Background

The Chairperson of the United Nations Evaluation Group, along with the Group’s task manager and the Co-Chair of the management group, introduced a paper entitled, “Evaluation of the delivering as one pilots — progress report on evaluability assessments”, containing information outlining the basic parameters for the evaluation of the pilots and some initial feedback on evaluability assessments carried out to date, including findings on processes that had been initiated in several of the pilot countries and at the global level.

Discussion

During the discussion, participants made several observations:
    (a)    Some basic questions need to be fully answered: what is the target or goal to be achieved?
    (b)    It was felt that evaluability studies with regard to the four ones could not be based on criteria that had not been given to pilot countries by Headquarters;
    (c)    There were two  several factors that had to be evaluated in the delivering as one process.
    (d)    The stocktaking that has taken place and has been discussed at joint sessions of the boards of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has yielded useful information that could feed into the independent evaluation of lessons learned;
    (e)    Small, technical agencies found it difficult to participate in the delivering as one process, and it was recommended to find ways to better involve them;
    (f)    Given costs and demands placed on countries in carrying out an evaluation, it was necessary to ensure that there would not be two parallel processes.
    (g)    There was a need for consultations with Member States to see how the work carried out by the United Nations Evaluation Group in the first phase of its work might be useful in meeting their request. It was also observed that the evaluation mandated by the Chief Executives Board should objectively meet the requirements for independence, including an independent manager and professional staff who could be housed in a neutral office.

In that regard, it was noted that the audience for the evaluation would be the Member States and the United Nations system alike.  As far as the delivering as one pilots were concerned, there were certain strengths but also certain side effects that might not be in line with priorities or mandates. For instance, there appeared to be a slight tendency to strengthen the central role of ministries of planning and finance, and thus line ministries and non resident agencies risked being sidelined. He underscored that while clarity could be achieved in terms of transaction costs, efficiency would be more difficult to measure. Indeed, to express normative benefits in economic terms was virtually impossible. There was a need to establish clear benchmarks for relevance, including responsiveness and effectiveness — the achievement of results. It was also necessary to identify the recurrent strengths and weaknesses in the pilots and to incorporate that in the broader policy debate on United Nations reform.

Action

The Committee expressed appreciation to the United Nations Evaluation Group for the work undertaken to date, and looked forward to the outcome of the evaluability process, which would provide the basis for further work. It noted the professional and independent nature of the Group and the need to strengthen its functioning over the longer term. It encouraged the CEB secretariat to continue to work with the Group in developing the approach for the independent evaluation of delivering as one and to ensure that the Group’s mandate, membership and involvement in recent triennial comprehensive policy review rounds would be well understood and supported by both United Nations system organizations and Member States.