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UN Human Rights takes a systematic and methodological approach to evaluation as part of results-based management. It works towards an evaluation culture built around the needs of users and the impact on rights-holders.

The Evaluation policy reaffirms the importance UN Human Rights accords to evaluations as a key tool to ensure accountability for results and reinforce organisational learning. Evaluations further contribute to making UN Human Rights’ interventions more relevant, coherent, efficient, effective, impact-oriented and sustainable, with the ultimate aim of promoting and protecting all human rights for all people. To this end, UN Human Rights’ leadership will foster a culture that values continuous learning and encourages its staff at all levels to actively engage in reflective learning exercises contributing to the organisation’s knowledge base.

More: UN Human Rights Evaluation Policy 2023 (PDF)

In UN Human Rights, evaluations are conducted for three overall purposes:

  • Evidence-based decision-making for planning, programming, budgeting, implementation and reporting contributing to organisational effectiveness.
  • Learning by generating information about what works well in UN Human Rights’ interventions (and conversely what does not), in what context, and why. Such learning is expected to catalyse innovation, adaptability and continuous improvement.
  • Promoting accountability of UN Human Rights to stakeholders by objectively verifying programme performance, resources used, and results achieved.

Evaluation supports UN Human Rights in delivering its mandate by:

  1. Fostering an organisational culture of evidence decision making, adaptability and learning to promote and protect more effectively the enjoyment and full realisation, by all people, of all human rights.
  2. Enhancing accountability of UN Human Rights towards rights-holders, duty-bearers and Member States by providing credible evidence of achieving the goals of the mandated tasks, normative work, and programmatic interventions.
  3. Building knowledge and institutional memory by identifying and disseminating good and emerging practices as well as lessons learned.
  4. Contributing to organisational efficiency and effectiveness by demonstrating to what extent UN Human Rights’  organisational and performance management plans and strategies have been achieved.
  5. Strengthening partnerships and promoting inter-agency cooperation, including through joint evaluations, to streamline the human-rights-based approach in the United Nations System.

Priorities 2024

UN Human Rights plans for evaluations through a quadrennial process that includes a costed forecast of all evaluations to be carried out in the upcoming four-year Organization Management Plan (OMP) cycle. This forecast document is developed and consulted with the Evaluation Focal Points Network (EFPN) and endorsed by the Programme and Budget Review Board (PBRB) using the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the UN Human Rights Management Plans and Strategic Frameworks,
  • Demand by stakeholders,
  • Strategic importance and risks to implementation,
  • Potential for the generation of relevant knowledge (a clear intent regarding the purpose and use of findings to improve the work of UN Human Rights),
  • Size of investment or coverage,
  • Visibility of interventions or strategies (Flagship programmes),
  • Evaluability (Implementation maturity, programme logic, timing, data availability, utility),
  • Evaluation coverage (Representative mix of evaluations, programme, geographical, conduct of previous evaluations).

Based on the quadrennial evaluation forecast document, annual plans are developed and presented for PBRB approval to reflect emerging priorities and needs.

More: UN Human Rights Evaluation Plan 2024 (PDF)

Evaluation Reports