5.2 Evaluation policy: Principles, norms and standards for evaluation

The evaluation policy was adopted in 2006 to strengthen the evaluation function in UNDP. The guiding principles, norms and standards as expressed in the policy and the UNEG Norms and Standards for Evaluation in the UN system33 guide the practice and use of evaluation in UNDP. Norms for evaluation—how evaluation should be conducted in order to meet the required quality standards and its intended role—are summarized in Box 27.

Box 27. Norms for evaluation

Evaluation in UNDP should be:

—Management must not impose restrictions on the scope, content, comments and recommendations of evaluation reports. Evaluators must be free of conflict of interest (see Box 34).

—The rationale for an evaluation and the decisions to be based on it should be clear from the outset.

—Meaningful consultation with stakeholders is essential for the credibility and utility of the evaluation.

—Evaluation should not reflect personal or sectoral interests. Evaluators must have professional integrity, respect the rights of institutions and individuals to provide information in confidence and be sensitive to the beliefs and customs of local social and cultural environments.

—Removing bias and maximizing objectivity are critical for the credibility of the evaluation and its contribution to knowledge.

Of high quality
—All evaluations should meet minimum quality standards defined by the Evaluation Office (see Annex 3).

—Evaluations must be designed and completed in a timely fashion so as to ensure the usefulness of the findings and recommendations

—Evaluation is a management discipline that seeks to provide information to be used for evidence-based decision-making. To enhance the usefulness of the findings and recommendations, key stakeholders should be engaged in various ways in the conduct of the evaluation.

Source: UNDP, ‘The Evaluation Policy of UNDP’, Executive Board Document DP/2005/28, May 2006. Available at:  http://www.undp.org/eo/documents/Evaluation-Policy.pdf.

The remaining evaluation section of this Handbook aims to provide practical guidance on how these norms and principles can be applied throughout the evaluation process.