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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2017 Supply Division: Evaluation of Supply Division's Supply Community Strategy

Author: Bert-Jan Buiskool, Frank Lekanne Deprez, Daan Boom, Gert-Jan Lindeboom

Executive summary

With the aim to continuously improve transparency and use of evaluation, UNICEF Evaluation Office manages the "Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System (GEROS)". Within this system, an external independent company reviews and rates all evaluation reports. The quality rating scale for evaluation reports is as follows: “Highly Satisfactory”, “Satisfactory”, “Fair” or “Unsatisfactory”. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labelled as ‘Part 4’ of the report, and the executive feedback summary labelled as ‘Part 5’.


Since 2008, UNICEF Supply Division (SD) has been implementing its Supply Community Strategy to address the findings from the 2007 Evaluation of the Global Supply Function (SFE), which concluded that Supply staff felt isolated and had limited possibilities for professional development or sharing experience. SD commissioned this evaluation to reflect on the progress made by the Supply Community Strategy since its inception, to assess the results achieved, and to identify areas for improvement. 

The Supply Community Strategy has developed incrementally, beginning as an initial idea about the strategic importance of forming a Supply Community, without clear objectives, targets or activities. It was initiated by the SD Director’s Office, then grew into an organizational strategy with three focus areas: learning and development; knowledge sharing and community building; and career progression and mobility.

The main objective of the strategy is to develop a community of Supply staff, comprised of personnel across HQ, SD and the Regional and Country Offices. This community should form the basis for learning and development, knowledge sharing, and career development, and, through these activities, encourage a sense of professional belonging among Supply staff.

The evaluation finds evidence that the strategy has improved the availability of required skills in the organization, contributed to cooperation and knowledge sharing, and improved the system of career progression. This has contributed to the creation of a community and to increased self-awareness and engagement of Supply staff with staff in Programme and Operations.


This external evaluation used a mixed method approach, including desk research, a global survey, interviews with staff from different functions/field offices, interviews with comparable international organizations, and participatory workshops with Supply staff. 


Recommendation 1: Create sub-communities for specific strategic knowledge domains.

Recommendation 2: Develop an approach to foster a culture of knowledge sharing and learning. More guidance must be provided by SD leadership to engage members in building a Supply Community.

Recommendation 3: Identify and remove barriers to participation in Supply Community learning activities. The evaluation shows that not all Supply staff participate in trainings and certain groups participate less than others (such as recently recruited staff, G staff, and French speaking staff).

Recommendation 4: Create enabling environments for practice-based and informal learning. For this, SD could consider rolling out the Work-Based Learning components of the L&D plan.

Recommendation 5: Define learning pathways that support professional development of Supply staff. Currently, there are no clear learning pathways available to guide staff in their selection and prioritizing courses. Learning pathways are specifically helpful for new recruits.

Recommendation 6: Improve monitoring of the implementation of the Supply Community Strategy. The monitoring and evaluation framework of the Supply Community Strategy has been defined too narrowly in terms of immediate outputs, and did not define measurable baselines to assess effectiveness.


You will find the documents below labelled as follows:

  • Final Full Report - Report
  • Executive Summary - Part 2
  • Annexes - Part 3
  • GEROS quality rating - Part 4
  • GEROS executive feedback summary - Part 5

Full report in PDF

PDF files require Acrobat Reader.



Report information


Supply Division



Management Excellence (Cross-cutting)


Ockham Institute of Policy Support

Sequence #:
Supply Division 2017/001

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