United Nations Development Programme

United Nations Development Programme


Headquartered in New York, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is the UN's global development network that supports countries in facilitating development challenges. Established in 1966, UNDP currently works in more than 177 countries and territories to achieve poverty reduction and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), democratic governance, crisis prevention and recovery, and environment and energy for sustainable development.








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

Evaluation Function


At UNDP evaluation is critical to help advance human development. By generating objective evidence, evaluation helps UNDP achieve greater accountability and improved learning from past experience. The Independent Evaluation Office of UNDP conducts independent evaluations and the decentralized evaluations are managed by programme units including country offices, regional bureaux and policy bureaux.

The Independent Evaluation Office of UNDP supports the organization in its efforts towards full accountability, contributes to informed decision-making by the UNDP Executive Board and UNDP's senior management, and promotes management for development results by the organization as a whole.

The work of the Independent Evaluation Office is guided by the UNDP Evaluation Policy which was updated in 2011 following an external review of the previous policy. The core function of the Independent Evaluation Office of UNDP is to conduct two types of independent evaluations: thematic and programmatic. The Independent Evaluation Office of UNDP also prepares the Annual Report on Evaluation, sets standards and guidelines on evaluation, monitors compliance on evaluation and shares lessons for improved programming. The Independent Evaluation Office of UNDP actively participates in UNEG to strengthen coherence, quality and innovation of evaluation across the UN system. The Independent Evaluation Office of UNDP also hosts and supports the UNEG Secretariat.



Promoting a culture of evaluation in-house

IEO engages with other units within UNDP to create an enabling environment for evaluation. IEO encourages UNDP's country programmes to support evaluation systems at the country level, such as to support the development of national M&E systems. IEO facilitates capacity development of UNDP staff by providing guidance notes and training materials, including a comprehensive on-line course on evaluation for UNDP managers. IEO supports knowledge sharing on evaluation by hosting an evaluation site in UNDP's internal knowledge sharing system "teamworks", and facilitates its evaluation discussion group. IEO provides an expert roster for programme units in identifying experts to undertake decentralized evaluations. Finally, IEO works with UNDP's senior management to strengthen the value attached to evidence-based decision-making throughout the organization.






The Independent Evaluation Office of UNDP is independently located from the management and operational structure in UNDP. The Director of evaluation reports directly to the UNDP Executive Board which is the governing body of the organization and to the Administrator on administrative matters. He/she has full authority over the evaluation budget, and has full independence in issuing evaluation reports.

Agenda Setting & Evaluation Planning


The Independent Evaluation Office of UNDP prepares an annual evaluation plan and submits it to the Executive Board for approval. The plan includes country-level evaluations ("Assessment of Development Results (ADR)"), chosen from the list of countries that are due to present a new Country Programme document to the Board in the following year, regional and global programme evaluations, and thematic evaluations, proposed in consultation with programme units and donors.

Decentralized evaluations are planned by respective programme units. These evaluations focus on specific projects and programmes are reported on through publicly-accessible evaluation resource centre as well as through the Annual Report on Evaluation submitted to the Board by the Independent Evaluation Office of UNDP.

Thematic Evaluations assess UNDP contribution to development results in the context of critical development issues. To this end, thematic evaluations may cover, for example, UNDP policies, areas of work, partnerships, and programmatic approaches. 

Programmatic Evaluations which are the Assessments of Development Results (ADRs) assess the attainment of intended and achieved results as well as UNDP contributions to development results at the country level. Their scope includes, but is not confined to, UNDP responsiveness and alignment to country challenges and priorities; strategic positioning; use of comparative advantage; and engagement with partners. The number and selection of countries, and the timing of these evaluations, ensures critical coverage of UNDP programmes and allows findings and recommendations to feed into the preparation of the subsequent programme. Wherever possible, these evaluations will be conducted in conjunction with other United Nations organizations. Global and regional programme evaluations assess the performance and intended and achieved results of those programmes. They are intended to reinforce the substantive accountability of UNDP to the Executive Board, and will be timed to contribute to the preparation and approval of the next programmes.


