I-c Evaluation in the UN

Description of workshop contents:

We need a culture of evaluation, independent and real-time evaluation with full transparency.”

António Guterres
Secretary-General of the United Nations

The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development raises the bar for global development. This has profound implications for the evaluation functions of United Nations agencies and for the United Nations evaluation system as a whole.”

UN Evaluation Group Norms and Standards for Evaluation

This course will discuss how the largest evaluation office in the United Nations (UN) system approaches evaluation, the kinds of questions it asks, the data it collects, and the reports it writes.

The workshop will begin with an overview of how UN values and the UN Norms and Standards for Evaluation shape practice in the UNDP Independent Evaluation Office (IEO), with an emphasis on independence, credibility and utility. The heart of the course will examine how evaluations are carried out in practice, including design and methods, analytical tools, the use of theories of change, dealing with real-world challenges, and the quality of evidence. A dedicated session will look at the integration of gender equality and human rights perspectives, before discussing reporting and communicating evaluation findings. Real examples and practical exercises will be used throughout. The workshop will end with an opportunity to discuss what the UNDP IEO looks for when engaging evaluators.

Workshop Objectives:

At the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the UN norms and standards for evaluation and what the UN means by “evaluating results”;
  • Appreciate UN values;
  • Comply with UN standards when conducting evaluations;
  • Recognize the most-used types of evaluation, designs and methodologies in the UN;
  • Promote evaluation credibility, independence and utility for evidence and human-rights based decision making;
  • Identify learning from the evaluation accountability prism for programme improvement;
  • Move evaluands away from «evaluaphobia» to recognize the value in cooperating with evaluators.

Recommended for

This course is targeted at evaluators interested in working for the UN.

Workshop level:

This is an introductory to mid-level course.


  • Must have completed graduate level studies that included research methods, as this is often a requirement to be commissioned as an evaluator for the UN;
  • Must have knowledge of evaluation fundamentals, ideally acquired through the IPDET core course;
  • Must have read The Road to Results.


Heather Bryant
Ana Soares