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The UNRWA eEvaluation function is central to UNRWA effective service delivery. Led by the Department of Internal Oversight Services Evaluation Division, the evaluation function provides centralized and decentralized evaluations of the Agency’s work to ensure accountability and learning.
Evaluations can be incredibly useful exercises for the managers of the Agency’s programmes, operational and functional units, and projects as well as for partners and programme participants. Evaluations can generate evidence on the outcomes of interventions, offering important information to Palestine refugees and donors on the efficiency and effectiveness of funding used for UNRWA’s work. For staff, evaluations contribute to learning by reflecting on factors influencing achievements and areas for improvement in projects, programmes and emergency interventions.
The UNRWA evaluation function consists of a centralized and decentralized evaluation system. Centralized evaluations are conducted or commissioned by the Department of Internal Oversight Services (DIOS), while decentralized evaluations are commissioned by field offices or headquarter departments and are quality assured by the DIOS Evaluation Division.
Governance and Responsibilities
First established in 2007, the Evaluation Division assumes functional leadership and oversight over the UNRWA evaluation system and is responsible for evaluations as prescribed in Organization Directive-14 (OD-14), the 2022 Evaluation Policy, 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.
An UNRWA Evaluation Network, consisting of focal points from field offices and headquarters departments, convenes quarterly events to support capacity building, professional exchanges and the use of evaluation results.
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.
UNRWA EVALUATION MANUAL
This manual has been tailored to support UNRWA staff in planning, designing and managing decentralized evaluations of Agency activities. It is designed to provide practical guidance and tools useful to UNRWA project and programme managers as they formulate projects, plan and budget for evaluations, and oversee their implementation and use. This guide will also be useful to external evaluation consultants commissioned to conduct evaluations of UNRWA activities.
Manual templates and tools
- Evaluation budget template and key guidelines
- Stakeholder group analysis sample
- Email template – introduce the evaluation and request preliminary meetings
- Evaluation Terms of Reference (ToR) template
- Quality assurance tool for the ToR
- Evaluation Reference Group ToR template
- Procurement/ evaluation commissioning process steps
- UNRWA Procurement Manual
- Evaluation team leader and team membership ToR template
- Human resources directive on consultancy process steps
- Inception report quality assurance matrix
- Inception report template
- Evaluation matrix template
- Ethical research interview protocols
- Consent form for research involving children
- Mission agenda template
- Evaluation report template
- Quality assurance matrix for evaluation report
- Management response template
- Sample transmittal letter
- Sample evaluation summary brief, English
- Sample evaluation summary brief, Arabic
- 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
- Who We Are
- What We Do
- Where We Work
- Frequently asked questions
- unrwa approach to curriculum