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Director's Desk


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Indran Naidoo is the Director of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a post he assumed in January 2012. The IEO is the largest evaluation office in the United Nations globally. It serves as the Secretariat of the UN Evaluation Group (UNEG). As an independent position, and in accordance with the evaluation policy and its principles he reports directly to the Executive Board (representing 170 countries and territories) on the performance of the organization. The substantive work of the office is overseen by the Independent Audit and Evaluation Advisory Committee and methodological oversight provided by the International Evaluation Advisory Panel. The IEO has produced during his tenure over 60 books, publications, corporate and country level evaluations that is the largest repository of development intervention evaluations in the UN. He has presented papers and participated in panels on evaluation and development platforms across the globe and serves as academic advisor.

Indran brought substantial professional and academic experience to the IEO, having held oversight leadership positions for 22 years, as South Africa`s 1st Director of M&E in the National Department of Land Affairs in 1995 which was meant to oversee the democratic imperative of the land reform program. In 2000 he was promoted to the country`s constitutional independent oversight body, the Public Service Commission (PSC) where he served for 12 years across the institutions accountability portfolio, in positions from Chief Director to Deputy Director General for both Leadership and Management Practices and Monitoring and Evaluation, until Acting Director General when he joined the UN. During this period he fostered a culture of M&E in the country and internationally through developing evaluation associations and networks, presenting evaluation as a normative benefit for good governance, accountability, transparency and democracy, and was known for leadership roles as founding board member of the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA), conference co-chair for the 3rd African Evaluation Association and Board member of the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS). At the teaching level he designed and offered courses of the work of the PSC as instructor and guest speaker for 8 years at the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET).

At the IEO major advancements to the function have been made; the office has transitioned to a fully professionalized evaluation model delivered through 21 professionals in an office representing 25 nations with substantive, language and experience diversity. The work is presented globally through its independent website, the office has a dedicated and board approved budget, reports are customized for global and differentiated access, and all work is advised by the international evaluation advisory panel. Boundaries have been pushed and new fronts developed through thought leadership on evaluation and development, collaborative work undertake with the Office of Audit and Investigations and significantly the National Evaluation Capacity series since 2013 moved to become the most diverse and largest (by country participation) international evaluation conferences with government, partners and professionals to date.

Indran holds academic graduate and post-degrees in English, Geography, Education Evaluation. He began as an educator, with a B. Paed (Arts), B.A. (Hons) in Geography degree from the University of KwaZulu Natal and Bachelor of Education (Curriculum Development) from the University of South Africa. He was awarded a Master’s degree in Geography from West Virginia University (USA) and completed a PhD in Evaluation from the University of Witwatersrand. He received several academic honours, awards and scholarships; key of which was his selection for the prestigious Abe Bailey Fellowship, participation in the Senior Executive management courses in educational management at Oxford University and Senior Executive Programme at the Harvard (USA) and Wits (SA) Business Schools, all of which were in-residence.

Remarks to the UNDP Executive Board Sessions UNDP Executive Board session on Joint Assessment of Institutional Effectiveness of UNDP, June 2017 IPDET 2016 Guest Speaker - Ethics, independence and credibility for evaluation professionals UNDP Executive Board - Remark on Annual Report on Evaluation, June 2017 EvalYear 2015, Webinar at the Fletcher School, Tufts University-Future Opportunities & Challenges for Evaluation at UNDP EvalYear 2015, Webinar at the Fletcher School, Tufts University-"Future Opportunities & Challenges for Evaluation at UNDP" EvalYear 2015, Webinar at  the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University – Can Evaluations Lead to Change? EvalYear 2015, Webinar at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University – "Can Evaluations Lead to Change?" Remarks to the UNDP Executive Board Sessions Remarks to the UNDP Executive Board Sessions - January 31, 2017 IPDET 2016 Guest Speaker - Ethics, independence and credibility for evaluation professionals IPDET 2016 Guest Speaker - "Ethics, independence and credibility for evaluation professionals" IPDET 2015 Guest Speaker - Professionalization for utility, with credibility through independence IPDET 2015 Guest Speaker - "Professionalization for utility, with credibility through independence" EvalYear 2015, Webinar at the Fletcher School, Tufts University-Future Opportunities & Challenges for Evaluation at UNDP EvalYear 2015, Webinar at the Fletcher School, Tufts University-"Future Opportunities & Challenges for Evaluation at UNDP" EvalYear 2015, Webinar at  the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University – Can Evaluations Lead to Change? EvalYear 2015, Webinar at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University – "Can Evaluations Lead to Change?" UNEG Lessons and Insights Series - Evaluation should aim to change peoples lives UNEG Lessons and Insights Series -" Evaluation should aim to change people’s lives" 2014 Evaluation Practice Exchange (EPE) UNEG- Engaging governments improves evaluation policies and national capacity 2014 Evaluation Practice Exchange (EPE) UNEG- "Engaging governments improves evaluation policies and national capacity" Engagement with International Program for Development Evaluation Training , Guest Lecture at IPDET, 2014 Engagement with International Program for Development Evaluation Training , Guest Lecture at IPDET, 2014 The importance of leadership in developing national capacity, Brazil Network Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil The importance of leadership in developing national M&E capacity, Brazil M&E Network Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,2012 Certification and the need to institutionalize the evaluation function ,IDRC Anniversary Panel, IPDET Conference, Ottawa, Canada, 2010 Certification and the need to institutionalize the evaluation function ,IDRC Anniversary Panel, IPDET Conference, Ottawa, Canada, 2010 Monitoring and Evaluation in South Africa, REDLACME Conference, Bogotá, Colombia, 2009 Monitoring and Evaluation in South Africa, REDLACME Conference, Bogotá, Colombia, 2009 Evaluation of Climate Change as a Key Development Issue, February 2014 Evaluation of Climate Change as a Key Development Issue, February 2014 Credibility of  Evaluation, 3rd NEC Conference, Bankok, Thailand, October 2013 Credibility of Evaluation, 3rd NEC Conference, Bankok, Thailand, October 2013 Comprehensive Evaluation Panel, EES Conference, 2012 Comprehensive Evaluation Panel, EES Conference, 2012 Tangible outcomes for citizens through government coordination, SABC PSC Interview, November 2010 Tangible outcomes for citizens through government coordination, SABC PSC Interview, November 2010 UNEG Strategic Objective one Improving Evaluation Function of the UN, Bangkok, Thailand, 2014 UNEG Strategic Objective one: Improving Evaluation Function of the UN, Bangkok, Thailand, 2014