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        United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
25 June 2012

Original: English

Trade and Development Board
Working Party on the Strategic Framework and the Programme Budget
Sixty-second session
Geneva, 3–5 September 2012
Item 4 of the provisional agenda
Evaluation of UNCTAD activities

Evaluation of UNCTAD activities: Overview

Report by the Secretary-General of UNCTAD


1. This report is an overview that describes UNCTAD’s evaluation activities in the previous year. This information is presented to allow fuller reporting on all evaluation activities, and is a move towards strengthening accountability and lessons learned.

I. 2011 Evaluation Synthesis Report


4. In 2011, UNCTAD’s Evaluation and Monitoring Unit coordinated two programme evaluations, namely on UNCTAD’s programme on science and technology for development,1 and on its programme of assistance to the Palestinian people,2 as mandated by the Trade and Development Board.3


8. The in-depth evaluation of UNCTAD’s programme of assistance to the Palestinian people was considered during the fifty-eighth session of the Trade and Development Board. The evaluation, conducted by an independent evaluator, Mr. S.V. Divvaakar, assessed the work implemented since 1990, under UNCTAD’s three pillars of work, by the Assistance to the Palestinian People Unit. The evaluation methodology relied on the triangulation and analysis of data generated by (a) desk review of relevant documents and outputs of the Unit; (b) interviews with the stakeholders concerned; and (c) field visits to Jerusalem and Ramallah.

9. The independent evaluator found that despite adverse field conditions and the fact that UNCTAD was a small player in the development assistance canvas in that area of work, its relevance and useful contributions to needs expressed by beneficiaries was undisputed. Furthermore, the report found that UNCTAD’s specialized approach provided a number of proprietary tools and techniques, with UNCTAD being an important partner in the enhancement of the customs administration system.

10. The independent evaluator noted that UNCTAD faced potential challenges in responding to new and emerging priorities of the Palestinian Authority and other beneficiaries, which emanated from: (a) the Palestinian Authority’s need to mobilize adequate financial commitments in order to more effectively pursue national development priorities; (b) an increasing trend towards donor-supported, field-based interventions for the private sector, which had not received adequate engagement in recent years; and (c) UNCTAD’s lack of field presence and partnerships, and its absence from the aid coordination structures in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, all of which limited its ability to make additional contributions despite its relevance, capabilities and expertise.

11. Following active discussion of the report and its recommendations, the secretariat was asked to take into account the recommendations contained in the report, as well as the Trade and Development Board’s deliberations, in its continuing implementation of the Accra Accord. The secretariat is in the process of considering if and how the recommendations can be implemented, to enhance its delivery on its mandates.




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