Background

The Chairman recalled the background and context of the evaluation of the “Delivering as one” pilots. In April 2007, CEB had endorsed a proposal of the High-level Committee on Programmes to urgently establish the substantive parameters and process for the evaluation of the pilots and to provide early access to information on the pilots for decision-making. The evaluability assessments were the first outcome of this process to be reviewed by the Committee. At the same time, a decision was to be made on the possible conduct of the next two phases of the evaluation on process and results respectively, in light of the independent evaluation called for by the General Assembly in its resolution 62/208 on the triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system.

Discussion

Members of the Committee commended the United Nations Evaluation Group on the appropriateness of the process of the evaluability assessments, the high quality of the synthesis report and the usefulness of the findings and suggestions for the way forward. During the discussion, issues were raised with respect to: (a) growing national ownership and leadership of the pilots; (b) the importance of establishing clear baselines and clarity on the measurement of changes; (c) a common understanding of transaction costs as affecting national Governments, the United Nations, and other partners, and better documentation of costs at the country level and the initial increase in transaction costs; (d) the relationship between the One Programme and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework; (e) the need for a balance between focus and inclusiveness, between normative and operational in a demand-driven situation, and the engagement of non-resident agencies; (f) the effectiveness of the firewall and the results of its introduction; (g) the need to recognize these as self-starter pilot experiments and to learn from experience; (h) the importance of not overpromising results to Member States, which could adversely affect the results of an evaluation; and (i) the need to strengthen Headquarters and systemic support to the pilots.

Action

The Committee agreed on the following way forward:

  • The next two phases of the proposed evaluation would be suspended pending clarification with regard to the independent evaluation called for by the General Assembly.
  • There was a clear need to establish a baseline for the pilots and to address the concerns raised by the evaluability assessment.
  • The report will be shared with the High-level Committee on Management and the United Nations Development Group, so that the three high-level committees could develop a common approach on the issue of system-wide evaluation. The need for a system-wide evaluation mechanism will be discussed at the next meeting of the chairs of the three high-level committees.