Independent evaluation of the UNITAR’s joint master’s degrees and other postgraduate non-degree programmes


Over the past several years there has been an increase in the number of joint master’s degree and other postgraduate diploma initiatives designed and implemented by UNITAR in collaboration with universities and other academic institutions. From 2018 to 2022, UNITAR implemented 31 joint programmes through six of its programme units and the CIFAL Global Network of affiliated training centres. This evaluation assessed the joint master’s degrees and postgraduate programmes conducted by UNITAR in collaboration with academic partners. It examined the relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, likelihood of impact, and likelihood of sustainability of the joint programmes. The evaluation employed a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. Data collection and analysis tools included a document review, key informant interviews and online surveys to academic partners, participants, and UNITAR staff; focus group discussions with UNITAR staff and participants; and outcome harvesting technique. Thematic and content analysis were used to analyze qualitative data, while descriptive analysis was applied to quantitative data. Challenges encountered by the evaluation included i) the remote nature of the evaluation, ii) difficulty in gathering comprehensive data due to recall bias, iii) lack of clarity on certification data, iv) skewed participant responses, mostly coming from programmes implemented by two programme units, and v) lack of a theory of change for the joint programmes. Mitigation strategies were implemented where possible.

Report Details


  • United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

Report Type

  • Thematic


Completed Date

  • Mar 2024

Consultant Name

  • Eshetu Demissie

Agency Focal Person

  • Katinka Koke

Agency Focal Person Email



  • 240

URL Views:

  • 0

Joint Evaluation

  • No

Pooled Funding Evaluation

  • No


  • SDG 4 - Quality Education