IOE evaluation process considered among best of international development organizations - IOE
Rome, 16 November 2023 – “We believe that the IOE evaluation processes are among the best that we can find in international development organizations”, stated Dr Gonzalo Hernández Licona, Director of the Multidimensional Poverty Network at the University of Oxford, during the annual meeting of the Evaluation Advisory Panel (EAP) of the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE).
In 2021, Dr Indran A. Naidoo, IOE Director, established the Office’s first EAP to further IOE’s contribution to IFAD’s organizational and development effectiveness. The panel provides the Director with systematic advice, by reviewing and commenting various aspects of IOE’s work to enhance the professionalism of the evaluation function. The panel also serves as a critical friend, drawing on its substantive experience and expertise to help improve our independence, credibility and utility.
IOE hosted the 2nd EAP meeting at IFAD headquarters, in Rome, on 14 and 15 November 2023. The event featured active contributions from all EAP members, namely Prof. Donna M. Mertens, Professor Emeritus at Gallaudet University; Rob D. Van den Berg, Visiting Professor at King's College London; Prof Bagele Chilisa, Professor at the University of Botswana; Hans E. Lundgren, former Head of the Evaluation Secretariat at the DAC Evaluation Network of OECD; and Dr Hernández Licona. EAP members paid special attention to following up on the areas for methodological development identified in the first annual meeting, in 2022. In addition, panel members provided strategic advice to IOE for further fine tuning its approaches and strategic directions.
Distinguished country representatives of the IFAD Evaluation Committee attended the event, which also saw the participation of Dr Claudia Ten Have, Director of the Office of the Secretary & Secretary of IFAD, who attended on behalf of the Fund’s Management. Dr Ten Have commended IOE for the value-added that it brings to IFAD, helping the Fund improve its operations on-the-ground. The Director also emphasized that she finds the commitment with which IOE delivers its work to be truly inspiring, and applauded the Office’s dedication to continuously seeking to improve the quality of its outputs.
IOE staff members also played a key role, engaging with EAP members on the first day of the event, which featured three presentations. In their joint presentation, Dr Hernández Licona and Mr Lundgren reviewed the formulation of IOE recommendations and follow-up. The EAP members noted that IOE and IFAD Management have a clear and transparent process for producing important recommendations and a strict follow-up process. Recommendations are well-formulated, backed by solid empirical evidence, and substantiated by robust findings and conclusions. Equally important, recommendations are formulated in an action-oriented manner, with clear target groups. The combination of these positive factors has led to a very high Management uptake on recommendations, culminating in a 100% agreement rate in 2023.
Other EAP presentations included those jointly discussed by Prof Chilisa and Prof Mertens, as well as that delivered by Mr Van den Berg. Prof Chilisa and Prof Mertens put the spotlight on ‘leaving no knowledge behind’. Discussions centred on the importance of promoting testing of innovative techniques, frameworks and approaches, including those based on indigenous people’s experiences. Equally important is to decolonize research and evaluation paradigms, and embrace a gender and disability transformative approach to evaluation, underscored the two panel members.
In his session, Mr Van den Berg delved into the many facets of climate finance. He noted that climate change adaptation receives dramatically less funding than mitigation. However, in light of the worsening of the climate crisis, mitigation would need to include appropriate adaptation and vice versa. In this context, he noted that IOE’s evaluations have scope for climate finance and may benefit from further fine-tuning in order to address transboundary issues and to incorporate a broader contextual analysis.
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- To access the Evaluation Advisory Panel page on the IOE website, please click here.
- For more information on the first EAP meeting, 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.