External resources
ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations

External resources

This page contains commented links on a variety of external resources from other agencies that are interesting or useful.

United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) – selected resources

  • Impact Evaluation in UN Agency Evaluation Systems (UNEG) - 2013
  • This guidance addresses the rising interest in impact evaluation (IE). A fundamental element of IE is establishing cause and effect chains to show if an intervention has worked and, if so, how. Various impact evaluation designs and approaches are reviewed, providing insights on how, and to what extent, interventions have caused anticipated or unanticipated effects. A Theory of Change approach has become accepted as a basic foundation for most types of impact evaluation. The document explores quality control issues, and there is a short section on normative work.
  • Delivering as One Evaluation Report (UNEG) – 2012
  • The UNEG published three reports – a summary, the evaluation and a Note from the Secretary General – which summarize the outcome of the independent evaluation of lessons learned from "Delivering as one" conducted in 2011-2012 in accordance with the request of the General Assembly, contained in paragraph 139 of its resolution 62/208 and paragraph 21 of its resolution 64/289.
  • Evaluation Capacity in the UN System (UNEG) – 2012
  • This publication provides a brief overview of the evaluation units of 43 United Nations (UN) entities that are current members or observers of the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG). The 43 snapshot “cards” present the institutional set-up of each UN evaluation unit represented in UNEG and highlight the diverse human and financial resources, and work priorities underpinning evaluation in the UN System. The cards were initially designed for use by stakeholders of the 2012 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) in an effort by UNEG members to systematize and make available information on existing evaluation capacity within the UN System. Other UN entities and member States as well as evaluation partners, including bi-lateral and multilateral organizations, and national and regional evaluation associations may also find them a useful reference tool. This is an abridged version of the publication Evaluation in the UN System which is forthcoming in 2013.
  • Good Practice Guidelines for Follow up to Evaluations (UNEG) - 2010
  • These good practice guidelines are aimed at contributing to better use of evaluations and improving accountability and organizational learning. The target users are UN Evaluation Offices and senior management and provide guidance on management response to evaluation, development of systems for tracking and reporting on the implementation of recommendations, as well as suggesting mechanisms for facilitating learning and knowledge development.
  • Professionalization of the Evaluation Function (UNEG) – 2010
  • UNEG released in June 2010 a range of core competencies and job descriptions for professions in evaluation. In addition to the Ethical Guidelines and Code of Conduct listed below, you can have access to the latest work undertaken by this forum of UN Evaluation Professionals as they continue to develop professional standards and guidelines for development evaluation.
  • Ethical Guidelines (UNEG) (pdf, 1.02 KB) – 2008
  • The UNEG Ethical Guidelines have been developed by UNEG to expand on the UNEG Ethical Code of Conduct for Evaluation on the UN System. The UNEG Ethical Guidelines for evaluation are based on commonly held and internationally recognized professional ideals such as those outlined in the Standards of Conduct set by the International Civil Service.
  • Code of Conduct for Evaluation in the UN System (UNEG) - 2008
  • The UNEG Code of Conduct for Evaluation in the UN System was formally approved by UNEG members at the UNEG Annual General Meeting, 2008. This Code of Conduct applies to all evaluation staff and consultants in the UN system.

