A. Overall Responsibility
As the custodian of the evaluation function, the Evaluation Office (EO) supports the Administrator in his/her substantive accountability function. It contributes to informed decision-making by the Executive Board (EB), managing for development results by the organization and enhancing the evaluation function across the UN system by engaging with partners in the evaluation and development community. In order to fulfill its overall responsibility, EO:
1) Provides systematic assessment of UNDP’s contribution to development results by conducting independent evaluations including global, thematic and strategic evaluations, regional and country programme evaluations, and other evaluations as required.
2) Sets standards and guidelines, and manages the systems for quality assurance and evaluation planning and use. By doing this, EO supports the effective implementation of the UNDP Evaluation Policy (2006) by all parts of the organization, including UNDP Senior Management, programme units (Regional Bureaux, UNDP Country Offices, BDP and BCPR), and the associated funds and programmes. The above units are responsible for commissioning decentralized evaluations as outlined in their respective evaluation plan.
3) Develops and manages the systems, tools and products to support organizational learning, knowledge management and evaluation capacity development.
4) Actively participates in the UN Evaluation Group (UNEG) to strengthen the objectivity, effectiveness and visibility of the evaluation function across the UN system. EO also hosts and supports the UNEG secretariat.
5) Actively engages in partnerships with professional national, regional and global evaluation associations, the Development Assistance Committee Network on Evaluation, the Evaluation Cooperation Group of the multilateral development banks, bilateral donors, and partners in UNDP programme countries to enhance the quality and credibility of evaluation.
EO is based in UNDP’s Headquarters. The evaluation policy stipulates that as an independent office, the EO Director is appointed by the Administrator in consultation with the EB, and reports to the EB through the Administrator. EO is comprised of a Directorate and one evaluation team that are responsible for: 1) global, strategic and thematic evaluations, and 2) regional and country programme evaluations.
All functions of EO are elaborated below:
1. Governance and accountability
2. Conduct of independent evaluations
- Prepares and periodically reviews and updates UNDP’s policy for evaluation;
- Submits its programme of work to the EB for its approval;
- Reports annually to the EB on the function, findings and recommendations of evaluations, on compliance, quality assurance, and follow-up to evaluations conducted by UNDP and its associated funds and programmes;
- Maintains a system to record management responses to all evaluations, called the Evaluation Resource Centre (ERC); and
- Alerts UNDP Senior Management to emerging evaluation-related issues of corporate significance.
3. Quality assurance
- Develops an agenda for independent evaluations, based on consultations with the EB, UNDP Senior Management, the associated funds and programmes and other stakeholders, and in response to emerging issues that the EO may identify;
- Ensures that the independent evaluations provide strategic and representative coverage of UNDP programmes and results; and
- Conducts independent evaluations as outlined in the approved agenda.
4. Knowledge management and dissemination
- Sets evaluation standards for planning, conducting and using evaluations, developing and disseminating methodology and establishing the institutional mechanisms for applying the standards;
- Supports the setting of frameworks and standards for monitoring in the context of the UNDP results-based management system to facilitate the evaluation of programmes and activities; and
- Assures the quality of mandatory decentralized evaluations and supports quality assurance of the evaluations conducted by the associated funds and programmes.
5. Capacity development
- Maintains a publicly accessible repository of evaluations (ERC);
- Distils evaluation findings and lessons for dissemination in appropriate formats for targeted audiences;
- Supports the development of learning groups and communities of practice in evaluation by establishing and supporting knowledge networks (EvalNet);
- Maintains a roster of evaluation experts;
- Manages the development and maintenance of internal and external websites; and
- Manages the publication and dissemination processes of EO products, including evaluation reports, guidelines and handbook.
