Cluster Evaluation Experience in Central Asia and a Harmonized Integrated Approach

21 March 2019, Vienna, Austria - Opening the side-event event, Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, noted that "this evaluation has been a positive experience and important for us to see what has worked and where we need to improve. We will take the lessons learned from this evaluation for our future work in the fight against drugs, crime and terrorism." UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia (UNODC ROCA) jointly with the UNODC Independent Evaluation Section organized a side event during the 62 nd Session of the Commission on Narcotics Drugs. The side event was dedicated to the presentation of outcomes and recommendations of the in-depth thematic cluster evaluation on UNODC's law enforcement and border control sub-programme and related projects in Central Asia.

The evaluation, completed in December last year, was dictated by UNODC ROCA's transition from individual project approach to a single programme under Sub-programme 1 of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia (2015-2019). 

Mr. Alexandre Schmidt, Chief of UNODC Regional Section for Europe, West and Central Asia, noted: "We highly welcome the evaluation as it will help us to position ourselves on how to better serve Member States and respond in an efficient and effective way to threats in the region. The evaluation will be added value to our work."

The Sub-programme 1 (SP1) represents the overarching strategic and programmatic framework under which UNODC provides technical assistance to law enforcement agencies of Central Asian States in the areas of border management, intelligence analysis, and interagency and regional law enforcement cooperation.

The purpose of the evaluation was to assess each of the components and Sub-programme for the OECD criteria of relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. In addition, established partnerships and cooperation, human rights and gender mainstreaming were assessed. The evaluation paid special attention to reflecting and assessing the rationale for and the ongoing process of transition from individual projects to a single programme.

Following the presentation of the evaluation findings and recommendations by Mr. Jim Newkirk, the leader of the evaluation team, Ms. Ashita Mittal, presented the management response and the follow-up plan to the implementation of the recommendations of the evaluation.  

The event served as a platform to discuss the lessons learned in the sub-programme implementation and to exchange views on developing a new strategy for Central Asia which will ensure a comprehensive approach for UNODC intervention to meet the expectation of the Member States.

From this perspective, the session showcased the high value of evaluation, not only for ensuring accountability and transparency of UNODC's assistance to Member States, but also in terms of innovation and organizational learning. As noted by Ms. Katharina Kayser, Chief of the Independent Evaluation Section, "evaluation is a cornerstone of sound management. This innovative cluster evaluation on law enforcement and border control in Central Asia shows the direction towards higher-level, more strategic and efficient evaluations."

In this regard, "the most innovative aspect of this cluster evaluation is that it allows us to better understand the process by which four stand-alone projects merged into a single Sub-Programme. This can be particularly useful in the context of the ongoing transformation towards a harmonized integrated approach," as pointed out by Mr.Carlos Asenjo, Evaluation Officer of the Independent Evaluation Section.

Through its Sub-Programme 1, UNODC is committed to contribute to the work that the Governments would like to undertake in their countries through their programs on countering transnational organized crime and stands ready to reinforce its efforts with partners and other UN agencies, to strengthen partnerships and build resilience to address shared challenges.

For more information:

Independent Evaluation Section

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