Programmes and projects need to be designed with evaluation in mind as evaluation is an essential part of an intervention’s life cycle. Project/Programme Managers play a critical role in any evaluation process beginning at the programme/project design stage. This is when Managers 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.
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).
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: 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 (requires pre-consultation with IES).
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 by the Manager in the on-line evaluation management application Unite Evaluations. See Guidance on how to log in and initiate the evaluation.
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.
In-depth Evaluations (IDEs) are usually large-scale strategic evaluations. These may be of country, regional, thematic
or global programmes, or of corporate-level initiatives, policies or approaches.
IDEs differ from IPEs in their relative size, geographical scope and strategic importance, as well as the greater complexity of methodological evaluation instruments used.
These evaluations are also undertaken by independent external evaluators/consultants or specialized companies. However, they are managed by IES and involve staff from IES as part of the evaluation team. IDEs usually require extensive consultation, take longer to complete, command significantly larger budgets, and share their reports with a wider audience. IDEs are typically initiated 10-12 months prior to the planned date of completion of the intervention.
An In-depth Evaluation is initiated by IES in the on-line evaluation management application Unite Evaluations.
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.
Managers are also responsible for the development of the Evaluation Follow-up Plan to be reviewed and cleared by IES. 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.