6. Support to corporate initiatives
- Develops training modules and delivers learning sessions, in particular for Country Offices, in collaboration with the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) and other units and bureaux, to build knowledge of good practice standards and approaches for evaluation in UNDP;
- Provides the Regional Bureaux with technical and advisory services to build their capacity to oversee and support planning, commissioning and using Country Office evaluations; and
- Strengthens programme country evaluation capacity and involvement in evaluations through country-led evaluations, joint evaluations and use of partner country professional resources.
7. United Nations system-wide collaboration
- Supports the organization’s strategy-setting by conducting independent evaluations that provide substantive coverage of the corporate strategy (the Strategic Plan);
- Submits periodic reports on emerging evaluation-related issues of corporate significance to the meetings of UNDP senior management;
- Participates in corporate meetings and provides advice on issues affecting evaluation, such as the development of the corporate accountability framework, oversight policy and other management tools, such as the Balanced Score Card; and
- Develops and maintains the evaluation related sections in the new UNDP prescriptive content as the content owner.
8. External relations/Representation
- Supports the harmonization of the evaluation function across the UN system;
- Ensures that evaluation in UNDP contributes to and remains consistent with the UNEG common set of evaluation norms and standards and other UN policy;
- Supports and participates in joint evaluations;
- Contributes evaluative evidence to system-wide evaluations, such as the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review;
- Drawing from the experience of UNDP and its partners, participates in the exchange of knowledge and discussion of good practices in evaluations for the advancement of the function, science, practice, quality and usefulness of evaluation in the UN system; and
- Hosts and supports the secretariat of the UNEG.
9. Administrative management
- Participates in professional evaluation meetings, conferences and workshops to exchange knowledge with external evaluation professionals and advance the science, practice, quality and usefulness of evaluation in the evaluation and development communities;
- Participates in partnership meetings with donors, provides relevant information to enhance the understanding of the UNDP evaluation function and performance, and seeks opportunities for collaboration and partnership in evaluation;
- Issues periodically e-news to inform UNDP colleagues and external partners about new evaluations and other activities within EO; and
- Engages in resource mobilization efforts.
- Manages EO budget and UNEG resources, including contributions from partners;
- Manages assets and performs local procurement;
- Manages HR, including recruitment (short listing and pre-selection of candidates), travel arrangements for official missions, staffing, workforce/succession planning, performance management, staff well-being, career management, gender balance, learning, organizational development, promotion, rewards and recognition; and
- Maintains the IT platform for the office and provide external technical support to develop tools that pertain to EO’s work (e.g. use of ERC data in the ERBM platform, BSC, etc…).
- Prepares and updates UNDP’s policy for evaluation;
- Develops and submits its programme of work to the Executive Board;
- Reports annually to the Executive Board on evaluation in UNDP;
- Has the authority over all matters related to the conduct of independent evaluations, including the preparation and content of the evaluation and inception reports and the simultaneous issuance of reports to the Executive Board, which would be in the public domain;
- Publishes and disseminates independent evaluation reports;
- Sets evaluation standards and develops guidelines, including the evaluation sections of the UNDP prescriptive content as the content owner, in line with the Norms and Standards for Evaluation in the UN system;
- Alerts senior management on recurring issues from evaluations;
- Maintains a publicly accessible system (ERC) to record evaluation plans, management responses and store evaluations;
- Manages the electronic evaluation knowledge network (EvalNet);
- Signs donor agreements relating to contributions to EO’s work;
- Prepares annual budget requests for EO and approves intra-bureau reprioritization of regular resources from the Biennial Support Budget; and
- Uses resources and manage assets, cash, procurement and accounting in EO in line with the established delegated authority, internal control framework and relevant prescriptive content;
- Approves shortlist of candidates for locally-recruited staff and international positions up to the D1 level; selects candidate for endorsement by Senior Management Team (SMT) or Appointment and Promotion Board (APB), and approval by Associate Administrator or OHR Director;
- Approves positions funded by EO non-core resources;
- Appoints the members of the Career Review Group of the Office and endorses its recommendations for performance evaluation.