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Director's Desk


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Dr. Indran Naidoo was appointed as Director of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in January 2012. The IEO is the largest evaluation office in the United Nations globally, and serves as the Secretariat of the professional evaluator network for all UN evaluation offices; the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG). Indran serves as one of its Vice Chairs, responsible for the areas of SDGs, gender, culture, humanitarian and system-wide evaluation.

As part of the oversight architecture of the UNDP, Indran reports directly and is accountable to the Executive Board, which approves the work plan and budget of the office. He was responsible for the development of a new evaluation policy for UNDP. The IEO is responsible for all independent country program evaluations (150 countries), corporate evaluations and evaluation capacity development. The IEO also supports and quality assesses the UNDP self-evaluations. The work of the IEO is informed by an International Evaluation Advisory Panel and is periodically further appraised by the independent Audit and Evaluation Advisory Committee of the UNDP.

Over the past 22 years, Indran has advanced the evaluation function internationally by providing thought leadership through management, networking, teaching, and developing evaluation approaches and systems. He views evaluation as critical for advancing public sector reform by improving transparency and accountability, and his work has focused on consolidating the independence of evaluation systems for more effective credibility and usefulness.

As head of the IEO, Indran has overseen a significant reform of the evaluation function at UNDP, moving the office towards full independence and using a IEO-led (professional evaluator) model. This has advanced the credibility and utility of IEO work, and increased global coverage. During his tenure, the IEO has conducted and presented to governments, donors, and stakeholders across the globe over 50 books, publications, as well as corporate and country level evaluations. This work has produced the largest repository of development intervention evaluations in the UN, resulting in changes to UNDP policies and operations. Indran has lead the National Evaluation Capacity conference series of UNDP, which contributed to the advancement of the M&E culture globally.

Prior to joining UNDP, Indran served as senior educator (English and Geography), and held various oversight positions in South Africa. Starting in 1995, he served as the country`s first Director for Monitoring and Evaluation in the newly mandated Department of Land Affairs, and subsequently as Chief Director and Deputy Director General for both Leadership and Management Practices and Monitoring and Evaluation at the independent constitutional body of the country, the Public Service Commission (PSC). He advanced the profession by holding elected board positions on the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA) – a legacy and founding member, and leading three successful SAMEA conferences as PSC co-host during his terms. He was also an elected Board member of the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS) and has taught and delivered key note addresses at the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET).

Indran holds graduate and post-degrees in English, Geography, Education and 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 the coveted Abe Bailey Fellowship, representing his university with 14 other South Africa university ambassadors to the United Kingdom in 1984. In 1991, he received a scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree in Geography (West Virginia University-USA) which he obtained with distinction. In 2011, he completed a PhD in Evaluation at the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa). He was selected to participate in a Senior Executive Program at the Harvard and Witwatersrand Business Schools and educational leadership courses at Oxford University. Indran has presented and written papers and articles in the fields of education, geography, development and evaluation and received several academic scholarships and leadership awards.

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