Evaluation policy

Evaluation policy

Inspired by internationally accepted norms and standards inside and outside the United Nations system, the ILO evaluation policy aims to improve and strengthen the practice of independent evaluation in the ILO. It also establishes principles for systematic self-evaluation of programme performance so that together these provide comprehensive coverage of all ILO activities.

Evaluation is both a management and organizational learning tool to support constituents and partners in forwarding decent work and social justice. The objectives of the evaluation policy are to:

  • Improve Office-wide transparency and accountability for impact of ILO actions to support its constituents;
  • Strengthen the decision-making process by the policy organs and senior management based on sound assessment of effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, impact and sustainability of ILO activities;
  • Contribute feedback for learning and ongoing improvement of the ILO’s work.

The ILO Evaluation Office (EVAL) is responsible for the implementation of ILO’s evaluation policy. EVAL also ensures that evaluation functions in the Office are systematically fulfilled in a transparent, reliable, credible and professional manner. The ILO has established a network of evaluation focal persons for each technical sector and region that support this work.

In 2005, the ILO’s Governing Body adopted the Evaluation Policy which stipulated that the policy be evaluated at the end of five years. This resulted in an external evaluation of the evaluation function in 2010 which reviewed the objectives and outcomes specified in the Evaluation Policy. A revised strategy, Results-based strategies 2011–15: Evaluation strategy – Strengthening the use of evaluations, was then put into place to cover the next five-year period.

The Evaluation Office will be conducting a second external evaluation of the evaluation function in the spring of 2016 to update the policy and review progress on its strategic objectives and outcomes.

Additionally, the Evaluation Policy Guidelines will also be subsequently revised.

Evaluation policy links

Key resources

Other references documents and resources

  • National Evaluation Capacity Development: Practical tips on how to strengthen National Evaluation Systems (pdf, 2400 Kb A commissioned a study by ILO-EVAL and UNICEF, as co-chairs of a task force of the United Nations Evaluation Group, and in collaboration with UN Women, UN Volunteers, UNAIDS, UNDP, November 2012.
  • DAC Criteria for Evaluating Development Assistance
    The ILO applies the OECD/DAC Criteria for Evaluating Development Assistance: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability.
  • DAC Evaluation Quality Standards (pdf, 44 Kb)French (pdf, 44 kb) •  Spanish (pdf, 44 kb)
    The ILO adheres to the OECD/DAC Criteria Evaluation Quality Standards and uses them as the reference point for quality control of evaluation process and products. Evaluation managers should make sure to give them to external evaluators for guidance.
    The DAC Evaluation Quality Standards provide guidance on the conduct of evaluations and for reports with the aim to improve the quality of development intervention evaluations. They are intended to contribute to a harmonised approach to evaluation in line with the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.
  • Glossary of key terms in evaluation and results-based management (pdf, 158 Kb)
    • Russian (pdf, 262 Kb) • Italian (pdf, 69 Kb) • Portuguese (pdf, 68 Kb) • Chinese (pdf, 115 Kb)
    This trilingual glossary (English, French, Spanish) was developed by the OECD/DAC Working Party on Aid Evaluation. The purpose is to clarify concepts and to reduce the terminological confusion frequently encountered in the field of development evaluation. All UN agencies, including the ILO, the development banks, and most bilateral donors have agreed on the binding use of the terminology as defined in this glossary.
  • United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG)
    The ILO is member of United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) and adheres to the UN System Evaluation Norms and Standards that were developed by UNEG. The United Nations Evaluation Group is a group of professional evaluation practitioners in UN System organizations. Its objective of is to provide a forum for discussion of evaluation issues within the UN System and to promote simplification and harmonization of evaluation practices among UN agencies. UNEG has working groups on various evaluation related topics.
  • Norms for Evaluation in the UN System
    • English (pdf, 37 Kb) • French (pdf, 41 Kb) • Spanish (pdf, 41 Kb) • Russian (pdf, 265 Kb) • Chinese (pdf, 204 Kb)
    The UN System Evaluation Norms seek to facilitate system-wide collaboration on evaluation by ensuring that evaluation entities within the UN follow agreed-upon basic principles. They provide a reference for strengthening, professionalizing and improving the quality of evaluation in all entities of the United Nations system.
    The Evaluation Norms are consistent with other main sources (OECD/DAC for instance) and reflect the singularity of the United Nations system, characterized by its focus on people and respect for their rights, the importance of international values and principles, universality and neutrality, its multiple stakeholders, its needs for global governance, its multidisciplinarity, and its complex accountability system. Last but not least, there is the challenge of international cooperation embedded in the Millennium Declaration and Development Goals.
  • Standards for Evaluation in the UN System
    • English (pdf, 84 Kb) • French (pdf, 90 Kb) • Spanish (pdf, 93 Kb) • Russian (pdf, 300 Kb) • Arabic (Word, 151 Kb)
    The UN System Evaluation Standards build upon the Evaluation Norms. They are drawn from best practice of UNEG members. They are intended to guide the establishment of the institutional framework, management of the evaluation function, conduct and use of evaluations. They are also a reference for the competencies of evaluation practitioners and work ethics, and are intended to be applied as appropriate within each organization. UNEG will periodically update, elaborate and expand the coverage of these standards in the service of the UN system organizations.
  • Paris Declaration of Aid Effectiveness (pdf, 93 Kb)
    • French (pdf, 178 Kb) • Spanish (pdf, 181 Kb) • Russian (pdf, 414 Kb) • Arabic (pdf, 745 Kb)
    The community of multilateral and bilateral development institutions are currently engaged in an effort to better harmonize their aid efforts. In March 2005, the ministers of developed and developing countries responsible for promoting development and the heads of multilateral and bilateral development institutions adopted this Paris Declaration of Aid Effectiveness. It sets the agenda for far-reaching and monitorable actions to reform the ways of delivering and managing aid. Its aim is to create greater coherence of development efforts and improve the effectiveness of aid. Further resources: Aid Harmonization website and OECD site on Aid Effectiveness.
  • Managing for Development Results
    Managing for Development Results (MfDR) is a management strategy focused on development performance and on sustainable improvements in country outcomes. It provides a coherent framework for development effectiveness in which performance information is used for improved decision-making. It includes practical tools for strategic planning, risk management, progress monitoring, and outcome evaluation.

    The MfDR Sourcebook on Emerging Good Practice developed by the OECD/DAC Working Party on Aid Effectiveness and Donor Practices presents concepts, tools and principles and gives examples of their application at national level, sector programmes and projects and in development agencies. (Download versions of the Sourcebook in • English (pdf, 1.21 Mb) • French (pdf, 1.38 Mb) • Spanish (pdf, 1.70 Mb)