNDP’s programme in Armenia has been closely aligned with national plans and priorities and also with UNDP’s mandate to support human development and address poverty and inequalities. Conclusions and recommendations of the evaluation were presented at a stakeholder workshop in Yerevan on 15 October 2014. Over 70 stakeholders attended the workshop to discuss the evaluation and the management response provided by UNDP Armenia on the role and future contribution of UNDP in the context of the next country programme, 2016–2020. The report is available here and the Evaluation Manager for ADR Armenia is Ana Rosa Soares.

COMING SOON
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Assessment of Development Results – Algeria

This is the first ADR assessment of UNDP’s contribution to Algeria. ADRs generally cover two country programme cycles. However, as a result of the terrorist attack on UNDP premises in December 2007 and its consequences, the ADR for Algeria looked at the period from 2009 to 2013. The aim of the evaluation is to identify progress made towards achieving the expected results in the programme cycles in question; analyse how UNDP Algeria is positioned, particularly in the post-terrorist attack context, to provide added value to the efforts made by the country in terms of development; and present the conclusions and the recommendations that will feed into the new programming frameworks of UNDP and the next country programme, scheduled to start in 2015. This evaluation is due in March 2015.

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Assessment of Development Results – Uruguay

According to income thresholds established by the World Bank, Uruguay has reached a high-income country status, with a per capita income of US$13,580, the second highest in South America. The country has recently experienced remarkable growth rates, with an average of 5.6% between 2004 and 2013, and an outstanding 8.9% in 2010 and 6.5% in 2011. The ADR assesses two country programme cycles: The current (2011-2015) and the former (2007-2009) country programme in order to consider the implementation period of the Delivering as One (DaO) initiative. The evaluation analyses a sample of projects and activities spanning from the cycle before the current, going back in some cases even to 2004, when the country underwent certain political changes. The evaluation is focused on UNDP’s accountability regarding a set of results and on valuing its performance concerning such result. This evaluation is due in March 2015.

ABOUT THE INDEPENDENT EVALUATION OFFICE RESOURCES
At UNDP, evaluation is critical in helping countries achieve the simultaneous eradication of poverty and significant reduction of inequalities and exclusion.

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reports to the UNDP Executive Board. The IEO is governed by the organization's Evaluation Policy and the UNDP Executive Board is the custodian of the policy. The core function of the IEO is to conduct two types of independent evaluations: thematic and programmatic. The IEO also prepares the Annual Report on Evaluation, sets standards and guidelines on evaluation, monitors compliance on evaluation and shares lessons for improved programming. IEO hosts and supports the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) Secretariat and actively participates in UNEG to strengthen coherence, quality and innovation of evaluation across the UN system. Visit our website at www.undp.org/evaluation for more information.

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