The vital role that evaluation plays in the success of interventions is becoming increasingly apparent. The United Nations Secretary-General has stressed that to be fully accountable, "we need a culture of evaluation, independent and real-time evaluation with full transparency".
Moreover, evaluation is at the heart of the 2030 Sustainable Agenda, which highlights that the follow-up and review processes for the development goals will be informed by country-led evaluations and by data that accessible, timely, reliable and of high quality.
Ultimately, the information obtained through evaluations and the processes for gathering it serve four main purposes: accountability, organizational learning, knowledge generation and opportunities for dialogue.
As per UNGA Resolution A/RES/69/237 and the 2030 Agenda, the UN system is mandated to contribute to international efforts for achieving the SDGs through strengthening national evaluation capacity (NEC). A new UNGA resolution (A/RES/69/237) from 3 May 2023 on Strengthening Voluntary National Reviews through Country-led Evaluation (A/RES/77/283), further request United Nations agencies to provide support to Member States to undertake evaluations.
UN reforms to both programming and management further demand increased accountability and evaluation at all levels, with special emphasis on evaluating results at the strategic level, including UNSDCF, reflecting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Independent Evaluation Section (IES) already participated in 2015 in shaping the Global Evaluation Agenda in relation to the SDGs. In cooperation with evaluation functions of the Vienna-based International Organizations, a High-level panel discussion on "The Use of Evaluation in Evidence-Based Policy Making - Accountability and Learning: Getting to Results and Impact" was organized, with a focus on how to bridge the gap between the policy makers and the evaluation community and how to ensure the use of the highest quality, equity-focused and gender-responsive evaluations.
Moreover, besides conducting participatory, independent, inclusive, human-rights, gender-responsive and utilization-focused evaluations and presenting key evaluation results to UNODC's Executive Director and Member States, IES also fully engages in synthesizing and aggregating key evaluation results and lessons learned into innovative knowledge products, such as meta-syntheses. This also includes joint system-wide meta-syntheses developed together with with partners of other UN organizations.
In addition, the innovative web-based evaluation management and knowledge sharing tool, Unite Evaluations, ensures aggregate results reporting vis-à-vis the targets of the SDGs.
Aggregated evaluation results support stakeholders and Member States to make informed decisions in the response to drugs, crime and terrorism, contributing to UNODC and partner countries' accountability and evaluation-based decision-making, being in line with UN reforms and the SDGs.