Evaluation Handbook

V. A. Background



In line with the Special Message of 31 July 2014 ( please click here), the participatory self-evaluation modality will no longer be an option for projects at UNODC.

From 01 July 2014 onwards, only two types of evaluation will exist at UNODC: Independent Project Evaluations and In-Depth Evaluations. Therefore, all new projects, even with an overall budget below USD 1,000,000, need to plan for and reserve sufficient funding for an Independent Project Evaluation.
In order to ensure a smooth transition, all PSEs, which have already been planned to take place in 2014 in line with previous consultation with IEU can be conducted until 31 December 2014.

1. Criteria

Participatory Self-Evaluations are recommended when the criteria listed below apply:

-    Projects that have started BEFORE June 2010 (actual starting date), with an overall budget below or equal to US$500,000, and for which no independent project evaluation is required. [1]
- Projects that have started AFTER June 2010 (actual starting date), with an overall budget below or equal to US$1,000,000, and for which no independent project evaluation is required. [2]
Starting Date Overall Budget Type of Evaluation required
before 30 June 2010 <  US$500,000 Participatory Self-Evaluation
before 30 June 2010 = or > US$500,000 Independent Project Evaluation
after 30 June 2010 < US$1,000,000 Participatory Self-Evaluation
after 30 June 2010 = or > US$1,000,000 Independent Project Evaluation

For all projects, which have started before or after 30 June 2010, the present guidelines are applicable.

2. Definition

A Participatory Self-Evaluation is an evaluation conducted in a participatory manner by (i) those who are entrusted with the design and delivery of a project and (ii) those who are involved in or benefiting from the project.

Stakeholders' involvement in Participatory Self-Evaluations can take the following two forms:

1.  Stakeholders' written response to the Participatory Self-Evaluation report drafted by the Project Manager. Stakeholders state whether they are in agreement with the Participatory Self-Evaluation against the evaluation criteria (design, relevance, efficiency, partnerships, gender and human rights, effectiveness and sustainability).
2. Workshops where stakeholders along with the project team discuss face to face the Participatory Self-Evaluation report drafted by the Project Manager and provide a common assessment against evaluation criteria. In this case, a minimum of US$20,000 [3] have to be allocated under the budget line 5700 at the beginning of the project, in accordance with UNODC evaluation guidelines.

3. Rationale

The purpose of undertaking a Participatory Self-Evaluations is twofold: learning and accountability. Project Managers use Participatory Self-Evaluations as a tool to reflect in a structured way on why the results were achieved or not and what can be done for improvement.

Participatory Self-Evaluations have the following objectives:

- To increase self-learning;

To enhance transparency;


To allow stakeholders to present their assessments of UNODC services;

- To enhance accountability;

To build ownership of projects and programmes and commitment to implementing recommendations made.

4. Initiator

The Project Manager [4] has to initiate the Participatory Self-Evaluation process in ProFi. It should be noted that only the Project Manager (as indicated in ProFi) can initiate the process. The Project Manager can however decide to delegate parts of the exercise to the Headquarters Focal Person. It is their responsibility to coordinate in this regard.



In the event that Project Managers do not have access to ProFi or that the project to be self-evaluated is not accessible in ProFi, Project Managers can use the PSE Template located in the Chapter Tools.

5. Timing

It is recommended that Participatory Self-Evaluation reports are submitted in ProFi by Project Managers close to the end of the project, in accordance with the present guidelines and template  (see Chapter V Tools for the PSE Template).

However, Project Managers and stakeholders can use the Participatory Self-Evaluation at their discretion and at any point in time of implementation to record good practices, lessons learned, unexpected results, or even operational difficulties and problems which may influence the project's future achievements.

6. Planning

Considering that Participatory Self-Evaluations have to be undertaken in a participatory manner through the stakeholders' written or oral response, the process needs to be planned for at least 2 to 3 months before the end of the project.

Stakeholders should be consulted and informed on their role as early in the process as possible.

The role of stakeholders is as follows:

- Read the draft Participatory Self-Evaluation report drafted by the Project Manager
- Respond to the draft Participatory Self-Evaluation report by stating whether they are in agreement with the assessment of the project and with the recommendations,  against evaluation criteria. This response could take the form of a written (stakeholders' response modality) or an oral (workshop modality) response

7. Involvement of the Independent Evaluation Unit

The Independent Evaluation Unit ensures confidentiality and anonymity in the process and clears the final PSE report.


[1] Exceptions to this rule can be made, e.g. if an independent project evaluation is required by a Member State or a donor or if the project has a pilot character. Please consult with IEU in this regard.

[2] See above footnote.

[3] This amount is an indicative amount. As projects vary in size and scope, it is the Project Manager's responsibility to properly budget for and reserve sufficient funds for this exercise. Please see guidance in Part 2.

[4] The term Project Manager in the present guidelines and template corresponds to the term Project Coordinator as used in ProFi.



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Table of Contents
Chapter I: Defining Core Concepts
Chapter II: Planning an Evaluation at the Design Stage
Chapter III: Managing an Independent Project Evaluation

Chapter IV: Undertaking an In-depth Evaluation

Chapter V: Undertaking a Participatory Self-Evaluation

Chapter V Tools:
Chapter VI: Using the Evaluation
Annex I: Evaluation Glossary
Annex II: UNEG Norms
Annex III: UNEG Standards
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Chapter V: Undertaking a  Participatory Self-Evaluation