Various other useful resources on monitoring and evaluation

  • Evaluating Development Activities: 12 Lessons from the OECD DAC - 2013
  • Offers guidance on evaluating conflict prevention and peacebuilding activities.  The guidance is aimed at evaluators of such programmes, as well as policy makers, field and desk officers, and country partners, with the aim to enhance understanding of the role and utility of evaluations.
  • Enhancing Evaluation Use: Insights from Internal Evaluation Units - 2013
  • This volume offers insights from a range of evaluation settings and experts who share strategies and experiences in evaluation. Contributors come from organizations such as the European Commission, The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FPOH), the World Health Organization, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and contains a chapter contribution from the ILO. Referencing the latest literature, authors discuss factors that help or undermine attempts to foster evaluative thinking and an organizational learning culture. The chapters present a wide range of situations and examples to demonstrate the initiative and innovative thinking used in organizations to address complex challenges. Copies of the book are available on loan to ILO Officials from the ILO Library or for purchase from Sage.
  • Evaluation of Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) - 2013
  • From the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action, ALNAP has a broad range of guidance and training materials for this approach to evaluation. This Guide supports evaluation specialists and non-specialists in every stage of an evaluation, from initial decision to final dissemination.
  • Evaluating Peacebuilding Activities in Settings of Conflict and Fragility- 2012
  • As development co-operation faces ever increasing pressures to demonstrate results, donors and partner governments need credible, timely evidence to inform their programmes and improve performance. Evaluation has a critical role to play in providing such evidence. New methodologies and ways of working are being developed to better identify what works, why and under what circumstances.
  • Annual Report on Results and Impact of IFAD Operations (ARRI) - 2012
  • It has been a decade since the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) produced the first Annual Report on Results and Impact of IFAD Operations. The report – known by its acronym ARRI – provides an independent analysis of the performance of IFAD operations with the goal of improving the Fund’s results on combating rural poverty. This 10th edition of IOE’s flagship report examines the range of evaluations carried out in 2011, and reviews progress made since the first ARRI was produced in 2003. The report is a cause for pride as IFAD is one of the few development organizations (among multilateral and bilateral agencies) to produce such an annual review. This reflects its commitment to measuring and conveying results, thus promoting accountability and learning. In a nutshell, the 2012 ARRI shows that IFAD continues to improve its contribution to reducing rural poverty in all regions. On the other hand, it is evident that important challenges need to be addressed while moving forward.
  • IFAD Evaluation Policy (2011)
  • The revised policy was approved by the IFAD Executive Board in May 2011. While the fundamental principles and operational policies of the 2003 Evaluation Policy remain largely valid - independence, accountability, partnership, and learning - the new policy incorporates recent changes that have taken place, such as the approval of the Fund’s direct supervision and implementation support policy, and the introduction of country presence. The revised policy also includes the recommendations of the 2010 Peer Review of IFAD’s Office of Evaluation and Evaluation Function conducted by the Evaluation Co-operation Group (ECG) of the Multilateral Development Banks. A distinct new feature of the 2011 Evaluation Policy, compared with the 2003 Evaluation Policy, is the integration of IFAD’s self-evaluation system. The policy for the first time stipulates the definition and policy provisions of IFAD’s self-evaluation functions.
  • W.W. Kellogg Foundation, Evaluation Tool Kit (2011)
  • W.W. Kellogg Foundation has been producing high quality evaluation tools and guidance for more than a decade. The tool kit contains a range of website sections on purposes and scope of evaluation, evaluation approaches, planning and budgeting, as well as selecting and managing evaluators. There is also a logic model handbook and an evaluation handbook. The tools show how to aid in mid-course corrections and document successes. A key to our approach is that evaluation is not an “add-on.” The management team for the project must be actively engaged in identifying the information they need to make decisions, and in interpreting and using the evaluative data.
  • Better Aid: Evaluation in Development Agencies (OECD) – 2010
  • This is an excellent new resource from the OECD providing possible benchmarks for evaluation resources and functions across a range of development organizations. It covers human resources issues, independence, dissemination of findings and management follow-up. There are also sections on joint evaluations and coordinating and sharing evaluation plans. The book contains member profiles that provide a broad look at evaluation resources across the development community.
  • Gender Equality and Human Rights Responsive Evaluation (UNIFEM) - 2010
  • This is a practical guide to help those initiating, managing and/or using gender equality and human rights responsive evaluations. It is intended for all international development professionals who deliver or manage programmes and projects, including those whose primary focus is HR, GE and women’s empowerment and those where HR/GE are mainstreamed or cross-cutting.
  • IFAD's performance with regard to gender equality and women's empowerment - 2010
  • The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has issued this first comprehensive corporate-level evaluation on its performance in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. The evaluation found that IFAD is a leader in this field and that it has played a major advocacy and policy role, especially at the global level.
  • Guidance note on developing an evaluation dissemination strategy (UNIFEM) – 2009
  • The main purpose of this guideline is to assist UNIFEM Offices, Sections and Units commissioning independent evaluations to develop effective dissemination strategies that make evaluation results accessible to a wide range of to the different relevant stakeholders. Effective dissemination of evaluation results will not only contribute to greater accountability for UNIFEM, but also enables our partners to learn more about UNIFEM’s work and its contributions to broader knowledge generation on programming for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) Maximizing the use of evaluation findings (pdf 58 KB) – 2008
  • This short paper, presented by J.S. Bayley from the Operations Division of ADB, addresses a number of issues related to evaluation utilization.
  • DAC Guidance for Managing Joint Evaluations (pdf, 1.44 MB) – 2006
  • • French (pdf, 1.44 MB)
    This booklet is directed at the wider evaluation community and provides practical advice and tips for those involved in planning and implementing joint evaluations. More and more development efforts are delivered jointly or are evaluated jointly to decrease the transaction costs for the developing country partners. The guidance book is designed to help evaluation managers deliver effective joint evaluations. Topics included, among others, are: “Why conduct a joint evaluation?” and “Key steps in planning and delivering joint evaluations”.
  • Ten Steps to a Results-based Monitoring and Evaluation System: a Handbook for Development Practitioners (World Bank) (pdf, 1.07 MB) – 2004
  • Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is a powerful public management tool that can be used to improve the way governments and organizations achieve results. Just as governments need financial, human resource, and accountability systems, governments also need good performance feedback systems. This handbook is directed at development practitioners who want to build a results-based M&E system.
  • Participatory monitoring and evaluation ELDIS Participation Resource Guide – website
  • Participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) is a process through which stakeholders at various levels engage in monitoring or evaluating a particular project, program or policy, share control over the content, the process and the results of the M&E activity and engage in taking or identifying corrective actions. PM&E promotes the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, employing methods that allow a more equal opportunity for the expression of views and sharing of lessons. The ELDIS Participation Resource Guide provides a wide collection of resources for PM&E.
  • Influential Evaluations: Evaluations that Improved the Performance and Impacts of Development Programs (World Bank) - 2004
    • English (pdf, 90 KB) • French (pdf, 90 KB) • Spanish (pdf, 983 KB)
    This booklet provides a collection of eight case studies of evaluations and reviews which have had a significant impact. For many of these, it has been possible to show that the evaluation was a highly cost-effective tool for improving program management and for supporting government resource allocation decisions. The publication provides a summary of lessons learned about how to ensure evaluations are utilized intensively.

