How we inspect and evaluate

Overall approach

IED assesses how well the United Nations is performing through both programmatic and thematic lenses. Mandated to cover all entities under the UN Strategic Framework, our division evaluates a diverse range of Secretariat programmes, departments, offices, peacekeeping operations, special political missions, as well as some non-Secretariat funds and programmes.

Our evaluations focus on assessing the results of UN work in terms of the evaluation criteria of relevance, efficiency and effectiveness, including impact. The quality of our work is assured through our quality assurance checklists applied to our evaluation phases and products. We follow a transparent and rigorous methodological process outlined in our division’s evaluation manual, in line with evaluation norms and standards of the UN system (established by the UN Evaluation Group).


In carrying out our inspection and evaluation mandate, our division delivers several types of evaluative products, including:

  • Programme evaluations that assess a single UN entity, programme, sub-programme, peacekeeping operation or special political mission
  • Thematic evaluations that assess a cross-cutting theme across UN entities or programmes (e.g. cumulative effects of multiple programmes sharing common objectives)
  • Inspections that are targeted reviews of an organizational unit, issue or practice perceived to be of potential risk
  • Biennial studies on evaluation that seek to strengthen self-evaluation capacity of subject entities by analysing overall trends, which are accompanied by Evaluation Dashboards for each entity in its scope
  • Triennial reviews that are follow-up exercises assessing the implementation of recommendations made in General Assembly mandated evaluations


The primary audience and users of IED evaluative products are: 

  • The Secretary-General, UN programme managers and staff
  • Member States, primarily the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) and the Administrative and Budgetary Committee (Fifth Committee) of the General Assembly and Security Council
  • UN stakeholders and partners