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UN designated Secretary-General calls for strong culture of evaluation

31 Oct 2016

For the first time in the history of the United Nations, Member States set in motion a more transparent process for the selection of the Secretary-General. Earlier this year, in the spring, public hearings, organized by the General Assembly, where candidates presented their vision and responded to questions put forward by Member States, took place and were also televised and webcast.

On this occasion, in the context of the public hearing, when Secretary-General-designate Guterres presented his vision statement to Member States, he stressed the importance of accountability and evaluation.

Guterres stated that the UN needs “a more results-based, delivery-oriented coordination,” and that “coordination is about accountability, transparency and leadership.”

He also laid out what three-level of accountability entails for the Organization, i.e.: global system-wide accountability, accountability in relation to its mandate, and accountability in relation to how the Organization contributes to the global performance of the system.

In addition, he stressed that, in order to fulfill accountability, “we need a culture of evaluation, independent and real-time evaluation with full transparency.”

As a professional network of UN evaluators, the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) strongly welcomes the emphasis that Secretary-General-designate Guterres put on evaluation. As recently indicated by Marco Segone, UNEG Chair and Director of UNWomen’s Independent Evaluation Office, “We, evaluators in the UN system, are very proud to see that the UN Secretary-General-designate sets a high bar for evaluation for the entire system. This continues the positive movement created by the declaration of 2015 as International Year of Evaluation, during which the current UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, declared that ‘Evaluation everywhere, and at every level, will play a key role in implementing the new development agenda. ….Evaluation is not easy. Nor is it popular. But it is essential. The current constrained budgetary climate makes it more important than ever”.

Segone continued declaring that “The adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda calls for a follow-up and monitoring mechanisms to be informed by country-led evaluations. This set up opportunities and challenges for the global evaluation community, and represents an historic opportunity for all of us. UNEG stands ready to respond to the call to make evaluation fit for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, leaving no one behind”.