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Peer Review of the Evaluation Function at UNHCR

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This Peer Review of UNHCR’s evaluation function was conducted under the provisions contained in the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) Framework for Professional Peer Reviews of the Evaluation Function of UN system organizations and the OECD DAC. It is the first Peer Review of UNHCR’s evaluation function and was conducted at the request of UNHCR.

The Peer Review Panel comprised six members:

• Andrea Cook, Panel Chair, Director of Evaluation, World Food Programme • Demetra Arapakos, Chief of Section, Inspection and Evaluation Division, UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS/IED)

• Nanna Hvidt, Director of Evaluation, Learning & Quality (ELQ), Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs • Susan Kyle, Program Officer for UNHCR, Office of Multilateral Coordination and External Relations (MCE), Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM),
Department of State

• Antoine Ouellet-Drouin, former Head of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva.

• Johan Schaar, Associate Senior Fellow with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Chair of ALNAP, vice chair of the Expert Group for Aid Studies under the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs Daniel Arghiros was the Senior Evaluation Consultant to the Panel.

The Panel would like to thank the Head of the Evaluation Service, the Evaluation Service team and UNHCR for facilitating and engaging with the review in such a collaborative way. The Panel would also like to thank all those to whom they spoke for their open and frank contributions.
The views expressed in this report are those of the members of the Peer Review Panel in their individual capacities.
The review was guided by the central question in the Terms of Reference (ToR), namely, to assess whether UNHCR’s “evaluation policy, evaluation function and its evaluation products are independent, credible and useful for learning and accountability purposes”. In line with the ToR the Peer Review also focuses on the quality of use and follow up of evaluations across the organisation; and their contribution to accountability, learning and improvement.
The Peer Review provides recommendations to UNHCR senior leadership and its governing bodies, the Standing Committee and Executive Committee (ExCom), as well as staff of the Evaluation Service, Regional Bureaux and country offices. The review covers the entire evaluation system comprising both the central and decentralized evaluation functions. It assesses the role and strategic positioning of financial and human resourcing, evaluation planning, evaluation use, and quality assurance mechanisms. The review focuses on the period 2016 to the end of 2020.