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UNDP Evaluation Guidelines

Welcome to the updated UNDP Evaluation Guidelines. The Evaluation guidelines have been updated to reflect a number of changes in UNDP in recent years across evaluation in UNDP and to bring them into line with the new UNDP Strategic Plan, Agenda 2030 and the adoption of the SDGs.

The Evaluation Guidelines give renewed emphasis to the importance of planning for evaluations and ensuring appropriate evaluative coverage of UNDP’s work across our programmes; they provide greater detail on expected roles and responsibilities for evaluation; and include links to examples of good quality evaluations, with a view to strengthening the quality and utility of future decentralized evaluations.

The new UNDP Evaluation guidelines replace the previous Handbook on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluating for Development Results. The UNDP Evaluation guidelines include seven sections, which will be updated regularly to address changes within the organization.


Guidline Section 1
Section 1: Evaluation Function (June 2021)

Section One introduces the updated UNDP Evaluation Guidelines and describes the UNDP evaluation function. The section outlines i) the reasons for updating UNDP’s evaluation guidelines, ii) who the guidelines are for, iii) why UNDP conducts evaluation and iv) the principles that guide evaluation in UNDP, as well as describing v) the UNDP governance structure for evaluation.

Guidline Section 2
Section 2: Decentralised Evaluation in UNDP (June 2021)

Section Two describes the different type of decentralized evaluations carried out by UNDP programme units including detail on the following types of UNDP evaluations UNDAF, Outcome, project, thematic and joint evaluations.

Guidline Section 4
Section 3: Evaluation Planning (June 2021)

Section Three provides guidance for the development of programme evaluation plans, including how to ensure comprehensive evaluation coverage, costing the plan, the plan review and approval process, and the process for revising and updating an evaluation plan.

Guidline Section 4
Section 4: Evaluation Implementation (June 2021)

Section Four provides detailed guidance on the implementation of decentralized evaluations, beginning with the roles and responsibilities, including the role of the evaluation manager as well as other actors. Implementation is detailed across four steps including i) pre-evaluation steps such as checking the evaluability, or readiness for evaluation and ii) evaluation preparation including drafting the terms of reference, iii) Evaluation management, and finally, iv) using the evaluation, including the preparation of evaluation management responses.

Guidline Section 5
Section 5: Evaluation Roles and Responsibilities in Decentralised Evaluations (June 2021)

Section Five details the roles and responsibilities in the development and implementation of evaluation plans and the implementation, dissemination and use of decentralized evaluations.

Guidline Section 6
Section 6: Quality Assessment (June 2021)

Section Six outlines the UNDP Decentralised Evaluation Quality Assessment system, including the purpose, roles and responsibilities, processes and tools. In addition, the section explains the UN System Wide Action Plan (for gender) Evaluation Performance Indicator, and how independent and decentralized evaluations are assessed to provide UNDP data for this indicator.

Guidline Section 7
Section 7: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (June 2021)

Section Seven is new to the evaluation guidelines and provides users with an overview of questions from guideline users and evaluation implementors asked through training events, webinars and via emails. This covers planning, implementation, evaluator recruitment, reviewing evaluations and using evaluations.

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