Evaluation Step by Step

See below the key steps of an evaluation at UNODC, including roles and responsibilities of IES, project/programme managers and the evaluation team. 

See further the website Templates & Guidelines with a list of all IES guidelines and templates, also included on this page.

Read also about IES evaluation management tool Unite Evaluations.

For additional information, see the Evaluation HandbookChapter 1-3 (Overall context of evaluation)Chapter 4-6 (Guide for project/programme managers and evaluators) and Chapter 7 (Practical guide to carry out high quality evaluations).

STEP 1: PLANNING FOR AN EVALUATION

DESIGN STAGE OF A PROJECT

Projects and programmes need to be designed with evaluation in mind as evaluation is an essential part of their life cycle. 

When formulating a new project/programme or a revision, Managers should: 1) Use prior evaluation results and recommendations for continuous improvement and learning to inform the design of the project/programme; 2) Review existing evaluation plans to ensure coordination and coherence; 3) Carefully plan the timing of future evaluations; and, 4) Ensure sufficient funding for evaluation is reserved (calculated with the Evaluation Budget Matrix). The planning stage further includes consultation with stakeholders.

APPROVAL OF EVALUATION IN A PROJECT 

Project/programme documents or revisions are required to include a tentative evaluation plan. IES reviews and clears submissions for IPMR and the Programme Review Committee (PRC). To avoid last minute changes, pre-consultation with IES is recommended.

There is a Template for the Evaluation Plan part in IPMR (English), (Spanish) to be used, requiring the following details: 1) Type of evaluation (mid-term or final); 2) Quarter and year to initiate the evaluation(s); 3) Budget for the evaluation(s) (calculated with the Evaluation Budget Matrix); 4) Planned use of evaluation results; and, 6) Prior evaluations that have informed the design of the project/programme. 

STEP 2: PREPARATION FOR AN EVALUATION

INITIATION

Preparatory work starts 8 months before the planned completion of an Independent Project Evaluation (IPE) and 10-12 months of an In-depth Evaluation (IDE). See the Flowchart for an IPE and an IDE.

The Manager 1) informs IES and key stakeholders of the evaluation; 2) discusses exact modality and timing with IES; 3) confirms available funding as calculated with the Evaluation Budget Matrix; and, 3) initiates the IPE in Unite Evaluations (IES initiates an IDE).

See also Unite Evaluations User Manual.

TERMS OF REFERENCE

After consultation with IES on the modality and timing of the evaluation, the Manager drafts the ToR, using the Evaluation ToR Template and submits through Unite Evaluations for IES review. 

The ToR outline the purpose and key questions to be answered; time frame and deliverables; as well as stakeholders and use of evaluation results. 

All evaluations are further guided by the principles of human rights, gender equality and leaving no one behind. See Human Rights and Gender Equality

RECRUITMENT

The Manager discusses the outfit of the evaluation team with IES and identifies and assesses qualified candidates, further providing their CVs to IES for review.

Please note: IES clearance of the evaluation team is required before the HR recruitment process may be initiated.

Minimum number for an IPE: One lead Evaluation Expert and one Expert in the subject area of the project to be evaluated. At least one in the evaluation team should have expertise in human rights and gender equality. An IDE requires additional experts. 

STEP 3: CONDUCT OF AN EVALUATION

INCEPTION REPORT

Once the evaluation team is recruited, the desk review phase starts, with the Manager providing desk review materials. 

The evaluation team reviews the materials and elaborates on e.g. the evaluation methodology and data collection instruments and tools and includes all in an inception report, using the Evaluation Inception Report Template, and submits through Unite Evaluations for IES review. 

Please note: IES clearance is required before the field mission may be initiated.

DATA COLLECTION

The evaluation team conducts interviews with key stakeholders and uses various tools and methods to collect data, often remotely, ensuring a mixed-methods and inclusive, gender-responsive approach. The field mission is followed by an analysis of all available information.

See COVID-19 Guidance Note for Managers and Evaluators 

The Manager provides logistical support for e.g. travel, data collection, arrangements of interviews and additional background materials as required.

EVALUATION REPORT

The evaluation team drafts the evaluation report, using the Evaluation Report Template IPE; IDE and submits through Unite Evaluations.

After review and pre-clearance by IES, the Manager reviews the revised draft report for any factual errors, followed by the key stakeholders.

The Final Report, a 2-page Brief using the Evaluation Brief Template IPE; IDE and slides on the final results are reviewed by IES. Once cleared, the lead evaluator presents the results to relevant key stakeholders at an appropriate event.

STEP 4: FOLLOW-UP AND USE OF RESULTS

As a final step of an evaluation, the Manager discusses and liaises with relevant internal and external stakeholders (Senior Management, UNODC Offices/Sections/Units, donors etc.) in order to develop an Evaluation Follow-up Plan (EFP) and a Management Response (MR).  

Please note: Completing the EFP and MR is mandatory and a pre-requisite for finalization of the evaluation process and clearance of the Final Evaluation Report by IES. For more information see Evaluation Follow-up and Use of Results, as well as Evaluation Follow-up Plan and Management Response Guidelines and Evaluation Follow-up Plan Template. 

The Manager disseminates the Final Evaluation Report 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. IES further commissions independent external quality assessments (EQAs) of all UNODC evaluation reports to ensure they provide credible information for evidence-based programming. See all EQA Reports and 2-page Summaries.