I. A. Evaluation and related Concepts
This section describes what evaluation is and what it is not (evaluation vs. monitoring, inspection, audit, review and research), what the evaluation guiding principles are and where evaluation stands in the project/cycle management.
1. What Evaluation is
2. What Evaluation is not
a) Evaluation versus Monitoring
The importance of monitoring and its interactions with evaluations are addressed in: Chapter II, Section A, paragraph 3.
b) Evaluation versus Inspection, Audit, Review and Research
Like monitoring and evaluation, inspection, audit, review and research functions are oversight activities, but they each have a distinct focus and role and should not be confused with monitoring and evaluation.
Inspection is a general examination of an organizational unit, issue or practice to ascertain the extent it adheres to normative standards, good practices or other criteria and to make recommendations for improvement or corrective action. It is often performed when there is a perceived risk of non-compliance.
Audit is an assessment of the adequacy of management controls to ensure the economical and efficient use of resources; the safeguarding of assets; the reliability of financial and other information; the compliance with regulations, rules and established policies; the effectiveness of risk management; and the adequacy of organizational structures, systems and processes. Evaluation is more closely linked to Managing for Development Results and learning, while audit mainly focuses on compliance.
Reviews, such as rapid assessments and peer reviews, are distinct from evaluation and more closely associated with monitoring. They are periodic or ad hoc, often light assessments of the performance of an initiative and do not apply the due process of evaluation or rigor in methodology. Reviews tend to emphasize operational issues. Unlike evaluations conducted by independent evaluators, reviews are often conducted by those internal to the subject or the commissioning organization.
Research is a systematic examination completed to develop or contribute to knowledge of a particular topic. Research can often feed information into evaluations, other assessments or decision making processes.
3. What the Evaluation Guiding Principles are
Based on the Norms and Standards for Evaluation in the United Nations System published by the United Nations Evaluation Group  the guiding principles of any evaluation are the following:
4. Where Evaluation stands in the Project-cycle Management
Programmes and projects are planned and implemented following a sequence that begins with the identification of ideas in consultation with stakeholders. Project Manager and relevant Offices and Units then formulate the project/programme document. The project document is then reviewed against specific quality criteria for approval either by the Programme Review Committee (PRC) or by the Field Representative (direct approval process).
The role of the approval process is to ensure quality, appropriateness, coherence and feasibility of UNODC operational activities, in conformity with UNODC mandate, policies, procedural requirements, rules and regulations as well as with geographic and thematic strategies. Once approved, projects/programmes are implemented, monitored and evaluated.
The project/programme cycle includes the following stages in which evaluation plays a role:
a) Strategy Setting - Identification Phase
The identification of projects/programmes should be based on research and assessments, evaluations, and internal high-level consensus.
b) Project/Programme Development - Design and Approval Phase
Project/Programme Managers plan and budget for an evaluation into the design of projects/programmes in order to (i) objectively measure success of a project/programme, (ii) judge if work is going in the right direction and (iii) plan future efforts for improvement.
To ensure proper funding of evaluation activities, projects and programmes build the resource requirements in their funding agreements with the donors and in their budgets.
Project Managers should consider the evaluation quality criteria for design prepared by IEU and available in the Chapter 1 Tools.
Also, Project Managers should consider using evaluation recommendations and lessons learned for the design of new strategies, programmes and projects.
Before the project or programme has started, an evaluability assessment may take place as well. Such an assessment is an early review of projects/programmes to ascertain that results are verifiable and to decide whether the project/programme could be implemented as such, modified or even stopped. Please see Chapter II, Section B for further details on evaluability assessments.
c) Resource Mobilisation
The resource mobilisation activity comprises the identification and reservation of programme and project funding, in cooperation with potential donors. It is a cross-organizational multi-phased activity that begins at the identification stage and extends through the formulation, the implementation and the evaluation stages where negotiation with potential donors and multilateral funds could take place.
Evaluation results may serve as a fund raising instrument to assure donors of UNODC adequate delivery.
During the project implementation phase, a monitoring system is in place, performance indicators are used and baselines are set up to ensure evaluability of the projects and programmes. These are pre-requisites to evaluations.
Depending on the size and budget of the project, mid-term and final evaluations can be performed. Mid-term evaluations are performed half-way through the implementation of a project/programme. Mid-term evaluations are used for reflection and potential corrective action(s). They provide important findings and recommendations that should be considered for further improvement of the project/programme's implementation.
Final evaluations are conducted shortly before the end of a project or programme. When projects/programmes are already closed there is often no capacity within UNODC to conduct the evaluation. Final evaluations are therefore to be undertaken during the life span of a project or programme and should take place before filling in the Project Completion Report.
In conclusion, as evaluation is integral part of the project cycle:
For further information on mid-term and final evaluations please see Chapter I, Section C.
 Additional evaluation criteria could be used depending on the evaluation purpose: please see Chapter I, Section D.
 Please see UNEG website: http://www.uneval.org/normsandstandards/index.jsp?doc_cat_source_id=4
 Please see UNEG website: http://www.uneval.org/papersandpubs/documentdetail.jsp?doc_id=980
 Please see UNEG website: http://www.unevaluation.org/unegcodeofconduct