IEO @UNDP Quarter 2 Newsletter Issue: June 2015 FROM THE DIRECTOR'S DESK As we are now in week 28 of 2015 — it is a good moment to set aside some

IEO @UNDP Quarter 2 Newsletter Issue: June 2015

As we are now in week 28 of 2015 — it is a good moment to set aside some time to reflect on how our year has been going so far. This year IEO has produced some critical evaluations and in this edition of the newsletter it gives me great pleasure to share with you our comprehensive evaluations on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Human Development Reports (HDRs) which cover a period 12 and 10 years respectively. These evaluations provided key lessons that can help the organization become more robust and stronger. The UNDP Executive Board accepted the evaluations with their management responses and both evaluations will serve useful as we move into the era of the Sustainable Development Goals.

I would also like to share with you the illustrated Annual Report on Evaluation, which provides detailed insights into the evaluation activities at UNDP, UNCDF and UNV in 2014. I envision this report being utilized as an input to strategic decision-making processes and for mutual dialogue on strengthening contributions to development efforts. In order for IEO to provide these comprehensive and credible evaluations our Evaluation Advisory Panel (EAP) has proven beneficial to bring increased transparency and rigor. I look forward to the next half of 2014 which holds the next round of evaluations and the Fourth International Conference on the National Evaluation Capacities in store.

-- Indran Naidoo, Director, IEO UNDP


EvalYear Journey

To celebrate the International Year of Evaluation (EvalYear), IEO has embarked on a journey to share its knowledge, expertise and lessons to bring about awareness on evaluation which was summed up in an infographic. This journey began with its first stop at the Fletcher School, Tufts University in Boston where Indran Naidoo (Director, IEO) presented on Future Opportunities & Challenges for Evaluation at UNDP. He elaborated on emerging trends, practices and challenges for integrating useful, high-quality evaluation into UNDP programming. The talk also touched on how these factors impact emerging evaluators and what skills and experience they should seek to play a role in this field. If you missed the webinar watch the replay and use #IEOjourney to follow the journey on Twitter.

Evaluation Advisory Panel (EAP) Week

The 2015 EAP week was held from 4-7 May 2015 in New York with a programme structured around several full-panel sessions on the most pressing issues in evaluation relevant to IEO's work. Strategic sessions were geared towards IEO’s projects, while several other training and outreach sessions were opened to UNDP colleagues and external stakeholders. The latter tackled topics including big data, complexity, and unintended outcomes. Strategic sessions with IEO staff focused on ongoing thematic evaluations and other IEO initiatives central to the office’s programme of work. The final plenary discussion recapped the week’s meetings and discussed IEO’s strategic direction in the coming year.


Thematic Evaluation Stakeholder Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

The stakeholder workshop on the Evaluation of UNDP contribution to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment took place on 28 May 2015 in New York. From IEO, Chandi Kadirgamar (Evaluation Manager) and the Director joined colleagues from the Regional Bureax of UNDP, Executive Office and the Development Impact Group. The objective of the workshop was to discuss key findings and engage with key stakeholders on the way forward. Participants provided detailed feedback and highlighted areas of further clarification to be addressed in the final version of the report. Overall, there was agreement that the evaluation has provided evidence-based conclusions and developed interesting evaluation instruments to assess the quality and effectiveness of gender results. IEO was appreciated for conducting this evaluation in a collaborative and participatory manner which was seen as integral to undertaking an assessment of gender which often touches on sensitive issues that are difficult to measure.


UNDP Executive Board Annual Session

The UNDP Executive Board took place on 5 June 2015 in New York and the IEO presented 4 items: (i) Revised Evaluation Policy; (ii) 2014 Annual Report on Evaluation; (iii) Evaluation of the Role of UNDP in Supporting National Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals; and (iv) Evaluation of the Contribution of the Global and Regional Human Development Reports to Public Policy Processes. Statements from IEO were followed by the management response on each agenda item.
Evaluation Policy: IEO Statement I Management Response I Video
Annual Report on Evaluation: IEO Statement I Management Response I Video
MDG & HDR Thematic Evaluations: IEO Statement I Management Response I Video


18th meeting of the DAC Network on Development Evaluation

The 18th DAC evaluation network meeting was held from 15-16 June 2015 in Paris and brought together professional evaluators and managers from 34 OECD member countries, multilateral development banks and agencies. The agenda covered evaluation priorities and topics on governance, capacity development, future evaluation priorities, evidence needs, evaluating public goods and multilateral evaluation issues along with events updates. As vice-chair of UNEG Indran provided a status report on the ongoing collaboration between UNEG and OECD-DAC on peer reviews of evaluation functions along with the new UNEG co-chair, Riitta Oksanen. He also provided an update on the Fourth National Evaluation Capacity Conference which will be held 26-30 October in Bangkok.


