Independent Peer Review of UNFPA's Evaluation Function

UNFPA_Evaluation_Peer_Review_Report.pdf (2484 KB / English)


The Peer Review was undertaken following a request from the Director of the Evaluation Office. The review process began in January and was completed in June 2023.

The peer review report and its management response were presented to the Executive Board on 26 July 2023. The peer review will inform the revision of the Evaluation Policy that will be presented at the Executive Board first regular session 2024.

Top-level conclusions

  • Over the last five years, the evaluation function has strengthened and is highly valued in UNFPA and by the Executive Board for its contribution to corporate-level strategies and programmes and for informing country programme documents
  • A strong enabling environment supports the evaluation function at UNFPA 
  • The Evaluation Office is respected across the organization for its professionalism and its added value in providing evaluative evidence to inform decision-making in UNFPA
  • Although relatively small, the evaluation function has cultivated a high profile in the United Nations development system through its system-wide, inter-agency and joint evaluations
  • The evaluation of humanitarian action needs more attention
  • There is potential to strengthen the relevance, quality and learning from decentralized evaluations.

Good practices

  • Role of headquarters divisions in building a culture of evaluation and learning
  • Ring-fencing funds for country-level evaluations
  • High-quality products for evaluation communication and use
  • Youth engagement in evaluation. 


The peer review recommends strengthening the mapping and coverage of evaluations, enhancing the utility of evaluations, particularly country and regional programme evaluations, and improving the tracking of evaluation uptake. To strengthen independence, the job classification and job descriptions of Evaluation Advisers in headquarters and regional offices, and country M&E staff, should be revisited. UNFPA should strengthen the evaluation quality assurance and assessment system and expand its coverage to all decentralized evaluations. A higher budget threshold should be established for greater quality of country and regional programme evaluations.

To strengthen the enabling environment, clearer coverage targets and standard costs for different types of evaluations, including humanitarian, should be established. Synergies among the evaluation and audit functions should increase. Institutional and human resource capacities for humanitarian evaluations should be strengthened. A clear theory of change should underpin UNFPA strategy for national evaluation capacity development.


Document Details



  • UNEG-DAC Peer Reviews


  • Aug 2023


  • 598


  • Capacity development Evaluation function Norms and Standards Peer Reviews Professionalisation