Evaluation Guidance for Project Managers

PLANNING FOR AN EVALUATION AT THE DESIGN STAGE

Programmes and projects need to be designed with evaluation in mind as evaluation is an essential part of an intervention’s life cycle. See also Evaluation in the Project/Programme Cycle. When formulating a new project/programme or a revision, the Programme Manager should: 1) Review evaluation results from previous interventions in order to inform the design of the new programme/project; 2) Review evaluation plans in order to ensure coordination and coherence of evaluation activities; and, 3) Carefully plan the timing of the evaluation and ensure sufficient funding is reserved. See also Evaluation Step by Step.

Moreover, during this phase it is necessary to commit capacity, time and budget to ensure Human Rights (HR) and Gender Equality (GE)–responsive, inclusive and participatory evaluation processes. Mainstreaming Human Rights and Gender EqualityUNEG Guidance - Integrating Human Rights and Gender in Evaluation. See also Human Rights and Gender Equality

Evaluation Handbook (Overall context of evaluation)

APPROVING PROCESS OF EVALUATION IN A PROJECT

All programme and project documents, including any revisions, are required to include a section on evaluation. The Independent Evaluation Section (IES) reviews and clears all documents in the Direct Approval process as well as provides comments for the UNODC Programme Review Committee (PRC). See also Evaluation in the Project/Programme Cycle.

To avoid last minute changes, pre-consultation with IES is recommended well before the project document/project revision is submitted for clearance.The following details must be included in the paragraph on evaluation (Template for the evaluation paragraph in project documents(Spanish)Template for the evaluation paragraph in project revisions(Spanish)): 1) Type of evaluation; 2) quarter and year to initiate the evaluation; 3) budget (calculated with the Evaluation budget matrix) 4) use of evaluation results; 6) prior evaluations; and, 7) whether a cluster evaluation is planned. See Guidelines for Cluster Evaluation (requires pre-consultation with IES). 

Evaluation Handbook (Overall context of evaluation)

INDEPENDENT PROJECT EVALUATION

The responsibility for managing Independent Project Evaluations (IPEs) lies with the Manager of the programme/project being evaluated. An IPE is conducted by independent external evaluators. IES backstops the process, including reviewing and clearing all deliverables in the process, as well as provides quality assurance and guidance throughout the process. An IPE is initiated 8 months prior to the planned date of completion of the project (final evaluation) or half way through the duration of the project (mid-term evaluation) by the Manager in the on-line evaluation management application Unite Evaluations. See Guidance on how to log in and initiate the evaluation. See also Evaluation Step by Step

Flowchart Independent Project Evaluation 

Template Evaluation ToR 

Guidelines Inception ReportTemplate Inception Report (Directrices para los informes de inicio)

Guidelines Evaluation ReportsTemplate Evaluation ReportTemplate Evaluation Brief; Typographic StylesUN Spelling

Evaluation Handbook (Guide for project/programme managers and evaluators)Evaluation Handbook (Practical guide to carry out high quality evaluations)

See also Evaluation during Covid-19 Crisis (Respuesta de IES) and Covid-19 Guidance for Managers and Evaluators

IN-DEPTH EVALUATION

In-depth Evaluations (IDEs) are usually large-scale strategic evaluations of corporate-level initiatives, policies or approaches and country/regional/thematic or global programmes. An IDE is undertaken by independent external evaluators or specialized companies, is managed by IES and also involves staff from IES as part of the evaluation team. IES further initiates the IDE in the on-line evaluation management application Unite Evaluations.

IDEs usually require extensive consultation, take longer to complete, command significantly larger budgets, and the reports are shared with a wider audience. IDEs are initiated 10-12 months prior to the planned date of completion of the intervention. See also Evaluation Step by Step

Flowchart In-depth Evaluation 

Template Evaluation ToR 

Guidelines Inception ReportTemplate Inception Report (Directrices para los informes de inicio)

Guidelines Evaluation Reports,Template Evaluation Report; Template Evaluation BriefTypographic StylesUN Spelling 

Evaluation handbook (Guide for project/programme managers and evaluators)Evaluation Handbook (Practical guide to carry out high quality evaluations)

See also Evaluation during Covid-19 Crisis (Respuesta de IES) and Covid-19 Guidance for Managers and Evaluators

FOLLOW-UP & USING THE EVALUATION

The evaluation process does not end with the receipt of the final evaluation report. In the light of the recommendations of the final evaluation report, Programme/Project Managers discuss and liaise with relevant parties, including senior management, other UNODC sections, donors, etc. and and prepare a Management Response (MR). The MR is included in a table in the final evaluation report, indicating whether each recommendation is accepted/partially accepted or rejected. For an IDE, a written narrative (approximately 1–2 pages) is further added to the final report. 

Managers are also responsible for the development of the Evaluation Follow-up Plan (EFP) on the implementation of the evaluation recommendations. The EFP is prepared  in the on-line evaluation management application Unite Evaluations and is reviewed and cleared by IES. See Guidance for the drafting and monitoring of the Follow-up Plan. The Manager is required to update the follow-up plan once a year. IES further reports on the implementation of recommendations to the Executive Director and Member States on an annual basis.

The evaluation report is further disseminated by Programme/Project Manager for learning and improved UNODC programming. IES shares evaluation results with Member States and UNODC's Executive Director, as well as publishes Evaluation Reports and Evaluation Briefs on its website. All UNODC Evaluation Reports further undergo an external quality assessment (Quality Assessment of Independent Project and In-Depth Evaluation Reports). See the Evaluation Quality Assessment Report 2019 and the 2-page Summary.