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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2015 Global: Evaluability Assessment of the UNICEF Strategic Plan 2014 - 2017

Author: Beth Plowman, Philip Setel

Executive summary


The UNICEF Evaluation Office has commissioned an evaluability assessment of the UNICEF Strategic Plan, 2014-2017 at an early stage of the Strategic Plan’s implementation. The evaluability assessment provides UNICEF management and stakeholders with evidence regarding how robust the plan is, the degree to which indicators are validated and measurable and the extent to which systems are in place to measure and verify performance. This document presents the findings and recommendations of the evaluability assessment


Objective 1: Assess the relevance, clarity, and coherence of the Strategic Plan’s design, including the integrity of the causal chain linking inputs and activities with expected outputs, outcomes and impact.

Objective 2: Assess the adequacy and validity of the indicators, tools and systems for monitoring, measuring and verifying results; and of systems and tools to assess the adequacy and quality of data to be used in monitoring, measuring and evaluating results, including any significant gaps in coverage.

Objective 3: Assess data and systems to determine the degree to which human and financial resources can be evaluated against the expected results.

Objective 4: Provide guidance on approaches to the evaluations of the Strategic Plan with a view to enhancing its utility.

Objective 5: Provide evidence and recommendations to guide any enhancements that may be required regarding the design of the Strategic Plan.


The evaluability assessment relied on a mix of methods and tools to boost rigour and standardization. Qualitative information was particularly important to contextualize and nuance the findings.

Findings and Conclusions:

  1. The Strategic Plan is widely viewed as the most coherent and technically sound that UNICEF has developed to date.
  2. The Strategic Plan is relevant to the organizational mandate and international agreements to which UNICEF is bound, and is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  3. The Strategic Plan serves as an overarching framework.
  4. A significant challenge to evaluability lies in the lack of explicitly stated logical connections of the causal chain from outputs to outcomes and from outcomes to impact.
  5. A few performance indicators found in the results framework are weaker and, in some cases, may impede evaluation through poor quality or limited interpretability.
  6. The entire Strategic Plan is framed with an equity lens, yet the approach to measurement of equity is weak in the Strategic Plan and is further hampered by the questionable availability of data to measure progress in this area.
  7. Crosscutting themes pose challenges for evaluability.
  8. Some areas of concern remain regarding the responses to the strategic monitoring questions (SMQ) serving as the basis for the majority of performance indicator reporting.
  9. Although current reporting systems categorize financial commitments by country office outputs, programme areas, key activities, sub-activities and implementation strategies, the materials reviewed did not specify how resource flows, across levels, would be tracked according to the results of the Strategic Plan (i.e. outcomes and outputs).
  10. Country offices, with the strong support of regional offices, have already utilized a number of opportunities in the country programme cycle to reflect on the Strategic Plan and make adjustments in their programmes. Although not outlined in the Strategic Plan, regional offices have facilitated the uptake of strategic plan elements in country programmes by interpreting the global Strategic Plan in terms of regionally-specific priorities.


  1. Reorient the Strategic Plan in line with its application as a framework.
  2. Newly drafted CPDs and CPAPs should be reviewed in order to better understand how they relate and contribute to the Strategic Plan.
  3. Clarify results, measurement approaches and indicators for equity.
  4. Conduct a review and adjust, as needed, indicators and systems to measure progress towards the results of the Strategic Plan.
  5. Conduct an exercise to determine the need and feasibility of moving the organization towards budgeting practices that are more supportive of results-based management that enable better linking of resources and results.

You will find the study/report below labeled as follows:

  • Full Report - "Report"
  • Annexes including the Management Response - "Part 2"

Full report in PDF

PDF files require Acrobat Reader.



Report information



Program Excellence (Cross-Cutting)


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