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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2014 Global: GEROS – Global Meta-Evaluation Report 2014 - Final Report: Quality Review of 2013 Evaluation Reports

Author: Universalia and UNICEF

Executive summary


The purpose of UNICEF’s Global Evaluation Quality Assurance System (GEROS) is to ensure that UNICEF’s evaluations uphold the high quality standards set for them. The GEROS review process and the information provided in annual meta-evaluation reports help UNICEF to monitor its progress, identify its strengths and become aware of its areas for improvement with regard to evaluation.

The four main objectives of GEROS are to: (i) provide senior managers with a clear and succinct independent assessment of individual evaluation reports; (ii) strengthen internal evaluation capacity by providing feedback to commissioning offices, in order to improve future evaluations and inform their own assessment of the performance of external consultants; (iii) report on the quality of evaluation reports through a review and assessment process; and (iv) contribute to the EO’s corporate knowledge management and organisational learning, by providing the evidence base for a meta-analysis of good quality reports.


The 2013 GEROS review cycle took place over a five-month period (mid-January to early June 2014). In total, 96 reports were analysed using the GEROS assessment tool, which contains 58 questions distributed across six main template sections. These overarching sections are further broken down into 22 subsections, structured around fundamental areas of focus. In the GEROS review process, each question and section is given a rating based on a colour-coded four-point performance scorecard.

Findings and Conclusions:

For 2013, the number of reports submitted to the GEROS process by each region varied greatly, but the most important contributors were WCARO, TACRO, ESARO and CEE/CIS. In total, the number of reports reviewed increased from 79 to 96.

The quality of UNICEF’s evaluation reports continued to increase through 2013.

Several trends point to an increase in the number of evaluations produced by UNICEF’s regional offices.

Reports continue to demonstrate shortcomings in some sections of the GEROS assessment framework, especially in the areas of methodology, recommendations, lessons learned, and compliance with requirements for annexing complementary information.


UNICEF should identify how GEROS helps strengthen the credibility and use of evaluation, within the broader organisational feedback system.

Within its decentralised evaluation strategy, UNICEF should continue work to build regional and national capacities to conduct and assess evaluations.

UNICEF should continue to update and systematically communicate its requirements for evaluation reports across its entire evaluation oversight/management system. These updates should take into account evolving standards for evaluation in the UN System.

Special efforts should be made to strengthen certain aspects of evaluation reports that have been consistently weak in the past few years.

Lessons Learned:

Clear and systematic communication of evaluation standards and priorities favours the effective alignment of evaluations with UNICEF standards, from the outset (i.e. ToRs stage).

While common standards help improve evaluation quality, systems should provide sufficient flexibility to account for different types of evaluations.

Full report in PDF

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Report information


Evaluation Office

Global - HQ


Management Excellence (Cross-cutting)



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