Annual meeting of the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG)

Annual meeting of the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG)
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

The Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, yesterday opened the annual meeting of the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) which is being held at Headquarters.

In his remarks, he stressed the importance of evaluation for all UN system agencies: “It helps us to learn through objective assessments how to improve our work while also providing transparency and accountability. By helping to strengthen the professionalism of evaluation, UNEG helps to build credibility and trust in the work of the UN,” adding that UNEG’s collaborative efforts underscore the importance of working as ‘one United Nations’.

“The key to a successful evaluation process”, said the Director-General, “is the generation of information that decision-makers like myself can use”. He illustrated this point by reference to three different examples arising from the work of the Internal Oversight Service (IOS) – the evaluations of Field Offices as an integral aspect of the decentralization strategy; the evaluation of the Monitoring Learning Achievement (MLA) programme, which was halted and replaced by the UIS-led Assessing Learning Outcomes (AOL) programme; and the evaluation of UNESCO’s action in support of the E-9 Initiative which, despite flaws in the evaluation process itself, led to a re-invigoration of the Initiative.

The Director-General emphasized how important evaluation is for UNESCO, saying that “I take particular interest in evaluations, as they are an essential tool for improving our learning, decision-making and accountability. For me, they are my ‘eyes and ears’”.

Mr Matsuura pointed out that UNESCO strongly supports efforts to achieve quality in the UN’s work. He said that UNESCO has rigorous quality assurance processes for evaluation in place and also takes particular interest in the creation of normative frameworks and standards for practitioners. In this regard, he commended the adoption last year of the UNEG Evaluation Norms and Standards for the UN System and also noted that several UNEG Task Forces will deliver their results to this year’s annual meeting. He suggested that, in the year ahead, UNEG’s focus should be upon highlighting successful evaluations in the UN system; he offered to share information on such success cases here in UNESCO with Heads of Agencies in the CEB and would encourage them to do the same: “In this way, the CEB can contribute to encouraging learning and accountability from the conduct of evaluation in our various institutions”, he said.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • 05-04-2006
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