Independent Evaluation Section


The Independent Evaluation Section (IES) plays a critical role in contributing to UNODC's accountability and evaluation-based decision-making in the response to drugs, crime and terrorism.

In particular the new UNODC Strategy 2021-2025 places increased emphasis on evaluation, learning and accountability: 

"UNODC will conduct evaluations in UNODC's mandated areas of work, as well as utilize evaluation and oversight results to provide information at an aggregate level, for example, through meta-syntheses.

The UNODC Strategy 2021-2025 also reflects that: "findings of oversight bodies and evaluations will be used to create a learning organization."

IES responds to organizational needs of inputs for evidence-based programming through ensuring a wide variety of services and products. (Read more below on IES three pillars of work).

IES actively participates in the UN Evaluation Group (UNEG), ensuring that UNODC evaluations fully meet UNEG Norms and Standards and are utilization-focused, using learning opportunities of evaluations to strengthen organizational accountability at UNODC. IES further engages in an ongoing dialogue with other UN evaluation functions through UNEG to share experiences and best practices in evaluation methodologies and approaches.

IES further closely coordinates and cooperates with Oversight Bodies to ensure complementarity of work.

See also IES Year in Review and Brief on IES.

Who we are and what we do

IES is headed by Katharina Kayser,  Chief.

Katherine Aston, Deputy Chief. Focal Point: Evaluation Norms; In-depth Evaluations; Oversight and Audit; Gender Equality.

Carlos Asenjo Ruiz. Focal Point: Independent Project Evaluations Latin America; National and UNODC Evaluation Capacity Development; SDGs and UN Reforms. 

Christopher Choueiri.  Contributing to: Independent Project Evaluations.

Emanuel Lohninger. Focal Point: Evaluation Knowledge Management; Unite Evaluations; Innovation and Communication.

Moritz Schuberth. Contributing to: Evaluation Capacity Development; Independent Project Evaluations; Evaluation Knowledge Management.

Charlotte Gunnarsson. Focal Point: Project Oversight and GLOH92 Reporting; Communication; Staff Recruitment.

Premmanee Saowadan. Focal Point: Budget and Time Administration; Calendars and Events.

Jelena Baier. Focal Point: Consultant Recruitment; Administrative Support for Travel and Meetings.  


IES delivers products and services in line with its three strategic pillars of mandated work:

Pillar 1: Evaluation Capacity Development and SDGs: 

Support UNODC staff in strengthening evaluation capacity development, including technical support and technical assistance to managers and evaluators in the evaluation process.

Moreover, IES develops evaluation guidance and tools, as well as uses each evaluation for on-the-job training, tailored to the different needs of the target audience. In response to the SDGs and the UNGA Resolution A/RES/69/237, IES also offers technical assistance to strengthen national evaluation capacities and systems.

Pillar 2: Evaluation Results:

Conduct participatory, independent, inclusive, gender-responsive and utilization-focused evaluations at corporate, policy, programme and project levels, reporting on completed independent evaluations directly to UNODC's Executive Director and Member States.

Moreover, to ensure that independent evaluations provide credible information for evidence-based programming at UNODC, IES commissions independent external quality assessments (EQAs) of all evaluations since 2014, following international best practice. 

Pillar 3: Evaluation Knowledge Products, Communication and Innovation: 

Synthesize and aggregate evaluation results as well as lessons learned of independent evaluations into innovative evaluation knowledge products.

Moreover, IES invests resources in communication products and approaches to ensure that results and knowledge generated through evaluations are shared, including Meta-Syntheses. 100% of UNODC evaluations are further managed through the innovative web-based evaluation management and knowledge sharing tool, Unite Evaluations.


UNODC's Evaluation Policy presents the set of principles and rules that guide the Organization's decisions and actions when planning, conducting, disseminating and using evaluations. The policy has been endorsed at the highest level by Member states and the Executive Director at UNODC. UNODC's Evaluation Policy from 2015 is currently undergoing a review.

Our mandate

UNODC recognizes that independent evaluation is an essential tool for accountability and learning. In this context, IES was re-established in 2010 as a sustainable, effective and operationally independent evaluation function at UNODC, following the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) Resolution 52/14 and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) Resolution 18/6, with the Chief of IES reporting directly on the achievements, challenges and opportunities as identified in evaluations to the Executive Director and Member States. 

IES founding resolutions were later followed by several additional resolutions by CND, CCPCJ and the General Assembly (including UNGA resolution A/RES/69/237 on national evaluation capacity building; UNGA resolution A/RES/72/303 on accountability systems in the UN Secretariat; and, SG reports A/70/826 and A/73/866 on a UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy), setting the mandate of IES work. The resolution from 2019, 62/9 (CND); 28/4 (CCPCJ), urges UNODC “to enhance its strategic planning, (…) including by conducting strategic evaluations and fully integrating their results, ensuring coherent programming, promoting synergies and avoiding duplication of effort, and to inform Member States on a regular basis about its management responses to evaluation results”. See References to evaluation in the 2019 Resolution.