Why independent evaluation?

Why independent evaluation?

Why independent evaluation?

Accountability, learning, independence and partnership are essential to promote more efficient operations to reduce rural poverty. These principles guide IFAD's evaluation processes, helping to understand what works and what needs to be modified for a better impact on the lives of poor rural people.

Since 2003, the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) has been working to increase the impact of IFAD's operations for sustainable and inclusive rural transformation through excellence in evaluation. IOE works under those four principles – accountability, learning, independence and partnership – which requires careful management, as the promotion of one of them may have implications for the others.

For example, IOE is committed to ensuring participation throughout the evaluation process as an intrinsic aspect of partnership, and to promoting inclusiveness and ownership in evaluation findings and recommendations; yet, participation and ownership should not be allowed to influence the evaluative process. Impartiality and the independence of IOE's evaluation function are two aspects of fundamental importance in the evaluation process.

In summary, our mission is to promote accountability and learning through independent, credible an useful evaluations of IFAD's work. Our vision drives us to increase the impact of IFAD's Operation through excellence in evaluation.

IFAD Evaluation Policy

The revised IFAD Evaluation Policy, approved by the Executive Board in May 2011, provides further clarification and guidance on the purpose and role of independent evaluation at IFAD. It aims at strengthening both accountability and learning for better development results on the ground. While the fundamental principles and operational policies of the 2003 Evaluation Policy remain largely valid -  independence, accountability, partnership, and learning - the new policy incorporates the recent changes that have taken place in IFAD since this first Evaluation Policy, such as the approval of the Fund's direct supervision and implementation support policy, and the introduction of country presence. The revision also reflects the most up-to-date evolution of the evaluation function in development organizations, in particular within other international financial institutions.

More information in IOE's Overview

Main actors in IOE

The Executive Board is IFAD's second main Governing Body. It assesses the overall quality and impact of IFAD's programmes and projects as documented in evaluations reports. The Executive Board approve IOE's annual programme and budget, and also policies aimed at enhancing the independence and effectiveness of evaluation. It receives all IOE's evaluation reports and endorses the appointment, re-appointment or removal of the IOE director.

The Evaluation Committee is a sub-committee of the Executive Board and performs in-depth reviews of selected evaluation issues, thus enhancing the effectiveness of the Executive Board. Meeting at least four times a year, the Evaluation Committee reviews IOE’s strategies and methodologies, discusses selected evaluation reports and IOE’s annual work programme and budget. It also makes suggestions for including evaluations of particular interest to the Committee in IOE’s annual work programme.


Annual Report on Results and Impact of IFAD Operations (ARRI) is IOE's flagship annual report. It presents a consolidated picture of results and impact, and a summary of the cross-cutting issues and lessons on the basis of evaluations conducted by IOE. Each edition also includes a dedicated section on one learning theme.

Corporate-level evaluations (CLEs) are conducted to assess the results of IFAD-wide corporate policies, strategies, business processes and organizational aspects. They generate findings and recommendations that can be used to formulate new and more effective corporate policies and strategies, as well as improve business processes and IFAD’s organizational architecture.

Country strategy and programme evaluations (CSPEs) assess the performance and impact of IFAD-funded operations in a given country, and generate findings and recommendations to serve as building blocks for the preparation of a new IFAD Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (COSOP) in the same country. 

Project Completion Report Validations (PCRVs) are independent desk reviews and do not entail any field work. They may include interactions with the IFAD country programme manager and concerned project staff by electronic means, as appropriate.

Project Performance Evaluations (PPEs) assess project results and impact based on the report validation and a field mission. PPEs generate findings and recommendations that can inform other projects funded by IFAD.

Evaluation synthesis reports are knowledge products that aim to facilitate learning and wider use of evaluation findings by identifying and capturing accumulated knowledge and good practices on common themes and findings across a variety of evaluation reports and topics such as gender, indigenous peoples and middle-income countries.

Impact evaluations are project-level evaluations that assess performance and impact of an IFAD-funded project in a more quantitative and rigorous manner, and generate relevant findings and recommendations for the design and implementation of ongoing and future operations in a given country. The evaluation is based on mixed methods, quantitative and qualitative.

Evaluation profiles are two-page summaries of the main conclusions and recommendations arising from an IOE evaluation.

Evaluation insights focus on one learning issue emerging from evaluations, with the aim of generating further debate among development practitioners.

Read about the work programme and budget