Evaluation represents a crucial agent of change, brings marginalized groups to forefront, says UNODC Senior Official as annual meeting begins

Evaluation represents a crucial agent of change, brings marginalized groups to forefront, says UNODC Senior Official as annual meeting begins. Photo: UNODC16 May 2017 - To reinforce the importance of evaluation in the delivery of projects and programs globally that support vulnerable people and communities, the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) met in Vienna this week with the participation of international organizations, government representatives, civil society groups, academic entities, the private sector, and the evaluation community.

Opening the evaluation week, Roberto Arbitrio, UNODC Chief of the Office of the Director-General, on behalf of the Executive Director, said: "Evaluation has emerged as one of the most vibrant and strategic areas of international organizations. This critical function safeguards our institutional health by helping us to understand what works and why."

Dedicating its annual week to the role of evaluation in "Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing World", the Group aims to support and intensify momentum towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Globally, nearly 700 million people are still living on less than US$1.90 a day, with many lacking access to adequate food, clean drinking water and sanitation. While approximately 1.1 billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty and the proportion of undernourished people in the developing regions has fallen by almost half since 1990s, much remains to be accomplished. The goals, in that regard, renew the international community's resolve to combat global poverty and ensure inclusive prosperity, and also binds all countries to a bold commitment to end poverty by 2030.

On that point, Mr. Arbitrio said: "Evaluation is playing an important role in bringing marginalized groups to the forefront, helping to make their voices heard and ensuring that their demands and interests are part of the agenda for change, which the SDGs stand for."

As one the key features of the Evaluation Week, a high-level event is taking place today, with a group of prominent development thinkers and practitioners discussing the role of evaluation within the context of the 2030 Agenda and identifying key opportunities and challenges to achieve the SDGs.

The 2017 Evaluation Week is taking place in Vienna between 15th and 19th May, with support of the Vienna-based UNEG member organizations. It provides a unique forum for members to get together once a year to share and exchange latest activities, best practices, lessons learned, and knowledge in evaluation. The week is also an important business platform, where the Group's strategy and work plans are discussed with a view to setting the course for the upcoming year.

Further Information:

UNODC Independent Evaluation Unit

United Nations Evaluation Group

Sustainable Development Goals