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Independent Evaluation Office

At UNDP, evaluation is critical in helping countries achieve the simultaneous eradication of poverty and significant reduction of inequalities and exclusion. By generating objective evidence, evaluation helps UNDP achieve greater accountability and facilitates improved learning from past experience. The evaluations conducted by the UNDP fall into two categories: independent evaluations conducted by the Independent Evaluation Office and decentralized evaluations commissioned by programme units including country offices, regional bureaus and practice and policy bureaus.

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) 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 Independent Evaluation Office is to conduct independent thematic and programmatic evaluations. The Independent Evaluation Office also prepares the Annual Report on Evaluation, sets standards and guidelines on evaluation, monitors compliance on evaluation and shares lessons for improved programming.


The Independent Evaluation Office is a functionally independent unit within UNDP that supports the oversight and accountability functions of the Executive Board and the management of UNDP, UNCDF and UNV. The structural independence of the Office underpins and guarantees its freedom to conduct evaluations and report evaluation results to the Executive Board.

The main role of Office is to conduct independent evaluations according to the plans and costed programmes of work approved by the Executive Board. The work of the Office includes:

  1. Developing evaluation standards, procedures, criteria and methodological guidance for UNDP evaluations, and contributing to innovation in evaluation methodology and dissemination of good practices;
  2. Conducting thematic programmatic and other independent evaluations, ensuring strategic and representative coverage of UNDP programmes and results against national, regional and global scales;
  3. Providing UNDP and its development partners with timely knowledge and lessons drawn from evaluations that can feed into development programming at global, regional and country levels;
  4. Assessing the quality of decentralized evaluations of UNDP, UNCDF and UNV, and monitoring compliance with best international evaluation and data collection standards, including the UNEG norms and standards, code of conduct and ethical guidelines;
  5. Maintaining a searchable, publicly accessible repository of all UNDP, UNCDF and UNV evaluations, and respective management responses and resulting actions;
  6. Supporting the development of communities of practice, and partnering with professional evaluation networks to improve evaluation utility and credibility;
  7. Supporting the harmonization of the evaluation function in the United Nations system, including contributing to the annual work programme of UNEG, participating in system-wide evaluations, and prioritizing joint evaluations with United Nations organizations;
  8. Promoting national ownership and leadership in evaluation through country-led and joint evaluations.

Director, Independent Evaluation Office

The Independent Evaluation Office is led by a Director who is responsible for ensuring its independence, as well as the impartiality and credibility of its work; and who reports directly to and is accountable to the UNDP Executive Board.

The Director manages the Office in accordance with UNEG norms and standards and UNDP policies and procedures, securing structural and operational independence.

In all aspects of his or her work, the Director of the Independent Evaluation Office shall operate within the rules and regulations of the UNDP, and in accordance with United Nations standards of conduct for the International Civil Service, United Nations staff regulations and rules, and UNEG norms and standards.

The Director has the freedom to engage directly with external stakeholders in the course of implementing this policy, in accordance with United Nations standards of conduct for the International Civil Service.

The roles and responsibilities of the Director include:

  1. Periodically manage the process of revising this policy at the request of the Executive Board, in consultation with UNDP management;
  2. Manage the Office and its budget in a fiscally responsible manner, including contributions from partners;
  3. Manage recruitment of staff for the Office in line with UNDP recruitment procedures and UNEG competencies for evaluators, and take the final decision on selection of staff;
  4. After consultation with UNDP management, present to the Executive Board a multi-year evaluation plan aligned with the UNDP strategic planning cycle: the programme of work is to be adjusted annually through a costed programme of work presented to the Executive Board in the annual reports on evaluation;
  5. Annually report to the Executive Board on the status of the evaluation function under this policy, including key issues for consideration by the Board derived from independent evaluations carried out;
  6. Regularly alert UNDP senior management to emerging evaluation-related issues of institutional significance, without taking part in decision-making;
  7. Set evaluation standards, procedures and criteria, approve methodological guidance on UNDP evaluations, and ensure the availability of evaluation quality assessment mechanisms so as to continuously improve and enhance the quality, credibility and utility of UNDP evaluations;
  8. Have the final say on the content and release of evaluations carried out by the Office, in accordance with UNDP Executive Board decisions (evaluation reports will be issued under the imprimatur of the Office); and
  9. Ensure that evaluation in UNDP contributes to and remains consistent with United Nations policy and reforms.

Appointment of the Director, Independent Evaluation Office

The appointment of the Director is the responsibility of the Administrator, in consultation with the Executive Board, taking into account the advice of the Audit and Evaluation Advisory Committee.

The appointment of the Director is the responsibility of the Administrator, in consultation with the Executive Board, taking into account the advice of the Audit and Evaluation Advisory Committee.

  1. Selection will be based on professional evaluation expertise and competence, as defined in the UNEG guidelines and competency framework for heads of evaluation; and
  2. A full disclosure, in writing, shall be made to the Bureau of the Executive Board, outlining the selection criteria and process.

The term of appointment of the Director is limited to a single, five-year term, non-renewable and barring re-entry to UNDP.

Dismissal of the Director due to poor performance, misconduct or malfeasance, shall follow UNDP policies and procedures, after consultation with the Executive Board through its Bureau. The Director cannot be dismissed for public statements made in the conduct of his or her work, consistent with UNDP staff rules and regulations and the United Nations standards of conduct for the International Civil Service.