Evaluation Handbook

Introduction to the revised Evaluation Handbook

 

In line with the 2005 Norms and Standards of the United Nations Evaluation Group [1] and the aid effectiveness principles of ownership and donor harmonization contained in the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda, the Independent Evaluation Unit has committed itself to developing a corporate approach to an evaluation culture and to triggering a shift in mindsets.

The Evaluation Handbook was therefore produced with a view to:

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Improving the performance of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) at the country, regional and thematic levels;
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Promoting a more results-oriented culture among UNODC staff, Member States and donors;
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Promoting an environment of continuous learning and transparency among UNODC staff, Member States and donors;
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Providing timely, relevant and quality evaluation services to UNODC staff, Member States and donors;
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Enhancing ownership of evaluation processes;
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Supporting change and innovation, in particular the move towards an integrated programming approach [2] which seeks synergies and harmonization at the regional and thematic levels;

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Promoting greater coordination and cohesion, internally and externally with other aid partners.

 

The new Handbook

The revised Evaluation Handbook is intended to better respond to the needs and demands of UNODC. The 2011 revision takes into account the rapidly changing organizational structure of UNODC and aims to incorporate current international evaluation standards into its work

The present Handbook supersedes the 2008 Handbook and complements the UNODC Evaluation Policy. In addition, the other evaluation normative tools have been simultaneously revised to ensure a coherent and consistent approach.

Purpose of the Handbook

The Evaluation Handbook aims to support UNODC in mainstreaming evaluation processes, learning and accountability into UNODC project and programme delivery.

Scope of the Handbook

As a member of the United Nations Evaluation Group, the Independent Evaluation Unit contributes to professionalizing the evaluation function at UNODC and uses evaluation best practices to further improve the quality of its products and services.

In line with the 2005 Norms and Standards of the United Nations Evaluation Group [3], the Handbook reflects evaluation best practices and builds on impact evaluation guidance and on mainstreaming gender and human rights into evaluation. Indeed, evaluation can significantly help in increasing knowledge in areas such as the impact of UNODC at the country and regional levels.

Intended Audience of the Handbook

The Evaluation Handbook presents guidance on planning and managing evaluations and is intended to be used by all those involved in the evaluation process: UNODC staff and evaluators, donors and  implementing partners.  Therefore, the Handbook is a reference document rather than a book to be read from cover to cover. The reader can refer to a specific question for detailed information when needed.

The Handbook is also intended to promote further understanding of evaluation among other UNODC stakeholders, such as Governments, donors and implementing partners, involved in a participatory manner in evaluation processes.

Primary users of the present handbook are those involved in managing evaluations (Project Managers) in UNODC as well as evaluators. The Handbook is specifically aimed at assisting:

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Project and programme managers at Headquarters and in Field Offices managing independent project evaluations and participatory self-evaluations;
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Field representatives supervising projects and programmes, including the evaluation of those projects and programmes;
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Staff of the Independent Evaluation Unit (IEU) leading and undertaking in-depth evaluations;

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Independent consultants (evaluators) conducting evaluations;

With the dissemination of the Handbook, the Independent Evaluation Unit expects its audience to:

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Better understand the purposes and benefits of evaluation;
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Plan for evaluation;
- Be able to judge the quality of evaluation methods and reports;
- Be able to manage evaluations;
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Actively utilize evaluation recommendations for planning future projects/programmes  and follow-up on evaluation findings.

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[1] Please see UNEG website: http://www.uneval.org/normsandstandards/index.jsp?doc_cat_source_id=4

[2] ECOSOC Resolution 2009/23  "Support for the development and implementation of the regional programmes of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime", and the ECOSOC Resolution 2010/20 "Support for the development and implementation of an integrated approach to programme development at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime".

[3] Please see UNEG website: http://www.uneval.org/normsandstandards/index.jsp?doc_cat_source_id=4

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Evaluation Handbook Home
Table of Contents
Acronyms
Foreword
Introduction
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 VI: Using the Evaluation
Annexes
Annex I: Evaluation Glossary
Annex II: UNEG Norms
Annex III: UNEG Standards
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Introduction
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