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Evaluation fit for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda: A commitment by evaluators

25 Sep 2015

More than 150 world leaders attended the UN Sustainable Development Summit on September 25-27, 2015, at the UN headquarters in New York. At the Summit, Heads of States and Governments formally adopted an ambitious new sustainable development agenda and affirmed strong political commitment to its timely implementation, review and follow-up.

The 2030 Agenda calls for ambitious, universal and transformative action over the next fifteen years, focusing on our shared planet, its people, and their prosperity, peace and partnership. We particularly welcome the pledge made by Member States that no one will be left behind, by realizing the human rights and sustainable development of all and achieving gender equality. 

For UNEG and the international evaluation community, it is exciting to note that “evaluation” has been integrated in this new Agenda. It indicates that, as part of the implementation of the Agenda, the follow-up and review processes will be informed by country-led evaluations and data. We believe that such evaluations can contribute powerfully towards strengthening and accelerating national development policies and programmes. We appreciate that the Agenda calls for strengthening national evaluation programmes as part of the efforts envisioned to enhance national capacity in developing countries.

We are proud to report that UNEG, with support from our partners, played a critical role in advocating the importance of evaluation during the intergovernmental negotiations for this new Agenda. This is another important milestone for UNEG and the international evaluation community, following the stand-alone United Nations General Assembly Resolution, "Capacity building for the evaluation of development activities at the country level", which was adopted in December 2014 (click for more information).

During the UNEG High-level Event in March 2015, the UN Secretary-General affirmed the role of evaluation in the 2030 Agenda: “Evaluation everywhere, and at every level, will play a key role in implementing the new development agenda. Building national evaluation capacities empowers countries to be in the driver's seat from the making of policy to the monitoring of results. This is the best path toward positive change in the lives of the people we all serve”.

Throughout 2015, the global evaluation community has been celebrating the International Year of Evaluation with the aim of advocating and promoting evaluation and evidence-based policy-making at all levels. UNEG and its members are actively engaged in these activities. As invited by the UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/69/237, UNEG and its members will stand ready to work in partnership with member states and other stakeholders to support, on request, country-led evaluation activities and the strengthening of national evaluation capacity.

“This is an historic opportunity for all of us. Let all of us, evaluators and policy makers from the United Nations, Governments, Civil Society Organizations, including Voluntary Organizations for Professional Evaluation, Parliamentarians and private sector, join hands to make evaluation fit for the 2030 Sustainable development agenda, including by ensuring evaluation will be equity-focused and gender-responsive to make the ‘no one left behind’ promise, a reality”, said Marco Segone, UNEG Chair. 

For additional information on how evaluation is integrated in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, please visit here.