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The UNRWA evaluation Division was first established in 2007, as part of the Programme Coordination and Support Unit. In 2010, the evaluation function was transferred to the Department of Internal Oversight Services, under which it is currently operating.
Evaluation is central to UNRWA effective service delivery. It provides accountability for internal and external stakeholders by assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of funding used for UNRWA interventions. It contributes to learning within UNRWA by providing the evidence needed to improve projects, programmes and emergency interventions.
Evaluations determine the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of on-going and completed activities. They assess what works in the context of projects, programmes, emergency responses, strategies, and policies, by examining expected and achieved accomplishments, result chains, processes, contextual factors and causality.
The UNRWA evaluation function consists of a centralized evaluation function located in the Department of Internal Oversight Services, and a decentralized evaluation function located in field offices and headquarters' departments. Centralized evaluations are conducted or commissioned by the Department of Internal Oversight Services, decentralized evaluations are commissioned by the decentralized evaluation function and quality assured by the Department of Internal Oversight Services. Centralized evaluations receive overall guidance a steering committee. The function is independent from all offices, departments and divisions.
Governance and Responsibilities
The Evaluation Division assumes functional leadership and oversight over the UNRWA evaluation system and is responsible for evaluations as prescribed in the Organization Directive-14 (OD-14), the Organizational Development Plan and according to the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) Norms and Standards.
DIOS reports to the Commissioner-General on all oversight activities, including evaluations. To ensure that decisions regarding oversight activities are always well informed and in line with the Agency's broader needs, the Advisory Committee on Internal Oversight provides the Commissioner-General with expert advice on the subject.
Evaluation focal points have been identified in field offices and headquarters departments to ensure efficient communication between the Evaluation Division and the various actors involved in the evaluation function. In addition to improving communication, exchanges between focal points and the evaluation division contribute to creating an evaluation community as well as a broader evaluation culture within UNRWA.
Responsibilities of the evaluation division include:
- Assuming functional leadership and oversight over the UNRWA evaluation system by: designing, commissioning, managing and carrying out evaluations conducted within the Department of Internal Oversight Services (centralized evaluations)
- Providing guidance, technical support and capacity development for the management of evaluations conducted by headquarters departments and field offices (decentralized evaluations)
- Promoting an evaluation culture in the Agency
- Developing and updating evaluation-related policy documents, guidelines, systems, procedures and tools
- Preparing an annual Evaluation Plan based on a process of consultation, clear rationale for future evaluations, and prioritization of the subjects for evaluation. It is then presented for the review of the ACIO and approval by the Commissioner-General
- Managing a follow-up system for evaluation recommendations
- Informing internal and external stakeholders of evaluation findings and recommendations
- UNEG – The UNRWA Evaluation Division operates under the norms and standards set by the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG). The UNEG promotes the independence, credibility and usefulness of the evaluation function and evaluation across the UN system, to advocate for the importance of evaluation for learning, decision making and accountability, and to support the evaluation community in the UN system and beyond.
- Background note on the UNEG Peer Review Mechanism
- Professional Peer Review of the UNRWA Evaluation Function and Management Response
- UNEG Ethical Guidelines
- Norms and Standards for Evaluation in the UN System
- Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality in Evaluations
- Reflecting Humanitarian Principles in Evaluation
- UNEG Handbook for Conducting Evaluations of Normative Work in the UN System
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