International Fund for Agricultural Development

International Fund for Agricultural Development

Established in 1977, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works to enable poor rural people to improve their food and nutrition security, increase their incomes and strengthen their resilience. IFAD headquarters is located in Rome, Italy. In 2013, IFAD had 564 staff and reported an expenditure of just over US$144 million.



Evaluation Function Snapshot Independence Agenda Setting & Evaluation Planning Quality Assurance Use of Evaluation Joint Evaluation

Evaluation Function

Since 2003, when the IFAD Executive Board approved a new Evaluation Policy,the Office of Evaluation is fully independent from the Management and operates under the direct supervision of the Board of Executive Directors. The Evaluation Policy was subsequently revised in 2011 and the office was re-named as the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE). IOE conducts evaluations of IFAD-financed policies, strategies and operations to promote accountability and learning. The main purpose is to contribute to improving IFAD's and its partners' performance in reducing rural poverty in recipient countries. IOE conducts five types of evaluations -corporate-level, country programme, project, impact and evaluation synthesis. Project evaluations consist of project completion report validations - independent desk reviews of project completion reports conducted by the IFAD Programme Management Department and project performance assessments -which assess project results based on the report validation and a field mission.

In 2013, IOE had 19 staff members located in the central evaluation office in Rome and an expenditure of US$6.01 million on evaluation activities. IOE staff conducts evaluations, with support from external consultants, is ultimately responsible for both the quality and contents of the final evaluation reports.

Promoting a culture of evaluation in-house

IOE promotes a culture of evaluation in-house by providing feedback at selected IFAD review and decision-making committees and by disseminating evaluation lessons and insights through in-house workshops and learning events.


Evaluation Policy

Priorities/Competitive advantage:

  • Independence, quality assurance

Human Resources

  • Director: 1 (M)
  • Deputy Director: 1 (M)
  • Evaluators: Total 9; (F=5 and M=4)
  •  Evaluation Research Analyst: 1 (M)
  • Evaluation Communication and Knowledge Management Officer: 1 (F)
  • Administrative Assistant: 1 (F)
  • Support staff: 5 (F)

Evaluations reports published per year

  • 33 evaluations in 2013

 Key resource:


IOE reports directly to the Executive Board (EB), which is assisted by the Evaluation Committee. This Committee performs in-depth reviews of selected evaluation reports and IOE's annual work programme and budget. Independence is enshrined in the Evaluation Policy as a key evaluation principle, among other principles of accountability, partnership and learning. The Director of IOE has the authority to sign and distribute evaluation reports to the governing body and external audiences without prior clearance within or outside the organization. He/she is independently responsible for the preparation of the work programme and the evaluation budget which is presented to the EB for approval.

Agenda Setting & Evaluation Planning

IOE prepares an annual work programme and budget, as well as an indicative plan for the forthcoming two years. The work plan determines the types of evaluations to be conducted, the timeline, priority areas and resources required including the budget. This is submitted to the EB for approval and made available online on the IFAD website.

Stakeholder involvement and promoting national evaluation capacity development

Partnership is a key element of the IFAD Evaluation Policy. IOE encourages the engagement of partners, who are often involved in the planning, implementation and follow-up to the evaluation. Evaluation teams consist of an IOE lead evaluator and one or more international and/or local consultants and are gender balanced.

IOE also provides selective support to developing countries in building their evaluation capacities. For example, in 2013 a Statement of Intent was signed by IOE and the Ministry of Finance of China to engage in a partnership to strengthen evaluation capacity development in the country. IOE designed and  implemented a one-day training course on evaluation methodology and processes in Beijing in November 2013.

Quality Assurance

The Evaluation Policy and IOE Evaluation Manual refer to the quality assurance system. Specifically, quality control and its enhancement are part of the Core Learning Partnership (CLP) during the initial stage of devising the approach paper. While the lead evaluator is ultimately responsible for the quality of the final evaluation report,an internal peer review process of all reports is also conducted to ensure quality. Review teams are comprised of IOE staff, except for corporate and country programme evaluations where Senior Independent External Advisor(s) can be selected. These approaches and methods however, relate only to the quality of evaluation products within the IOE.

Use of Evaluation

For country programme evaluations, the concerned IFAD regional division in the Programme Management Department and the government are invited to provide comments on the final draft evaluation report. The final report includes an agreement at completion point (ACP) which summarizes the main evaluation findings and captures the main recommendations that the government and IFAD agree to adopt and implement within specific timeframes. The Swedish Agency for Development Evaluation (SADEV) evaluated the relevance and effectiveness of the IFAD management response system and concluded that the ACP process is a unique practice in development aid organizations. For other types of evaluations, such as corporate-level, IFAD Management is invited to provide a response on the final draft evaluation report. Management systematically follows on the implementation of the recommendations and prepares and submits to the EB the President's Report on the Implementation Status of Evaluation Recommendations and Management Actions (PRISMA), which includes comments from IOE.

Evaluation results are widely disseminated both internally and externally. Evaluation lessons are partly extracted and communicated through information briefs, abstracts and press releases, as well as meetings with senior and operation management, and annual evaluation reports. CPEs include in-country learning workshops organized by IOE in coordination with the government and the concerned IFAD regional division at the end of the CPE evaluation process.

IOE maintains an online database of evaluation reports categorized by type of evaluation.

IOE promotes a culture of evaluation in-house by providing feedback at selected IFAD review and decision-making committees and by disseminating evaluation lessons and insights through in-house workshops and learning events.

Joint Evaluation

IFAD participates in joint-evaluations. In 2007 for example, IFAD and the African Development Bank (AfDB) conducted a joint evaluation on agriculture and rural development in Africa, which was completed in 2009. In 2014, for the first time, IOE and the Office of Evaluation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are combining their efforts in preparing a joint evaluation synthesis report on pastoral development.

UNEG Members

Alexander Voccia

Coordinator, Evaluation Communication Unit, IFAD

Independent Office of Evaluation

Fumiko Nakai

Evaluation Officer, IFAD

Gresia Bernadini Marino

Junior Communications & KM Specialist, IFAD

Indran Naidoo

Director, IFAD

Kouessi Maximin Kodjo

Lead Evaluation Officer, IFAD

Kouessi Maximin Kodjo

Lead Evaluation Officer, IFAD

Mikal Khan

Evaluation Officer, IFAD

Sarah Pasetto

Communications Specialist, IFAD

Fact Sheet