6.1 Involvement and roles of stakeholders and partners in managing an evaluation

pdf-imgPlease note minor addendum to Evaluation [June 2011] pdf-img

The evaluation process should involve key government counterparts, donors, civil society and UN organizations, as well as beneficiaries of initiatives and ‘informants’, who may not necessarily have a direct stake in the subject of an evaluation. Such broad-based involvement of national stakeholders will enhance not only the ownership of and mutual accountability for results, but also the credibility and transparency of the evaluation exercise.

The evaluation process described in Section 6.2 adheres to the principles of national ownership (see Box 32). All parties concerned should be consulted and take part in decision-making at every critical step of the process. Stakeholders of the evaluation, as identified in the stakeholder mapping exercise, should be consulted and engaged, when appropriate, in developing an evaluation plan, drafting the evaluation ToR, appraising the selection of evaluators, providing the evaluators with information and guidance, reviewing the evaluation draft, preparing and implementing the management response, and disseminating and internalizing knowledge generated from the evaluation.

In conflict settings, conducting an evaluation in an inclusive manner is critical for bringing different factions together to hear each other’s viewpoints, while being transparent and ensuring that a balance of views is represented between the different groups. This allows UNDP to remain transparent and to ensure that one group does not feel (rightly or mistakenly) excluded or discriminated against, which may heighten tensions or vulnerabilities. It may be difficult to maintain this inclusive approach in conflict settings because of typically high staff turnover and mobility, and the need for fast results that may make it ‘easier’ to do an evaluation without much involvement of others rather than taking time to involve and capacitate national partners. However, despite the challenges, capacity development through an inclusive manner is an important part of the recovery process.

Box 32. National ownership of evaluation

UNDP emphasizes the centrality of national ownership in evaluating results. The achievement of the outcome is dependent upon contributions from a range of partners, including UNDP. To this effect, the involvement of stakeholders and partners in the planning, management, conduct and use of evaluation is critical. The degree and modalities of their involvement will vary at different stages of the process. Some need only be informed of the process, while it would be important for others to be involved in a decision-making capacity. In each evaluation, a thorough assessment should be done in order to determine who the stakeholders are and how they should be involved in the evaluation process. The following are several ways of carrying out evaluations that reflect various degrees of national ownership:

    • Country-led evaluations where the evaluative exercise is led largely by independent evaluation institutions operating within national monitoring and evaluation systems
    • Evaluations of UNDP contributions conducted solely by an independent non-governmental national entity (e.g. research institution, think-tank, or academic institution)
    • Joint-evaluations with government and/or other national implementing partners where UNDP and partners are mutually and equally responsible for the evaluation exercise
    • In partnership with government and other stakeholders or partners, UNDP commissions evaluations to international or a combination of international and national institutions and consultants

In order to pursue these various modalities, UNDP programme units and relevant key partners should first assess and develop, when needed, the evaluation capacity of existing national monitoring and evaluation systems and determine the role of independent evaluation institutions. These are necessary steps in order to ensure independence and enhance credibility of the evaluation exercise. UNDP globally supports evaluation capacity development of governments and national institutions through developing their data and statistical capacity. This includes capacity to establish performance measures and baselines and develop systems for data collection for analysis in the context of Poverty Reduction Strategies and the MDGs. Similarly, UNDP supports capacity development at the local and community level to map and monitor poverty incidence and vulnerabilities, and link results to planning and budgeting processes. Such programmatic support of UNDP in the area of evaluation capacity development has an additional advantage as it presents future opportunities for evaluations with greater ownership at the national and local level.