Stocktaking Study on the Utility of Peer Review

UNEG Peer Review Stocktaking Report 2021_Final.pdf (841 KB / English)


One of the primary aims of the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) is to strengthen evaluation capacity within the United Nations system and peer reviews are one of UNEG’s flagship initiatives to achieving this aim. 

The peer review mechanism was created in 2004 as a joint initiative of UNEG and the OECD DAC Evaluation Network (EvalNet). In 2011, a new Framework for Peer Review proposed a more streamlined approach to Peer Reviews shifting the overall responsibility and ownership of the mechanism to UNEG. 

Since 2013, 14 UNEG member agencies have undergone a peer review guided by a framework designed to be adaptable to evaluation functions of different sizes. This study highlights how each Peer Review has contributed to positive changes in the peer reviewed evaluation function; outlines the influence these peer reviews have had on the independence, credibility and utility of these evaluation functions; and, finally, makes recommendations to UNEG on how to enhance the utility of peer reviews.


  • Peer Reviews help lift the quality and independence of evaluation functions and increase the credibility, utility and independence of evaluation products.

  • Peer reviews do sometimes contribute to the independence and, therefore, the institutional strength and robustness of the reviewed evaluation function. 

  • Agencies are not equally responsive to peer reviews.

  • Even when a peer review has had no impact on the independence and robustness of an evaluation function peer reviews are still worthwhile.

Document Details



  • UNEG Reference Documents


  • May 2022


  • 1653


  • Peer Reviews