United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Population Fund
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. The fund assists countries in areas such as reproductive health, population and development, gender equality and human rights, safe motherhood, and adolescents and youth. UNFPA has the mandate to boost awareness on population issues and to support strategies to address these. It also works to develop context-specific knowledge and capacity on population and reproductive health issues. UNFPA was established in 1967 and started to fund population programs in 1969. The organization is headquartered in New York and has regional, sub-regional and country offices. In 2014, all UNFPA offices combined had a total of 2,533 regular staff.
Stakeholder Involvement and Promoting National Evaluation Capacity
Stakeholders are systematically consulted during the design, implementation, and follow-up stages of evaluation. In particular, the Evaluation Office uses (and promotes the use of) reference groups to advise the evaluation managers and the evaluation teams throughout the evaluation process. In the case of the country programme evaluations, reference groups include the national counterparts and other relevant stakeholders operating in the country (e.g. civil society organizations).
Strengthening the capacity of our national counterparts in evaluation (and monitoring) is also a core task of country offices and regional offices with the support of the Programme Division.http://www.unfpa.org/evaluation
Evaluation at UNFPA serves three main purposes:
(i) demonstrate accountability to stakeholders on performance in achieving development results and on invested resources;
(ii) support evidence-based decision-making;
(iii) contribute key lessons learned to the existing knowledge base on how to accelerate implementation of the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
The independent Evaluation Office (EO) was established in July 2013 as the custodian of the evaluation function and is accountable for implementing the policy. The EO reports directly to the Executive Board, including through the Annual Report on Evaluation.
UNFPA evaluations fall into two categories:
(a) corporate evaluations, independent exercises undertaken by the EO in order to assess issues that contribute to achieving the goals of the UNFPA strategic plan with regard to development effectiveness and organizational performance
(b) programme level evaluations, managed by the business units in charge of the concerned programmes, where independent external evaluators pre-qualified by the Evaluation Office conduct programme-level evaluations according to terms of reference approved by the Evaluation Office.
All UNFPA evaluations are publicly available on the UNFPA Evaluation Database together with their management response.
See more at: http://www.unfpa.org/evaluation
- Evaluation Policy
- The main functions of the Evaluation Office are as follows::
- Prepares, reviews and updates the UNFPA evaluation policy
- Develops the UNFPA biennial budgeted evaluation plan for all evaluations, based on inputs from and consultations with the Executive Board, the Executive Committee, UNFPA offices and other stakeholders
- Reports directly, on an annual basis, to the Executive Board on the evaluation function at UNFPA, including compliance, coverage, quality, findings and recommendations of evaluations conducted by UNFPA
- Conducts, or commissions to companies or to individual consultants, corporate evaluations and approves the terms of reference and pre-qualifies evaluators for programme-level evaluations
- Presents, at the discretion of the Executive Board, the results of selected evaluations
- Regularly alerts senior management to emerging evaluation-related issues of corporate significance, without taking part in decision-making
- Sets evaluation standards and criteria
- Develops methodological guidance and maintains evaluation quality-assurance mechanisms in order to continuously improve and enhance the quality and credibility of UNFPA evaluations, and the overall evaluation function
- Promotes joint evaluations, national ownership and leadership of evaluations, and capacity development in evaluation
- Plans and provides the necessary training for UNFPA staff on issues related to evaluation policy, standards, criteria, quality assurance, and the design and management of evaluations
- Provides support and technical advice to business units managing programmelevel evaluations
- Actively disseminates and shares knowledge generated by evaluations through the UNFPA knowledge-management networks and practices
- Maintains a publicly accessible repository of evaluations and their management responses
- Engages in partnerships with professional evaluation networks, such as the United Nations Evaluation Group, and supports the harmonization of the evaluation function in the United Nations system
- Assesses the quality of evaluation experts and consultants, and maintains a roster of qualified evaluation professionals
- Human Resources
- Director of Evaluation Office: Female
- Evaluators: 3 females, 2 males [3 evaluation advisers (2 male, 1 female), 1 evaluation specialist (female), 1 evaluation analyst (female)]
- Support staff : 1 female, 1 male
- Decentralized evaluation staff: 5 Regional M&E Advisers (5 male), 121 M&E Officers or focal points in Country Offices (57 female, 64 male)
- Corporate evaluations
- In 2014-2015, 3 country programme evaluations, 3 thematic evaluations, 1 joint evaluation, 1 end line evaluation, 1 mid-term evaluation
- In 2014, the Evaluation Office budget of $2,382,084 was entirely funded from the institutional budget.
