Evaluation Service

What's new: reports, news and publications

Iran. Afghan Refugees during COVID19 times

Global evaluation: International COVID-19 response fell short in upholding refugee rights

The collective global response to the COVID-19 pandemic fell short in protecting the rights of refugees despite extraordinary efforts by local actors and the international community, according to a major international report released today.

UNHCR Must Further Invest in Strengthening its Cooperation with the Development Partners

Over the past five years, UNHCR's engagement in humanitarian-development cooperation has increased with a positive effect on refugees and host communities. To continue to build on the success, UNHCR needs to further adapt its work and strengthen investments in this area.

Key findings from the UNHCR's Age, Gender and Diversity policy evaluation

The newly released evaluation presents findings and analysis for the first year of research, and while not containing recommendations, it outlines some suggested actions UNHCR can consider taking to strengthen the implementation of the AGD policy.

2021 was a challenging yet productive year for the Evaluation Service. This year-end report illustrates the progress that we have made towards our strategic goals outlined in the 2018-2022 Evaluation Strategy.

In 2021, we completed 13 independent evaluative exercises and initiated another 23 - each aligned with the organization's strategic priority areas. As we go forward, we will continue to improve in order to encourage a better future for the UNHCR and the people we serve. 

Peer Review of UNHCR's evaluation function

See here the Management Response to the Peer Review of the Evaluation Function at UNHCR.

What we do

UNHCR's Evaluation Service provides evaluative evidence so we can obtain an impartial reflection on our performance and results, generate lessons from experience and find ways to improve. The overall purpose of any evaluation is to contribute to both learning and accountability and inform our strategic choices.

With our evaluations, we seek answers to questions such as: Have the right things been undertaken? Are we doing them on a scale that will make a difference in the lives of persons of concern? How well have things been done and how do we know this? What results have been achieved? Are there better ways of achieving them? To what extent can a certain result be attributed to a specific intervention?

The Evaluation Service is independent of the management functions and reports directly to the High Commissioner.

How we work

All evaluations are conducted as a partnership between the UNHCR Evaluation Service and the concerned Bureau, Office and/or Division, who play a critical role in a successful evaluation process. Evaluations are scoped and defined jointly between the Evaluation Service and concerned Bureaux, Divisions and country offices, and need to be carried out by external consultants. UNHCR Staff with specific thematic and operational expertise may join an evaluation team in an advisory capacity, to give technical advice and/or quality assurance.

Evaluations can broadly be classified into two categories:

  • Centralized evaluations: commissioned, funded and managed by the Evaluation Service. Senior Executive Team members will be requested to oversee the management response to the evaluation.
  • Decentralized evaluations: proposed and initiated by offices, bureaux and divisions; co-managed with the Evaluation Service; can be undertaken jointly with partners. Concerned representative/bureau/division directors will prepare management responses.

How are evaluation topics selected?

The Evaluation Service facilitates an annual process of consultation with headquarters and field-based colleagues to develop an annual work-plan. Whereas topics for centralized evaluations are set at the beginning of each year, suggestions for decentralized evaluation topics (put forward by bureaux, operations or divisions) can be shared with the Evaluation Service throughout the year.

Explore our evaluations

Contact us at [email protected]