DFID's EvalYear Event

DFID’s 2015 Year of Evaluation event on Maximizing the Value of Evaluations – Using Evidence to Learn and Adapt was held on 18 June 2015 in London. This 1-day workshop welcomed the EvalYear torch and the Director attended on behalf of IEO. The programme for the day consisted of a high-level panel, led by DFID’s Chief Economist Stefan Dercon, that looked at what it takes for a development organisation to be effective at learning from evaluation. In the following sessions, partner organisations and DFID staff shared their experiences about the role of evidence in adaptive programming following a session on innovative approaches to increasing the value of evaluations.

UNDP Africa Annual Meeting 2015

46 UNDP Resident Representatives (RRs), Country Directors and Deputy RRs met in Antananarivo at the Regional Bureau for Africa's Cluster Meeting from 21-24 June 2015. They discussed the conditions for Africa’s emergence and how to best equip UNDP to boost that agenda. IEO participated in the meeting where the overall objective was to bolster UNDP’s position as a partner of choice as countries across Africa work to take on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda.


The meeting provided an opportunity to reflect on institutional capacities, Regional and Country Office level, to support programme countries in line with their national development priorities, the SDGs, the vision for an integrated, peaceful and prosperous Africa and the UNDP Strategic Plan. Watch Abdoulaye Mar Dieye (Director, UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa) talk about the objectives and achievements of this UNDP Africa Annual Meeting.


IPDET 2015

Indran Naidoo was invited by Ray Rist (co-director, IPDET) as a guest speaker at the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) on 30 June 2015 in Ottawa. Indran presented on professionalization for utility, with credibility through independence and highlighted that for evaluation to be taken seriously it needs to distinguish itself as a profession requiring policies, strategies and practices that bring change at the agency and staff level.


Enter the IEO book addicts sweepstakes for a chance to win a free copy of Evaluating Environment in International Development! This book provides international perspectives and in-depth knowledge of evaluating development and the environment. It was edited by Juha Uitto (former Deputy Director of IEO, UNDP/ present Director of IEO, GEF) and applies evaluation knowledge to climate change mitigation and adaptation. A must have for all book addicts! Subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Twitter and enter by 28 July 2015.


Annual Report on Evaluation - 2014

2014 was a critical year for the IEO, even beyond carrying out independent evaluations. This illustrated 2014 Annual Report on Evaluation explores key activities, challenges and actions, lessons learned and progress made by the IEO, UNDP and the evaluation units of the associated funds and programmes, UNCDF and UNV in fulfilling the evaluation function outlined in the UNDP evaluation policy.
Illustrated Version I Interactive Version I Project Manager: Fumika Ouchi


Evaluation of the Role of UNDP in Supporting National Achievement of the MDGs

With the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) transitioning to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this evaluation provides the potential to extract lessons learned for the post-2015 global development agenda. The objectives of the evaluation were to (i) assess the results achieved by UNDP in supporting national achievement of the MDGs (ii) identify the factors that affected UNDP contribution and performance, including: strengths and weaknesses, threats and opportunities, and the decisions, strategies and approaches that worked and did not; and (iii) provide strategic recommendations for fine tuning the institutional strategy of support to the post-2015 agenda.
Illustrated Summary I Report I Webinar Replay I Evaluation Manager: Olivier Cossee


Evaluation of the Contribution of UNDP Global and Regional HDRs to the Public Policy Processes

UNDP launched its first global Human Development Report (HDR) in 1990 to raise awareness and generate debate on public issues and concerns. This evaluation was the first such evaluation carried out by IEO to assess the global and regional HDRs’ contributions to public policy processes. In approving the evaluation, the UNDP Executive Board recognized the important contribution of HDRs to public debate and public policy. The objectives of the evaluation were to: (i) guide UNDP in refining its intellectual contribution to development though the HDRs, and; (ii) hold UNDP accountable for the use of its human and financial resources in preparing and disseminating the HDRs.
Illustrated Summary I Report I Evaluation Manager: Vijayalakshmi Vadivelu


