International Organization for Migration

International Organization for Migration


The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is an inter-governmental organization that works with government, inter-governmental, and non-governmental partners in the field of migration in more than 100 countries. Established in 1951, IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. As the leading international organization for migration, IOM acts to assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management, to advance understanding of migration issues, to encourage social and economic development through migration, to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, be they refugees, displaced persons or other uprooted people and to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants.

IOM has headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and about 9,000 staff members serving in more than 470 field offices. In recent years, its operational budget amounts to an average of USD 1.3 billion.



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

Evaluation Function


Evaluation is one of the functions of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) who is also responsible for audit, investigation and monitoring. The synergy of various oversight and accountability functions is considered to be a useful element of IOM's organizational oversight and control strategy.

The IOM evaluation policy was adopted in 1998 and was integrated into the 2006 IOM Evaluation Guidelines. IOM is in the process of revising them, also to align them to the UNEG Norms and Standards, and of reviewing its evaluation policy and strategy at the same time.

OIG/Evaluation has two evaluation staff, the Head of Evaluation based at IOM Headquarters and one Evaluation Officer to be based in the field. Due to the limited core resources available, IOM has to rely on its offices to conduct evaluations and uses a decentralized approach of evaluation. The nine IOM Regional Offices include for instance Monitoring and Evaluation Officers in their staffing structure, independent from the central Evaluation unit. With its project based approach, most evaluations conducted in IOM are managed by programme managers and conducted by external consultants in the framework of the projects.

IOM has an average ratio of annual evaluation expenditures to total annual expenditures of 0.03%. It should be noted that close to 40% of its operational budget is considered as "services" to governments, such as movement services for refugees resettlement, for which audits and specific quality control tools are more appropriate than traditional project and programme evaluations.

Focus areas of the OIG evaluation function include promoting and conducting thematic/strategic evaluations of IOM policies, strategies and/or programmes; overseeing the process and quality of decentralized evaluations; developing and/or adjust evaluation guidelines and methods applied for programme evaluation throughout the organization (including RBM, monitoring, training, developing evaluation capacity inside the organization, quality assurance process); providing advice on evaluation matters to IOM top management; reinforcing partnerships and participation in networks for evaluation with bilateral and multilateral Organizations.



Promoting a culture of evaluation in-house

OIG/Evaluation focuses on internal capacity development through training courses and making reference materials available online. Evaluation staff is able to participate in on-the-job training, workshops and seminars. Coaching and peer groups for learning are also available.








Evaluation policy: 

  • Integrated into the 2006 Evaluation Guidelines

Priorities/Competitive advantage:

  • Promoting an evaluation culture and better understanding of the benefits of evaluation in IOM.
  • Improving the quality of evaluation in IOM.

Human Resources:

  • Head of Evaluation: 1 (M)
  • Evaluation Officer  : 1 (F)
  • Support staff : OIG Administrative Assistant (shared)
  • Decentralized evaluation staff : None

Evaluations produced per year by central unit and field offices







The Head of Evaluation in charge of the evaluation function in OIG reports to the Inspector General, as opposed to the Director General, to whom s/he can have direct access on specific evaluation issues.

Institutionally, OIG/Evaluation informs the management and decision-making processes within the organization. Financial resources allocated to the central evaluation function are minimal and the institutional location of evaluation only partly reflects independence. The Head of Evaluation partially controls the evaluation budget, has authority on IOM Evaluation policy and guidelines, has discretion to select evaluations to be conducted by OIG, and has the authority to issue all IOM evaluation reports publically.






Agenda Setting & Evaluation Planning


With its decentralized and programme-driven evaluation approach, there is no consolidated central evaluation work programme. The guidelines for evaluation encourage IOM field offices to take responsibility in planning and organizing their evaluations. In the new IOM Project Handbook of 2011 inclusion of evaluation in IOM projects is mandatory. The IOM Evaluation Guidelines also encourage conducting joint evaluations with donors.



Stakeholder involvement and promoting national evaluation capacity development

Consultation with stakeholders is encouraged at the design, implementation, and follow-up stages of the evaluation process, taking into account the constraints of full participatory evaluations. Similarly, stakeholders are also consulted during the final stage of reporting when the report is presented by the consultant. IOM work closely with governments on evaluation matters when required and in particular on topics related to IOM expertise, but does not directly contribute to national evaluation capacity development.



Quality Assurance

Quality rules are available to control the quality of evaluation reports and materials, with technical assistance from the OIG/Evaluation . UNEG papers including the UNEG Quality Checklist for Evaluation Reports, UNEG Quality Checklist for Evaluation Terms of Reference and Inception Reports and the UNEG Standards for Evaluation are available on the IOM Evaluation Webpage. The IOM evaluation guidelines also refer to the quality of evaluation reports and include standard formats for the structure and reference of evaluation reports. The quality of ToR is also considered as a basis for satisfactory evaluation reports.






Use of Evaluation

In his foreword to the 2006 Evaluation Guidelines, the IOM Director General states "[t]he guidelines present the benefits clearly: evaluation not only covers learning and accountability, but can be used to promote IOM's work, reinforce partnerships and bring innovation to its activities".  Systematic follow-up by management on implementation of recommendations applies to evaluation reports published by OIG. OIG/Evaluation does not however monitor the implementation of recommendations considering that it is the responsibility of the entity covered by the report to do so and that implementation should be considered positively as a way to improve performance and impact and not as a control and accountability tool only, with its negative perception. Evaluation results of all IOM evaluation reports are widely disseminated both internally and externally. A reference list of evaluation reports is available online.






Joint Evaluation


IOM encourages participation in joint evaluations.






UNEG Members

Andres Botero

Senior Evaluation Officer, IOM

Elma Balic

Oversight Officer, IOM

Ijeoma Samuel

M&E Knowledge Management Associate, IOM

Jhonn Rey

Regional M&E Officer, IOM

Regional Office for South America

Laura Smith

Regional M&E Officer, IOM

Rogers Mutie

Regional M&E Officer , IOM

Sarah Harris

Regional M&E Officer, , IOM

Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia

Fact Sheet