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Director's Desk


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Dr. Indran Naidoo is the Director of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) since January 2012. He heads the largest evaluation office in the United Nations system globally, and serves as a Vice Chair of the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG), a professional network for evaluators.

Over the past 25 years, Indran has provided thought leadership through his oversight positions and used effective networking to build evaluation professionalism and capacity. Promoting evaluation as a critical element for advancing public sector transparency and accountability, and consolidating the independence of evaluation systems for a more credible and useful role, has been central to his work.

As head of the IEO, he has overseen a significant reform of the evaluation function at UNDP, strengthening independence in the functioning of the office, and embedded a professional staff-led model. These measures entrenched the credibility of IEO work, increased global coverage, and prominence and visibility of the function. The IEO has conducted and presented evaluations to governments, donors, and other development stakeholders across the globe, with over 100 publications in the past seven years. Indran has spearheaded the National Evaluation Capacity Conference series, the largest and most geographically diverse evaluation congregation of the government and other evaluation actors globally, advancing key evaluation and development issues, including the SDG agenda since its adoption. Five National Evaluation Capacity Conferences have cumulatively engaged government representatives, other practitioners, and global and regional evaluation networks from over 150 countries.

Indran began his career as a senior educator and held various oversight positions in South Africa since 1995, where he was appointed in the post-democratic era as the Director of the country`s first Monitoring and Evaluation unit, in the National Department of Land Affairs. In 2000, he was appointed as the Chief Director and subsequently served both as the Deputy-Director General: Leadership and Management Practices and the Deputy-Director General: Monitoring and Evaluation at the Public Service Commission (PSC), an independent constitutional body of the country. During his tenure he was centrally involved in the design and implementation of various monitoring, evaluation and oversight systems, all towards the realization of transparency, citizen engagement and accountability of the public sector.

A founding and elected Board member of the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA), he led three successful SAMEA conferences. He was elected to the Board of the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS), and since 2009 continues to serve as a visiting faculty of the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET).

Indran holds a PhD (Evaluation - University of Witwatersrand, South Africa). His other degrees include a Masters in Geography (with a distinction from the West Virginia University, USA), Bachelor Degree in Geography (Hons, University of KwaZulu Natal) and Bachelor Degree in Education (Curriculum Development, University of South Africa). His Bachelor of Pedagogy degree, a professional teacher education at the graduate level, was in English and Geography (University of KwaZulu Natal).

Over the years Indran has been a received of several coveted leadership awards, academic distinctions, and scholarships, these include the Outstanding Alumni Award (West Virginia University, 2018), Abe Baily Fellowship (1984) and Senior Executive Program at the Harvard and Witwatersrand Business Schools. He has made several presentation and key note address in areas of oversight and accountability, education, development studies, geography and evaluation and has published widely.

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