Assessment of Development Results – Malaysia

This is the first assessment of UNDP’s contribution to Malaysia. The evaluation covers the period of programming between 2008 and 2014, and examines this country office’s contribution to development results in Malaysia by assessing its programmatic areas. Malaysia is an upper middle-income country that is aiming attain to high-income country status by the end of this decade, in line with Malaysia’s Vision 2020, which has been guiding development policy since 1991. The next five years leading up to Vision 2020 will be crucial for Malaysia, as it ramps up its trajectory to achieve its objectives as stated in Vision 2020. The conclusions and recommendations of the ADR will serve as the starting point.
Report I Evaluation Manager: Heather Bryant


Assessment of Development Results – Iraq

This is the first assessment of UNDP's contribution to the Republic of Iraq. It covers the period between 2008 and 2013 including the 2008 to 2010 period when UNDP had not yet developed its own country programme and instead had lead responsibility in the integrated UN assistance framework (the United Nations Iraq Assistance Strategy programme). The evaluation also includes the 2011–2014 UNDP country programme cycle.The evaluation covers the period when the UN in general, and UNDP in particular, had access to vast reconstruction and development funds— the implementation of the United Nations Development Group Iraq Trust Fund.
Report I Evaluation Managers: Vijayalakshmi Vadivelu & Masahiro Igarashi


Fourth International Conference on National Evaluation Capacities (NEC)

The bi-annual NEC conferences are part of an IEO strategy to support the development of national evaluation capacity, but distinguishes itself as it focuses on supporting the governments UNDP works with across the globe. The UNDP has partnered with the Royal Thai Government to co-host the Fourth International Conference on NEC. The conference will take place from 26-30 October 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand and the theme of this conference is Blending Evaluation Principles with Development Practices to Change People's Lives. Conference discussions will deliberate on future priorities for a global evaluation agenda for 2016 - 2020 to help evaluate the new sustainable development goals and agenda for 2016 - 2030. The conference will be co-jointly organized in parallel with the Fourth Global Assembly of the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS). There will be two days of joint pre-conference workshops and three days of conference with joint plenaries and key note addresses, but separate parallel sessions.
Concept Note I Programme I Website I Project Manager: Ana Rosa Soares

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Assessment of Development Results (ADR) – Tanzania

This is the first ADR in Tanazania, conducted by IEO in 2014. The objectives of the ADR were to support UNDP’s accountability to national stakeholders and partners in the programme country; strengthen its accountability to the Executive Board; and support the development of the new country programme document for UNDP Tanzania. The ADR was carried out in collaboration with the Government of Tanzania, UNDP Tanzania country office and the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa. The ADR examined the country programme for the two programme cycles, 2007-2010/11 and 2011-2015/16. This report is due in August 2015. Evaluation Manager: Fumika Ouchi

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Joint GEF-UNDP Evaluation of the Small Grants Programme

The Joint GEF-UNDP Small Grants Programme (SGP) Evaluation completed in 2008 was crucial in shaping the way forward for the SGP, and provided the foundation for the implementation of several important changes, some of which were essential for making the broadening of the programme to more countries possible. The Joint GEF-UNDP SGP will assess the extent to which the most important recommendations and related GEF Council decisions progress have been implemented, the factors that have affected their implementation and the extent to which recommendations and Council decisions remain pertinent in light of current and future situations. The Joint GEF-UNDP SGP Evaluation, will also look at trends concerning networking, management, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), focal area and capacity development, linking these to observed achievements on the ground. This report is due in September 2015.
Concept Note I Evaluation Managers: Heather Bryant, IEO, UNDP & Carlo Carugi, IEO, GEF

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Evaluation of UNDP Contribution to Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment

Gender equality remains an unfulfilled promise that affects all humanity. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights set out the fundamental bases of universal freedoms, equality, and rights in 1948. Since then nine treaties and optional protocols have been developed covering specific human rights protections, creating a comprehensive normative human rights legal framework. The 1970s and 1980s saw discussions in civil society, governments, and United Nations agencies that focused on increasing attention, protection mechanisms, and resources dedicated to advance women’s equity and social justice. UNDP has been in the forefront of responding to these developments since the 1970s. This is the second evaluation of UNDP’s contribution to gender equality and women’s empowerment which picks up the thread from 2008 and traces the implementation of UNDP’s first Gender Equality Strategy (GES) which concluded in 2013. This report is due in September 2015. Concept Note I Evaluation Manager: Chandi Kadirgamar

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 for more information.

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