The UNODC evaluation policy is both the guiding and the binding document for the organization in relation to UNODC evaluations. The policy has been endorsed at the highest level by Member States and the Executive Director of UNODC. The evaluation policy of UNODC is an important reference document for both staff and Member States. It sets out the principles and rules that guide the Organization's decisions and actions when planning, conducting, disseminating and using evaluations.

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Link to all normative tools, templates, guidelines, etc.


The evaluation function plays a critical role in supporting accountability by independently conducting evaluations which assess compliance with the established conventions, treaties, norms, policies and plans, and report fairly and accurately on results to the Executive Director, UNODC at large and Member States.

Organizational Learning

Evaluation includes measuring the extent to which intended and unintended results are or are not achieved and their impact on stakeholders. It also deals with answering difficult questions, such as whether the Organisation is doing the right things and whether it is doing things right. In this sense, it becomes an important source of evidence about institutional performance and a key contributor to organizational learning. Through the timely incorporation of recommendations and lessons learned into the decision-making processes of the Organisation, evaluation aims at being of use throughout the project or programme cycle as well as at the level of policy formulation.

Knowledge Generation

Undertaking evaluations produces substantive knowledge on the specific topics under UNODC's mandates. This knowledge is delivered in form of evaluation reports which contain recommendations and lessons learned. IEU seeks to compile, synthesize and disseminate this knowledge to the benefit of UNODC's stakeholders as well as the United Nations Organisations at large and its Member States.


  UNODC Evaluation Policy (2015)

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Evaluation is part of the programme and project cycle and is therefore an institutional responsibility to be taken up by all managers in UNODC.

Senior Management ensures that adequate resources for evaluation are reserved and draws on evaluation findings to guide strategic decision-making on future programming.

International standards followed in the United Nations recommend allocating a range of 2% to 3% of the overall budget of a project or programme for evaluation purposes. IEU adheres to and applies these standards to ensure the validity, relevance and usefulness of the evaluation deliverables.

Project and Programmes selected for In-Depth evaluations will open a specific budget segment prior to start the evaluation where they will allocate the evaluation funds to be managed by IEU during the evaluation process.


As evaluation is part of the project and programme management, all projects and programmes in UNODC are to be evaluated according to UNODC evaluation policy, handbook and guidelines at least every 4 years or 6 months before the project or programme finalizes.

Types of Evaluation

In-Depth Evaluations: Strategic evaluations of relevance to the organisation, such as country, regional, thematic, global programmes, cross-cutting issues, for example gender, human rights, etc.,  or corporate policies. A cluster evaluation is an evaluation of a set of related projects which aims at identifying commonalities and synergies across projects as well as determining the progress made towards a wider programming objective. A set of related projects identified by management and IEU as of key relevance for the Organisation may qualify as an In-Depth Evaluation. A joint evaluation, in which UNODC jointly carries out an evaluation with another implementing partner, also qualifies as an In-Depth evaluation.

Independent Project Evaluations: the unit of analysis is an individual project designed to achieve specific objectives within specified resources, in an adopted time span and following an established plan of action.

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Evaluation is independent and impartial

The evaluation unit at UNODC "should be functionally and operationally independent and should be part of the Office of the Executive Director" [1] Following UNEG Norms for Evaluation in the UN System: "The evaluation function has to be located independently from the other management functions so that it is free from undue influence and that unbiased and transparent reporting is ensured." [2]

Evaluation is transparent and participatory

The evaluation process at UNODC is transparent and involves relevant stakeholders at key stages of the UNODC Evaluation process, starting with the drafting of the Terms of Reference.

Evaluation is utilization focused

Evaluation products must be timely and tailored to meet the needs of its intended users. The analysis of findings by evaluators has to consider the realities of the programme or country context, and recommendations have to be practical and realistic to be implemented.

Evaluation conforms to internationally accepted standards

The standards on evaluation of UNEG and Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) guide the activity of the evaluation function in UNODC. Each evaluation should employ design, planning and implementation processes that are inherently quality oriented, covering appropriate methodologies for data-collection and analysis.

Human Rights and Gender

UNODC incorporates specific principles and safeguards to ensure that all evaluations undertaken or commissioned by UNODC include a focus on protection of human rights and gender issues following UNEG guidance UNEG/G(2011)2 Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality in Evaluation [3]


Evaluators should have personal and professional integrity and abide by the UNEG ethical guidelines for evaluation and the UNEG code of conduct for evaluation in the United Nations system, to ensure that the rights of individuals involved in an evaluation are respected. Evaluators must act with cultural sensitivity and pay particular attention to protocols, codes and recommendations that may be relevant to their interactions with women, minority groups, etc.

Download the whole Evaluation Policy here (please click)

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  [1] CND 52/14 2 December 2009; CCPCJ 18/6 3 December 2009 

[2] N6 - Norms for evaluation in the UN System UNEG/FN/Norms(2005) 

[3] Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality in Evaluation Towards UNEG Guidance UNEG/G(2011)2