Stakeholder involvement and promoting national evaluation capacity development

Stakeholder engagement is a key element in the Independent Evaluation Office goal of enhancing utility and credibility. In conducting thematic evaluations which have a global content, stakeholders engaged include relevant UNDP programme units as well as a broad range of external partners. In the preparatory phase of country level evaluations (ADRs), national counterparts and those directly responsible for implementing the programme components are consulted extensively. Government, civil society/academia and donor representatives sometimes participate in evaluation reference groups. During the data collection phase, national decision-makers as well as those benefiting from the programme or those possibly disadvantaged by the programme are consulted, among others. By ensuring the participation of a wide variety of stakeholders throughout the evaluation process, country-level evaluation capacity is also expected to be reinforced.

Other facets of national evaluation capacity development promoted by IEO are: supporting the development of evaluation capacity in regional Institutions, support to regional evaluation associations, use of national and regional experts in IEO evaluations, and partnering with governments to hold a bi-annual International Conferences on National Evaluation Capacities (2009, 2011, 2013) focusing on national partners responsible for overseeing, managing or using evaluations.


Quality Assurance

Advisory Panel

The Director of the Independent Evaluation Office has appointed an International Evaluation Advisory Panel (IEAP) to provide periodic advice on evaluation strategies, plans, methodologies and deliverables. It consists of eminent evaluation experts and scholars from around the world.

Peer Review

The Independent Evaluation Office has participated in peer reviews conducted by independent professionals in the field of evaluation. The reviews provide an assessment of independence, credibility and utility of the evaluation function and provide recommendations to the Independent Evaluation Office and the Executive Board of UNDP.

Use of Evaluation


For both central and decentralized evaluations, senior management of the programme units evaluated are required to formulate management response. Management responses to thematic evaluations are prepared by the chief executive and presented to the Executive Board. The Administrator of UNDP is accountable for ensuring the use of evaluation by the relevant senior management and that appropriate actions are taken in response to the findings and recommendations of evaluations. All evaluation reports are made publicly available at the Evaluation Resource Centre repository.

Stakeholder meetings organized towards the end of the evaluation process for all IEO evaluations, and engagement of national stakeholders and programme units throughout the evaluation process, are powerful means with which IEO promotes the use of its evaluations - internally within the organization and externally with national partners. Programme units are encouraged to use similar means to enhance the utility of decentralized evaluations.  The IEO current strategy includes an intensive sharing of its evaluations and methodologies on global platforms and conferences to enhance global knowledge and advance development evaluation.




Joint Evaluation

UNEG Members

Alan Fox

Deputy Director, UNDP

Andrea Arenas

AIDA Research Consultant, UNDP

Anna Guerraggio

Evaluation Officer, UNDP

Ben Murphy

Evaluation Specialist, UNDP

Bo Weston

UNEG Secretariat, UNDP

Boaz Liesdek

Senior Research Analyst, UNDP

Daniel Alonso

Evaluation Specialist, UNDP

Eduardo Gomez Rivero

Evaluation Analyst, UNDP

Independent Evaluation Office

Gonzalo Gomez

Section Chief - Knowledge Management and Data, UNDP

Isabelle Mercier

Director, UNDP

Jin Zhang


Juan David Gonzales

Evaluation Specialist, UNDP


Kate Pond

Communications Specialist, UNDP

Messay Tassew

Evaluation Specialist, UNDP

DNB 21-62

Richard Jones

Evaluation Advisor, UNDP

Independent Evaluation Office

Shivit Bakrania

Knowledge Management Specialist, UNDP

Tina Tordjman-Nebe

Senior Evaluation Specialist, UNDP

Independent Evaluation Office

Yogesh Bhatt

Senior Evaluation Specialist, UNDP

Independent Evaluation Office