Evaluation in the Project/Programme Cycle


Evaluation is often seen as an "end of project cycle" exercise. Evaluation, however, plays a distinct role at all stages of the project cycle.

Source: UNODC Evaluation Handbook, p. 11


Programmes and projects need to be designed with evaluation in mind as evaluation is an essential part of an intervention’s life cycle. When formulating a new project/programme or a revision, the Programme Manager should: 1) Review evaluation results, recommendations and lessons learned from previous interventions. Findings of evaluations is a precious input into the decision-making and planning processes. Evaluation enables continuous improvement and learning through implementation of recommendations, understanding and incorporation of lessons learned from past evaluations into new strategies, programmes and projects. 

2) Review evaluation plans for related interventions at UNODC in order to ensure coordination and coherence of evaluation activities across the organization; and, 3) Carefully plan the timing of the evaluations and ensure sufficient funding is reserved. The planning stage further includes consultation with stakeholders. The Project Manager and relevant Offices and Units then formulate the project/programme document. See also Evaluation Handbook (Overall context of evaluation)


All programme and project documents, including any revision documents, are required to include a section on evaluation. The Independent Evaluation Section (IES) reviews and clears all documents in the Direct Approval process as well as provides comments for the approval process of the UNODC Programme Review Committee (PRC). See also Evaluation in the Project/Programme Cycle.

To avoid last minute changes, pre-consultation with IES is recommended well before the project document/project revision is submitted for clearance.The following details have to be included in the paragraph on evaluation (Template for the evaluation paragraph in project documents(Spanish)Template for the evaluation paragraph in project revisions(Spanish)): 1) Type of evaluation; 2) quarter and year to initiate the evaluation; 3) budget (calculated with the Evaluation budget matrix) 4) use of evaluation results; 6) prior evaluations; and, 7) whether a cluster evaluation is planned. See Guidelines for Cluster Evaluation (requires pre-consultation with IES).  See also Evaluation Handbook (Overall context of evaluation).


Evaluation reports, through evidence based findings and thorough analysis, allow UNODC to show Donors and Member States the work that has been achieved, the positive outcomes of UNODC's engagement as well as the gaps that remain to be filled.


Evaluations provide important findings and recommendations which point out the positive and the negative aspects of the work being conducted. By undertaking an evaluation and by following its recommendations, an Organization can ensure success and prevent easily avoidable mistakes from happening. This allows UNODC to reach its goals and achieve planned outcomes as set in its strategies.