Abidjan, 20 October 2023 – In recent years, the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) and the Fund’s Management have made notable strides forward in building synergies between independent and self-evaluation products, whilst avoiding overlaps or duplication of efforts. The evolution and current status of this productive relationship is captured in the third edition of the IFAD Evaluation Manual, which was jointly published by IOE and Management. Fabrizio Felloni, IOE Deputy Director, explained that this was an unprecedent step in the collaboration between the two entities, during a panel presentation at the Fall 2023 meeting of the Evaluation Cooperation Group (ECG), on 20 October 2023.
Held in Abidjan, on 18 – 20 October, the Fall 2023 meeting of the ECG brought together the heads of the evaluation outfits of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB), Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the World Bank Independent Evaluation Group (IEG), IFAD, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB). As current Chair of the ECG, AfDB hosted the group of directors in its office premises. A number of senior evaluation officers and technical specialists attended the event remotely. Dr Indran A. Naidoo, IOE Director, represented IFAD in person, and moderated panel discussions. Fabrizio Felloni, IOE Deputy Director, and Dr S. Nanthikesan, Lead Evaluation Officer, joined the IOE Director on-line, and delivered presentations.
The event was structured around four main discussion themes, namely one, ‘quality assurance in and of the evaluation process’; two, ‘capacity development in and through our own evaluation work’; three, ‘integrating a climate perspective in evaluation’; and four, ‘synergies, collaboration or duplication between independent evaluation and evaluation by management’. Each theme featured a series of panel presentations, followed by group discussions.
Speaking during the fourth discussion theme, Mr Felloni presented the working relationship between IOE and IFAD Management. A major milestone in said relationship was the joint publishing of the 2022 Evaluation Manual. This marked the first time in IFAD’s history that methodological guidance and standards for evaluations were applied across the whole organization. The Manual provides details on the complementarities of IFAD’s self- and independent evaluation systems and related evaluation products with a view to strengthening accountability, learning and the overall utility of evaluations efforts. In particular, the Manual establishes common quality standards for the two, enhances the consistency between the two and, ultimately, fosters a stronger results and evaluation culture at IFAD.
The IOE Deputy Director also participated during the third discussion theme. In his presentation, Mr Felloni spoke about the importance of integrating a climate perspective in evaluation, and explained the efforts undertaken by IOE in this regard. He the Evaluation Manual has merged the ‘natural resource management’ and ‘climate change adaptation’ criteria under ‘sustainability’, which now applies to all project and country level evaluations. Elements focused upon include climate-resilient technology and practices, climate proof infrastructure, forest conservation or regrowth, renewable energy, big data for new services, and engagement in policy dialogue. Furthermore, IOE published a thematic evaluation of IFAD’s support to smallholder farmers’ adaptation to climate change, earlier this year. Currently, IOE is carrying out a subregional evaluation on the Dry Corridor in Central America.
The ECG event also included two webinars. IOE and the AfDB organized the first, which was titled ‘Evaluating Organizational Decentralization: Insights from IFAD and AfDB’. Dr Naidoo chaired the session, which saw presentations from Dr S. Nanthikesan and Oswald Agbadome, Principal Evaluation Officer, AfDB. Dr S. Nanthikesan presented the main findings and summary recommendations of IOE’s recent ‘Corporate Level Evaluation of IFAD’s Decentralization Experience 2023’. IOE’s Lead Evaluation Officer clarified that decentralization is widely recognized at the Executive Board, Management and staff levels as a necessary step to improve the development results achieved on the ground. However, although IFAD’s former President and senior Management were committed to decentralization, the decentralization process was implemented without sufficient time for adaptive management, was not adequately informed by the decentralization experiences of other IFIs and UN agencies and human resource allocation was not reflecting enough lessons from past IFAD experience.
The ECG is dedicated to harmonizing evaluation work among multilateral development banks (MDBs) by working to strengthen the use of evaluation; providing a forum to share lessons; developing harmonized performance indicators, and evaluation methodologies and approaches; enhancing the professionalism of evaluation; and helping build evaluation capacity. The Group was established in 1996.
For further information, please contact Alexander Voccia [here]
- To access Fabrizio Felloni’s presentation titled ‘Integrating a climate perspective in evaluation’, please click here.
- To access Fabrizio Felloni’s presentation titled ‘Synergies, collaboration between independent evaluation and evaluation by management’, please click here,
- To access Dr S. Nanthikesan’s presentation titled ‘Corporate Level Evaluation of IFAD’s Decentralization Experience 2023’, please click here.
- To access the IFAD Evaluation Manual, please click here.
- To access the thematic evaluation of IFAD’s support to smallholder farmers’ adaptation to climate change, please click here.
- To access the ‘IOE Evaluation Pills’, please click here.
- To access the brochure ‘More than a journey | 20 years of independence, please click here.
- To access Fabrizio Felloni’s interview on the evolution of independence of IOE, please click here.
- To learn why independent evaluation makes IFAD a more credible institution, please click here.