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EVALUATION IN THE TIME OF COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic is increasing risks and changing environments related to UNODC´s mandated areas of work, most notably in corruption and organized crime. This means that the need for effective evaluation of UNODC’s programmes and projects is as important as ever. As Ms. Katharina Kayser, Chief, Independent Evaluation Section (IES), put it, "during these unprecedented times, we are reminded of the critical role of evidence in policy and programming. It becomes clear that understanding whether we are doing the right thing, at the right time and in the right way is critical. The need for evaluation-based knowledge to inform decision making is even more imperative during this crisis”.

When the pandemic hit, IES had a large number of evaluations underway. But the field work required of those was no longer an option. It was clear that new procedures, protocols, methods and systems would be needed to ensure continued evaluation work, most importantly the collection of data.

As part of IES’ immediate response, a 1-page Brief in English and Spanish was prepared together with a dedicated Guidance Note for programme/project managers and evaluators on how to adjust to COVID-19 in ongoing and planned evaluations. Several alternative evaluative activities were initiated, and UNODC staff have appreciated the various new options for collecting evaluative evidence. In June, IES further held two webinars to give UNODC staff the chance to discuss the Guidance Note, ask questions and share ideas. ... more. See also Evaluation and COVID-19

WORKSHOP GLOT60 EVALUATION TO DEVELOP A THEORY OF CHANGE FOR SUCCESSOR PROGRAMME

April 2020 - UNODC's Independent Evaluation Section (IES) is committed to utilization-focused evaluations, using initiatives where Project Management and stakeholders leverage learning opportunities of an evaluation to strengthen project design, effectiveness and organizational accountability. One good example of such is the evaluation of UNODC’s project GLOT60 which provided support to the work of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The evaluation results were presented in a workshop organized by Project Management on 16-17 April 2020. The aim of the workshop was to develop a Theory of Change for the follow-up initiative of the project.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the workshop could not be held in person in Vienna but was organized remotely, with 40 participants invited to collaborate. Despite the challenging circumstances, the virtual workshop moderated by the external monitoring expert Mr. James Dickson, allowed for the participation of stakeholders located both at HQ and in the field. The presentation of the methodology, results and recommendations of the evaluation proved to be a catalyst for the discussions held over two three-hour sessions. In fact, the workshop itself was part of an action plan to address the report’s first recommendation aimed at strengthening programmatic design. Ms. Riikka Puttonen, GLOT60’s project manager highlighted that “the evaluation, followed by the theory of change workshop, provided an excellent opportunity to stop and reflect on how we can best serve our stakeholders and mainstream gender as well as human rights in the future programme, leaving no one behind. The COVID-19 crisis forced us to stay at home but did not stop us from learning and further developing our programmes.”    (Evaluation Report; Evaluation Brief) 

THE ROLE OF NATIONAL MONITORING AND EVALUATION SYSTEMS IN POLICY AND PROGRAMMING FOR DRUG PREVENTION AND HIV/AIDS

6 March 2020 - The Independent Evaluation Section (IES), UNODC, organized a side-event on "The role on national monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems in policy and programming for drug prevention and HIV/AIDS" in the context of the 63rd session of CND. The event was co-sponsored by the Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section and the HIV/AIDS Section, Drug Prevention & Health Branch, UNODC.

Dr. Katharina Kayser, Chief, IES, opened the event by positioning evaluation in the larger context, in particular national evaluation capacities (NEC). Dr. Gambo Aliyu, Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS  (NACA) in Nigerai, shared lessons learned in developing national M&E systems, highlighting the need to better collect, interpret and use data. Dr. Patrick Herminie, Secretary of State, Agency for the Prevention of Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation (APDAR), elaborated on challenges in establishing an M&E Department in the Seychelles, including NEC. UNODC's services in supporting M&E systems in drug prevention were presented by Ms. Giovanna Capello, Officer-in-Charge, PTRS. Finally, Mr. Riku Lehtovuori, Adviser M&E, HAS, shared experience of M&E trainings related to HIV/AIDS, before the audience engaged in an open dialogue with the panellists on challenges in monitoring and evaluation.

INNOVATIVE UNODC MODEL OF PARTNERSHIP WITH THE KINGDOM OF MOROCCO ON NATIONAL EVALUATION CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT

General Assembly Resolution A/RES/69/237 and the 2030 Agenda mandate the UN system to contribute to achieving the SDGs through strengthening national evaluation capacity (NEC), setting the mandate of IES ' work. For instance, IES developed and implemented a pilot initiative to deliver technical assistance in building NEC in the Kingdom of Morocco. This includes the development of a module on evaluation and the SDGs for the national Master's Programme in public Policy Evaluation at the University of Meknes, the first of its kind in Morocco. 
As part of this partnership, IES invited a Moroccan delegation to an innovative workshop on "Independent Evaluation and National Evaluation Capacity Development". The Moroccan delegation further formed part of the panel at a side-event in the context of the Commission of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) on "Best practices in evaluation and accountability in the 2030 Agenda: the experience of the Kingdom of Morocco...more

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