Evaluation Service

What's new: reports, news and publications

Construction workers representing both the refugee and local communities build the first of 1,000 brick homes to be built in Ouallam village in Niger.

How can UNHCR further engage in Humanitarian Development cooperation?

Cooperating with development organizations has long been part of UNHCR's approach to building long-term support and finding durable solutions for people forced to flee. An ongoing evaluation explores the possibilities to further strengthen our cooperation with development actors. 

Philippines. UNHCR helps community at risk of statelessness

Evaluation Service Annual Report 2020

Despite COVID-19, travel restrictions and other impediments, the year 2020 turned out to be a productive year for UNHCR. We were able to increase our agility and flexibility and provide quick support by identifying lessons from earlier health emergencies. This year-end report summarizes the progress we made towards achieving our strategic goals as set out in the 2018-2022 Evaluation Strategy.

Children on the move

What works to protect children on the move

Around 50 million children around the globe can be considered 'on the move'. This rapid evidence assessment gathers evidence on successful and failed protection measurements within different groups (refugees, internally displaced children, migrant children, returnees, children moving with and without families and other settings).

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