Guidance on project monitoring and evaluation from other agencies

The official reference for ILO project evaluations is the ILO guidance material provided on the respective web page. This section provides an annotated selection of guidance material on monitoring and evaluation for projects from other institutions that have interesting or useful content and that can serve as additional inspiration for ILO staff. It goes without saying that any guidance from other organizations is not an official reference and that methodology needs to be adjusted to the specific ILO context. In particular guidance on evaluation policy and internal procedure is very specific to the respective organization and cannot be adapted.

  • UNICEF - Evaluation for Equitable Development Results - 2012
  • This document is made up of a range of Evaluation Working Papers (EWP) focused on evaluation for equitable development. Put together by evaluation specialists they present strategic evaluation findings, lessons learned and innovative approaches and methodologies.
  • UNDP Handbook on Monitoring and Evaluating for Results - 2011 (pdf, 731 KB)
    • French (pdf, 750 KB) • Spanish (pdf, 750 KB) • Russian (pdf, 750 KB)
  • A comprehensive and useful handbook on monitoring and evaluation. Especially useful is Part III on indicators and Part IV that links evaluations with organizational learning and knowledge management. Another interesting UNDP publication is the UNDP guidelines for outcome evaluators, here the section on the role of partnerships is especially noteworthy. UNDP’s work is probably most comparable to ILO’s work since both organization work primarily on policy-level.
  • European Commission – Evalsed, The Guide – 2010
  • This guide is aimed at the many different communities active in evaluation of socio-economic development programs. These include policy makers interest in what evaluation can do for them; public sector managers and civil servants who may commission evaluations, program managers wishing to incorporate evaluation results into the way the manage and plan their own programs; program partners who are increasingly involved as stakeholders in evaluations; and evaluators, many of whom will have detailed knowledge of specific areas of evaluation but will benefit from an overview of methods and approaches. Although the guide is intended for general users rather than specialists, Evalsed has prepared a number of sourcebooks that back up the content of the Guide.
  • IFAD Guide for Project Monitoring and Evaluation - 2011 • French • Spanish • Arabic
  • An especially user-friendly guide, this guidance provides insights on on setting up an M&E system. Notable is the emphasis placed on monitoring and evaluation as a participatory learning exercise and on the importance of creating the necessary capacities and conditions for M&E.
  • Impact evaluations and development: NoNIE Guidance on Impact Evaluation
  • This report provides a guide to evaluating the impact of a project or programme. Impact evaluation is about attributing impacts to interventions, and can play a key role in development effectiveness. No single analytical method is best for addressing all aspects of impact evaluations, but some methods have an advantage over others in addressing a particular question or objective. Different methods can complement each other to provide a more complete picture of impact. Impact evaluations provide the greatest value when there is an articulated need to obtain the information they generate.
  • UNFPA Programme Manager’s Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Toolkit
  • (Available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic versions)
    Brief modules with easy-to-understand explanations. Take especially note of module 4 on stakeholder participation in monitoring and evaluation. Module 5 on planning and managing an evaluation also contains many useful hints and information.
  • WFP Monitoring and Evaluation Guidelines
  • Very comprehensive guidance material but quite specific to WFP. The very different project context of ILO (focused on policy advice and capacity building) and WFP (focused on emergency aid and community-based development projects) must be taken into account. Especially interesting are modules 1 (What is results-based monitoring and evaluation), 5 (How to plan an evaluation), 9 (identifying monitoring and evaluation indicators) and 13 (Reporting on monitoring and evaluation data and information for development programmes).

Guidance and reports of country programme evaluations of other agencies

Following the general trend and good practice of the international development community the ILO has eMBarked on country programming. The official reference for ILO country programme evaluations is the ILO guidance material provided on the respective web page. However, it is also interesting to see how other agencies assess their country programmes.

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