UN Department of Public Information
UN Department of Public Information
The United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) was established in 1946 by General Assembly resolution 13 (1). DPI serves as the public voice of the United Nations to promote global awareness and greater understanding of the work of the United Nations. DPI undertakes this goal through radio, television, print, the Internet, videoconferencing and other media tools. DPI is headquartered in New York and has 730 staff members Organisation-wide. The overall resources proposed for the 2014-2015 biennium for the Department amount to $93 million annually.
The evaluation function in the Department of Public Information (DPI) was set up in 1982 in response to a request by the UN General Assembly's Committee on Information to evaluate the prevailing image of the United Nations in world public opinion and the effectiveness of diverse communications channels utilized by the Department. The Evaluation and Communications Research Unit (ECRU) is mandated to provide the central evaluation function for DPI.
Located in the Office of the Under-Secretary-General (OUSG) of DPI, ECRU is responsible for conducting programme evaluation aimed at learning about and improving the effectiveness and impact of DPI products and services ECRU also provides technical support to programme managers in conducting their self-assessments. The Unit's other responsibilities include serving as the Department's focal point for tracking DPI's performance based on measures set out in various Secretariat management and accountability reports, systems and tool.
DPI's evaluation policy was first established in 1984 as an internal document, and is currently being reviewed and updated in accordance with ECRU's original mandate, the Secretary-General's Bulletin on planning, monitoring and evaluation, and UNEG Norms and Standards.
Promoting a culture of evaluation in-house
ECRU provides training on RBM to DPI staff, which includes workshops and one-on-one training. A group of focal points serves as the anchor of M&E in DPI. Focal points coordinate the monitoring and reporting by their division or office. The Evaluation and Communications Research Unit is committed to further strengthening the a culture of evaluation within DPI.
Name: Evaluation and Communications Research Unit
Human Resources (as of July 2014)
- Unit Head: Female
- Evaluators : 2 Female
Evaluation expenditure in 2011, excluding staff costs:
- 0 USD
Evaluations conducted or commissioned in 2014:
- 2 planned for 2014
- Conduct high-quality evaluations that are useful and credible
- Increase the use of evaluation findings within DPI
Key resource: web link/key document here
- not currently available to the public
The Evaluation and Communications Research Unit, the central evaluation function for DPI, reports directly to the Under-Secretary-General on evaluations and to the Chief of the Office of the USG on administrative matters. In order to ensure independence and credibility for its evaluation function, ECRU operates independently from other operational or management functions within DPI.
The Evaluation and Communications Research Unit has a biennial budget that is handled at the level of the Office of the USG, and does not have full control over evaluation expenditure.
Agenda Setting & Evaluation Planning
The Evaluation and Communications Research Unit prepares an annual work programme on the basis of membership requests and consultations with the USG and senior managers in the department. The work plan ensures the timeliness of evaluations with a view to inform decision-making, includes specifications of any necessary resources, and is submitted to the USG for approval.
Stakeholder involvement and promoting national evaluation capacity
DPI does not have a mandate to promote national evaluation capacity directly, but adheres to UNEG Norms and Standards when hiring consultants.
DPI evaluations are conducted and quality assured, based on the UNEG Norms and Standards. Peer reviews or reference groups composed of external experts are also used in the evaluation process.
Use of Evaluation
Evaluation results are discussed and disseminated to ensure that senior management and programme managers are informed of the findings and recommendations. Senior managers are requested to ensure timely inputs toward the preparation of management response, where necessary. Evaluation results are disseminated to governing bodies or other actors outside the organization on request. A repository of DPI evaluations is available on ECRU's Intranet page.
The Evaluation and Communications Research Unit at DPI is an active member of the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) and works regularly with OIOS in the UN Secretariat. Due to the specialized focus of DPI's evaluation work, DPI does not currently engage in joint evaluations with other UNEG members.