The experience of the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD in conducting evaluations during Covid-19. Learning note

January 2021

The travel, health and social restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic had severe adverse effects on IOE’s work, preventing it from conducting international missions and field data collection, signature elements of its evaluation approach.

IOE nevertheless made every effort to continue operations. This entailed adapting its approach to evaluations, establishing a set of key principles to protect the health and well-being of evaluation staff and stakeholders. IOE also strove to address the many vital issues ensuing from its new approach, which ranged from the need to maintain methodological rigour and reduce the chance of bias to preserving smooth working relationships with both internal and external parties.

This learning note analyses the main challenges faced and lessons learned by IOE as it endeavoured to assure evaluation quality and sustained delivery under COVID conditions. It is hoped that the knowledge thus shared will prove valuable to evaluation actors, both during the current pandemic situation and beyond.


Helping transform rural lives: Major achievements of IFAD’s Independent Office of Evaluation 2014-2019

December 2019

In 2014-2019, amidst the pressures of climate change and the need to achieve Agenda 2030’s pledge to “leave no one behind”, IFAD continued extensive structural and operational reforms, all the while remaining firmly committed to improving the lives of the rural poor.

In this dynamic context, the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) played a more critical role than ever, carrying out its mission to promote accountability and learning by providing independent evaluations of IFAD’s work.

Helping Transform Rural Lives: Major Achievements of IFAD’s Independent Office of Evaluation 2014-2019 explains IOE’s operations and highlights its main accomplishments and innovations of the past five years, as it strove towards excellence in evaluation in the service of advancing rural development.

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The evolution of the independent evaluation function at IFAD

November 2015

Over the years, evaluation has become an increasingly critical function in multilateral and bilateral development agencies, including international financial institutions (IFIs) and United Nations organizations.

It is through evaluation that assessments and analyses of operations and strategies are conducted, with a view to better understanding what is working well, what is not working well and, most importantly, the factors that have an impact on performance.

Historically, the Member States, governing bodies and Management of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) – a unique institution that is both a specialized agency of the United Nations and an IFI – have always taken evaluation very seriously.


IFAD’s independent evaluation: Ten years of accountability, learning and transformation

April 2013
Since its establishment in 1977, IFAD’s evaluation function has evolved signifi cantly. The function was carried out initially by the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, which focused mostly on mid-term evaluations during project implementation, and over time its name and reporting lines were changed. The major transformation was the establishment of the independent evaluation function in 2003, approved by the Executive Board as part of IFAD’s fi rst Evaluation Policy, which created the Offi ce of Evaluation. Under the revised Evaluation Policy of 2011, the offi ce was re-named as the Independent Offi ce of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE).