Statement of Iceland in the Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS
The Permanent Mission of Iceland
to the United Nations
Ms. Þórarinna Söebech
Advisor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS
Second Regular Session 2015
Agenda Item 10 - Evaluation
I am honored to make this statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and my own country, Iceland.
We wish to thank the Director of the Independent Evaluation Office for her comments today and commend UNFPA for finalizing the Quadrennial budgeted evaluation plan 2016-2019, which is a good and thoroughly prepared document.
It has been a good and participatory process towards finalizing the plan, and we are happy to see this item on our agenda today.
We welcome the analysis of evolving needs and proposals for new approaches. The budgeted evaluation plan is based on certain key principles, including a balanced approach to accountability and learning aspects, which we commend.
The plans to conduct Meta and synthesis evaluations are an excellent way to use the full range of evaluations for strategic planning. Synthesized results are also an important source of information for us as member states for our own internal results management. We are furthermore encouraged by the plans for impact evaluations, with a focus on young people.
Clarifying the status of decentralized evaluation is an important step forward. UNFPA has also analyzed the challenge of evaluating earmarked funding, an issue that we need to keep in mind.
The Independent Evaluation Office is finding efficiencies, through the clustering of Country Program evaluation. We support the proposal to develop a pilot, to evaluate up to 5 similar country programmes at the same time, provided the experiences are ploughed back to the organization for learning purposes and injected into future planning exercises. EO is also developing very clear criteria for selecting and prioritizing corporate evaluations.
The consultative process used to gather opinions from senior staff in the field and at HQ on the priorities for corporate evaluations over the next 4 years, was sound. This, combined with other criteria, led to a solid assessment of where there would be the greatest value added in terms of relevance, utility and coverage of planned evaluations. The selectivity analysis for corporate evaluations presented in Annex 3 was particularly well done.
In order to see where the greatest impact can be made, and to properly plan UNFPA's activities, the evaluation function has a key role to play. Three per cent of budget allocations to evaluation is a reasonable benchmark, and we would like to see UNFPA move towards that. While there have been positive trends in this area, UNFPA should be encouraged to take steps to ensure that this increase occurs. The budget document makes it clear that there are challenges to fulfill the new mandate that the EO has been given, despite considerable efforts in recent years to strengthen the evaluation function. Further resources would support the work on coverage, strengthening of tools and guidance, and doing more humanitarian and impact evaluations.
When it comes to national evaluation capacity development, we hope that UNFPA works in close collaboration with other entities through UNEG, and that a common approach is well coordinated.
In closing, we congratulate UNFPA on the evaluation plan and wish you every success in its implementation.