Evaluation in the Project/Programme Cycle


Source: UNODC Evaluation Handbook, p. 11


Evaluation is often seen as an "end of project cycle" exercise. Evaluation, however, plays a distinct role at all stages of the project cycle.

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Evaluation is part of the project cycle and is planned for at the design stage for all UNODC projects and programmes. 

Findings of evaluation reports is a precious input into the decision-making and planning processes. Evaluation enables continuous improvement and learning through implementation of recommendations, understanding and incorporation of lessons learned from past evaluations into new strategies, programmes and projects.

The planning begins with the identification of ideas in consultation with stakeholders. The Project Manager and relevant Offices and Units then formulate the project/programme document. The Project Manager is further responsible for consulting already existing Evaluation Plans to ensure coordination with evaluations that may take place at the same time or in the same geographical or thematic areas.

Source: UNODC Evaluation Handbook, p. 45

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Submitting offices must undertake mandatory consultations with IES for all projects and programmes (and revisions to the same)  to be approved either by the PRC or the Direct Approval process. To avoid last minute changes, consultations with IES should be undertaken well before the project document/project revision is submitted in ProFi for clearance.

IES provides guidance regarding details of the tentative evaluation to be included in the paragraph on evaluation in the project document or project revision document (see templates below):

1) Type of evaluation (mid-term/final and Independent Project Evaluation, In-depth Evaluation or Cluster Evaluation); 2) quarter and year to initiate the evaluation; 3) amount to be reserved for the evaluation as calculated with the evaluation budget matrix (please send a request to IES); 4) use of evaluation results; 6) prior evaluation; and, 7) whether a cluster evaluation of several projects is planned (requires pre-consultation with IES). 

A mid-term evaluation is formative in nature and typically used to assess achievements half-way through the project or programme and to derive lessons for implementation.
A final evaluation is initiated 8-10 months before the end of a project (or of a project's phase) to ensure evaluation capacity. The aim is to determine the extent to which planned and unplanned objectives and outcomes were achieved, to identify the factors of success or failure, to assess the sustainability of the benefits generated, and to draw conclusions that may inform future programming, policy making and overall organizational learning. 

Further information: Evaluation Step-by-Step, Tools & Guidance and the Evaluation Handbook

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Evaluation reports, through evidence based findings and thorough analysis, allow UNODC to show Donors and Member States the work that has been achieved, the positive outcomes of UNODC's engagement as well as the gaps that remain to be filled.

Mid-term evaluations also provide important findings and recommendations which point out the positive and the negative aspects of the work being conducted. By undertaking an evaluation and by following its recommendations, an Organization can ensure success and prevent easily avoidable mistakes from happening. This allows UNODC to reach its goals and achieve planned outcomes as set in its strategies.

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