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. The Programme Manager should: 1) Review evaluation results, recommendations and lessons learned from previous interventions in order to inform the design of the new programme/project; 2) Review evaluation plans for related interventions at UNODC in order to ensure coordination and coherence of evaluation activities across the organization; and, 3) Carefully plan the timing of the evaluations and ensure sufficient funding is reserved. See also Evaluation Step by Step.

Moreover, during this phase it is necessary to commit enough 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 revision documents, 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 approval process of 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 have to 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. They are conducted by independent external evaluators/consultants. The role of IES is to backstop the process, review and clear all deliverables in the process as well as provide quality assurance and guidance to managers and evaluators throughout the process. IPEs are typically initiated approximately eight 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.

Careful preparation of the evaluation helps to ensure that it will be of high quality, credible and useful. The preparation phase has three main steps: initiating the process, determining the terms of reference and recruiting the evaluation team. The preparation phase further establishes the foundations for a Human Rights and Gender-responsive evaluation process. See also Human Rights and Gender Equality.

Flowchart Independent Project Evaluation 

Guidelines Evaluation ToRTemplate ToR (Plantilla de TdR de evaluación)

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)

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. IDEs differ from IPEs in their relative size, geographical scope and strategic importance, as well as the greater complexity of methodological evaluation instruments used. An IDE is undertaken by independent external evaluators/consultants 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 typically initiated 10-12 months prior to the planned date of completion of the intervention. See also Evaluation Step by Step. Careful preparation of the evaluation helps to ensure that it will be of high quality, credible and useful. The preparation phase further establishes the foundations for a Human Rights and Gender-responsive evaluation process. See also Human Rights and Gender Equality.

Flowchart In-depth Evaluation 

Guidelines Evaluation ToRTemplate ToR (Plantilla de TdR de evaluación)

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)

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 prepare a Management Response. This is a written response (approximately 1–2 pages) included in the final report. Evaluation Handbook (Guide for project/programme managers and evaluators)

Managers are also responsible for the development of the Evaluation Follow-up Plan to be reviewed and cleared by IES. Guidance for the drafting and monitoring of the Follow-up Plan. The Manager is required to update the follow-up plan once a year. The Evaluation Follow-up Plan is prepared in the on-line evaluation management application Unite Evaluations.

The dissemination of the evaluation report, as well as the implementation of the recommendations, lessons learned and best practices is a further responsibility of the Manager. This ensures that the results of the evaluation are shared so that others can learn from it and can use the results to improve UNODC programming. IES further shares the evaluation results with Member States and UNODC's Executive Director, as well as publishes the Evaluation Report and Evaluation Brief on its website. UNODC Evaluation Reports further undergo an external quality assessment. Quality Assessment of Independent Project and In-Depth Evaluation Reports. See Evaluation Quality Assessment Report 2019 and the 2-page Summary.