High-level panel of experts reviews the second edition of IFAD's Evaluation Manual

Languages: English


On 31 March and 1 April, the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) organized a meeting of the High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPEs) at the IFAD Headquarters to seek feedback on the draft of the second edition of the Evaluation Manual, which is expected to be released in the second part of 2015.
The members of the panel were:

  • Osvaldo Feinstein, Professor at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Masters in the Evaluation of Programs and Public Policies and former Manager at the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank;
  • Susanne Frueh, Director of Internal Oversight at UNESCO and former Executive Secretary of the UN Joint Inspection Unit;
  • Ted Kliest, independent evaluation expert and former senior evaluator at the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Uma Lele, Independent development scholar and former senior evaluator at the IEG of the World Bank; and
  • Kevin Watkins, Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

The evaluation manual is IOE's key guidance document for promoting accountability and learning, summarizing the overarching methods and processes for conducing independent evaluations in IFAD.  It will also serve as a critical resource for colleagues in IFAD Management responsible for undertaking self-evaluations, as well as for partners and institutions in developing countries as well as development practitioners in the agriculture and rural development sectors. 
The HLPEs' input was incisive and extremely useful.  Among other issues, the experts underlined how international development evaluation has evolved over the years and the implications thereof for IOE, taking into account IFAD's strategic vision for 2025 and its specific mandate to reduce rural poverty by investing in smallholder agricultural development.  
Their contributions were also particularly timely and useful on several new chapters that feature in the second edition of the manual, which were not part of the first edition of the manual issued by IOE in 2009, such as on corporate level evaluations, impact evaluations, and evaluation synthesis reports. Comments on evaluation products, such as country programme evaluations and project evaluations, were also of much significance at this juncture in the production of the manual. 
On the fringes of the meeting of the HLPEs, IOE interviewed the five evaluation experts, who were asked to respond to two very simple questions: why evaluation matters and, especially, why it is so important for a multilateral development institution like IFAD.
The video interviews, available in this page, will form the basis for a new series launched by IOE today, entitled "Why does evaluation matter?", which will feature web issues throughout 2015 – the International Year of Evaluation - and that will capture testimonies from evaluation experts, senior programme management officers, eminent development personalities and policy leaders.

Watch the videos:

Susanne Frueh

Uma Lele

Ted Kliest

Kevin Watkins

Osvaldo Feinstein