Supporting national capacity development for poverty reduction and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals lies at the very heart of UNDP’s mandate. That means that we must work with programme countries to assist in the formulation of those strategies, policies, structures, and processes which will have system-wide developmental impact.

Active in 166 countries around the world, UNDP must be relevant to the emerging needs of programme countries. We must have a clear vision of the direction in which we need go and the outcomes we want to help achieve. We must be able to respond quickly and appropriately to challenges and opportunities.

Results-based management provides a set of principles, approaches, and tools which can help us achieve these goals. By always trying to answer the “so what difference does our intervention make ?” question, we will keep our focus on how we can support real and sustainable improvements being made in the lives of those we serve.

This, in turn, requires us to embrace a culture of evaluation. The tremendous store of knowledge which UNDP has, and has access to, including the lessons learned from evaluations, should more fully inform our programming and our decision making.

I hope that the publication of this handbook will help us and our partners to be even clearer about the higher-level results we want to achieve; to develop and act on strategies to achieve those results; to use systematically lessons drawn from evaluations to make decisions; and, ultimately, to improve our contribution to the advancement of human development.

Helen Clark