"Evaluation matters...the role of evaluation is understood as an opportunity for organizational and individual learning, to improve performance and accountability for results, and build our capacity for understanding why some programmes and initiatives work, and why others do not...Consistent and high quality evaluation of our work and Organization is essential, and is a tool that will guide programme planning and implementation."
WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan (from Foreword to the WHO Evaluation Practice Handbook)
The Evaluation Office contributes to establishing a culture of evaluation at all levels of the Organization, so that evaluation plays a critical role in WHO in improving performance, increasing accountability for results, and promoting organizational learning.
Strengthening evaluation and organizational learning has been identified as one of the critical components of the ongoing WHO reform process. As a first step, on 1 August 2014 the evaluation function was moved from within the Office of Internal Oversight Services (where it had been located and integrated with other functions) to become a separate Evaluation Office to support independent evaluation. A review of the evaluation function in WHO and of best practices and models in other entities has led to the development and ongoing implementation of a framework for strengthening evaluation and organizational learning in WHO, with six key action areas:
- establishing an enabling environment and governance;
- evaluation capacity and resources;
- evaluation work plan, scope and modalities;
- evaluation recommendations and management response;
- organizational learning; and
- communicating evaluation work.
The UN Evaluation Group (UNEG) defines evaluation as follows:
“….an assessment, as systematic and impartial as possible of an activity, project, programme, strategy, policy, theme, sector, operational area or institutional performance. It focuses on expected and achieved accomplishments examining the results chain, processes, contextual factors and causality, in order to understand achievements or the lack thereof. It aims at determining the relevance, impact, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the interventions and contributions of the organizations of the UN system.”
In simpler terms, evaluation is intended to provide accountability for achieving results from the use of resources, and to facilitate learning from experience in ways that can be put into practical use. Furthermore, evaluation should influence policy and operational decisions.
The Evaluation Office
The WHO Evaluation Office is headed by Dr Elil Renganathan, Director-General’s Representative for Evaluation and Organizational Learning.
Ebola lessons learnt
Extended list of reviews
Ebola Interim Assessment Panel (WHO)
Director-General’s Advisory Group on Reform of WHO’s Work in Outbreaks and Emergencies with Health and Humanitarian Consequences (WHO)
Review Committee on the Role of the International Health Regulations (2005) in the Ebola Outbreak and Response (WHO)
EU preparedness and response – learning lessons from the Ebola outbreak (European Union)
HGHI - LSHTM Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola (Harvard Global Health Institute-London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine)
Commission on a global health risk framework for the future (The National Academy of Medicine)