- Programme-level evaluations
- In 2014-2015, 36 Country Programme Evaluations and several project and thematic evaluations commissioned by decentralized units
- The total budget for the country programme evaluations commissioned in 2014 was $1.1 million
- Evaluation Expenditure of central unit (in 2011, excluding staff costs):
- Key resources:
The UNFPA Evaluation Office reports directly, on an annual basis, to the Executive Board on the evaluation function at UNFPA, including compliance, coverage, quality, findings and recommendations of evaluations conducted by UNFPA. It is independent from the operational, management and decision-making functions in the organization, and is therefore impartial, objective and free from undue influence.
The Evaluation Office has the authority to determine the scope of, design, conduct and commission evaluations, and to submit reports directly to the appropriate decision makers, including the Executive Board. Programme-level evaluations are independent from programme management since the Evaluation Office approves the final design and selection of consultants, even though management may participate in the design and commissioning of such evaluations. Management cannot impose restrictions on the content and recommendations of evaluation reports. To avoid conflicts of interest, remove biases and maximize impartiality and objectivity, evaluators must not be directly involved in policy-setting, design, implementation or management of the subject of the evaluation before, during and at least two years after the evaluation. In addition, evaluation teams should have relevant expertise as well as gender and geographical balance.
Agenda Setting & Evaluation Planning
Corporate evaluations are undertaken to assess issues of corporate strategic significance that contribute to achieving the goals of the strategic plan with regard to development effectiveness and organizational performance. Corporate evaluations may have a global, thematic or strategic scope, and may address organization-wide issues. They may also have a country, regional and/or other geographical or programmatic focus. In order to ensure that corporate strategic issues are well covered, at least one evaluation will be focused on each outcome of the strategic plan during its cycle.
Programme-level evaluations are conducted in time to inform the development of the subsequent programme. Programme-level evaluations are key inputs for corporate synthesis evaluations and for evaluations of United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks. Country programme evaluations will be conducted at least once in every two programme cycles.
All evaluations should meet the minimum quality standards and criteria defined by the Evaluation Office. To ensure that such standards and criteria are met, the professionalism of evaluators and their intellectual integrity in applying standard evaluation
methods is of critical importance.
Key elements of the quality assurance mechanisms include:
(a) guidance and tools for conducting and managing evaluations;
(b) approval by the Evaluation Office of all terms of reference for evaluations;
(c) centralized pre-qualification of all evaluators;
(d) centralized, high quality criteria for assessing all evaluation reports; and
(e) a quality assessment of all evaluations, processes and the evaluation function commissioned by the Evaluation Office.
Use of Evaluation
All evaluation reports should be accompanied with a management response. The Programme Division has instituted a management response tracking system. This system will enable the Programme Division to monitor the implementation of recommendations and report on their status.
The Evaluation Office reports are systematically disseminated throughout the organization and partners via the organization of stakeholder workshops at country level, dissemination events at corporate levels (workshops, webinars, information briefs and abstract available on the evaluation web page, newsletters, etc.). The Evaluation Office also manages the UNFPA repository of evaluation reports (which includes both independent and decentralized evaluation reports). The database is available on the public UNFPA website.
The Evaluation Office have developed a methodology (Handbook on how to design and conduct country programme evaluations at UNFPA) and related training material for managers of country programme evaluations. The handbook is available online. The Evaluation Office also conducts a number of knowledge sharing events and trainings in decentralized units at regional and national levels.
The Evaluation Office also conducts evaluations jointly with other UN agencies. Examples are:
(a) with Unicef: UNFPA-UNICEF evaluation of the joint programme on female genital mutilation/cutting;
(b) with UNWOMEN, UNICEF, UNDP, the Spanish MDG Fund and other bilateral agencies: The Joint evaluation of gender joint programmes in the UN system. At the decentralized level, the regional office is responsible for partnership in joint evaluation.
Communications and Knowledge Management Specialist, UNFPA
evaluation adviser, UNFPA
Evaluation adviser, UNFPA
Evaluation Associate, UNFPA
Evaluation Analyst, UNFPA
Evaluation Capacity Development Adviser, UNFPA