PC 94/7 b)

Programme Committee

Ninety-fourth Session

Rome, 19 - 23 September 2005

Format and Coverage of the Programme Evaluation Report (PER)


1. The 2003 Programme Evaluation Report1 (PER) was 87 pages long in the English version (47,000 words) and consisted of the following sections:

2. In this format, the PER had limited value added to the information already in the hands of Members and fully in the public domain. If this model were to be maintained, the forthcoming PER would, for example, include the executive summaries of the Evaluation of FAO’s Decentralization and of the Independent Review of TCP, two documents widely discussed by Members.

3. On the other hand, the Evaluation Service has noted an information deficit with Members on the institutional arrangements for evaluation in FAO, its coverage and the methods used. Information on this is partially available on the Evaluation Web site but is not summarised in any single governing body document nor is it available in a comprehensive and easily readable form to other stakeholders.

4. Similarly, there is no information on the total evaluation output of the Organization, including that undertaken for extra-budgetary programmes, and on future evaluation plans agreed by the Programme Committee.

5. The summaries of evaluations presented in the Programme Evaluation Report, although shorter than the original documents, are not in a format which is easily digestible by busy delegations or by a wider audience of stakeholders outside FAO.

Suggested Change in the Function and Format of the PER

6. It is thus suggested that the Programme Evaluation Report should supplement existing governing body documentation rather than repeating it. It should also be shorter, with three main sections:

I. Evaluation in FAO (institutional arrangements, policies and methods): It is envisaged that this section would cover these comprehensively but succinctly. It would, to some extent, be a repeat in each biennial version of the PER, but, given the turn-over in delegations and representations, would provide a reference source which would be kept up-to-date;

II. Evaluation Programme of the Organization (evaluation outputs over the biennium and the work plan of major evaluations for the forthcoming biennia): This would provide a very short factual summary;

III. Evaluation Summaries (briefs on each of the evaluations completed for the governing bodies during the biennium and any other major evaluations). These are envisaged as being four pages each in an attractive leaflet format. A mock-up of such a summary for the evaluation of Livestock Production, Policy and Information, is provided as an Annex to this document. This format would make evaluations accessible to a wider group of delegates and stakeholders. At the same time, a new Web document would be created and referenced in the summary which brings together in full: the evaluation report; the management response; peer review (if any); and the Report of the Programme Committee on that item.

7. It is envisaged that Sections I and II would also be available as stand-alone documents, while each of the leaflet summaries of evaluations would be released separately, in addition to their inclusion in the PER.

8. Summary information on the results of auto-evaluation by programme managers would be included in the Programme Implementation Report (PIR).

9. The Programme Committee is invited to make comments on the proposed changes in format and purpose of the PER.


To come (being prepared with GII)

Text is as follows

FAO Evaluation Brief no. 1

FAO Evaluation website: http://www.fao.org/pbe/pbee/en/index.html

Evaluation of


The livestock sector has been by far the fastest growing sub-sector in agriculture over the past several decades, caught in the midst of what has been termed the “Livestock Revolution”. Worldwide, per person consumption of livestock products increased by 40 percent between 1982 and 1994, but this figure masks a much more important trend: while consumption in developed countries grew by only one percent per year, in developing countries this figure was 5.4 percent (a total increase of 88 percent in 12 years).

Increases of this rate are being met mainly through an increase in intensive systems of production, which has raised concerns about the impact on the environment, potential negative effects on the poor, and the increased risk of animal diseases (which in some cases affect humans as well). Outbreaks of epizootics (animal epidemics) and diseases passing from animals to humans, often the result of international trade, raise the spectre of increasingly stringent health requirements and standards. While increasing trade is the main priority for many countries, the livelihoods of small-scale producers may be adversely affected by the tightening regulations.

FAO has a unique role to play in this increasingly complex environment, as the UN Agency mandated to take responsibility for development of the livestock sector. However, simple provision of technologies no longer has a major impact in many countries and identifying appropriate interventions requires the monitoring of global trends, identification of the most appropriate institutional frameworks and assessment of the implications of policies, all of which require trans-sectoral understanding.

Given the growing size and impact of the livestock sector and in particular the key role of livestock production in poverty alleviation and food security, a programme evaluation of FAO's activities in livestock production, policy and information was undertaken in 2004 (work in animal health was the subject of another programme evaluation in 2001), in order to assess the Organization's evolving role and work in this sector. The evaluation team considered how FAO's Animal Production and Health Division (AGA) was meeting demands in this challenging environment by drawing on skills both within AGA and elsewhere within and outside of FAO. The evaluation team visited 21 countries in all developing regions and spent considerable time reviewing normative and technical work done in FAO headquarters and regional offices. Extensive discussions were held not only with FAO staff but with partners, beneficiaries, member governments, NGOs and other agencies working with livestock issues.

The mission of FAO's livestock programme

The programme has stated its mission to be to clarify and facilitate the role of the livestock sub-sector in poverty reduction, improved food security, improved food safety, as well as in safe trade in livestock and animal products while safeguarding environmental sustainability and biodiversity. The evaluation suggested further refining this to underline the two major areas of intervention of the programme: mitigating negative effects and maximising benefits of the 'livestock revolution', and strengthening livestock's role in food security and poverty alleviation. The focus is on analysis and provision of knowledge in the livestock sub-sector under a wide-ranging mandate, from poverty alleviation to international trade, public health and the environment. The major programme activities in production, policy and information are:

A major part of the programme benefits from high levels of extra-budgetary funding from a variety of donors, in particular the pro-poor policy work, the livestock and environment work and to a lesser extent the work in animal genetic resources.


The evaluation found that FAO’s livestock programme is coherent with the evolution of the livestock sector on a global basis and with the Millennium Development Goals. It is also well in tune with the evolution of FAO towards greater focus on normative and policy considerations in its work and with the Organization’s Strategic Framework. The evaluation commended the programme’s focus on a “public goods” framework, though it still found room for improvement in strategic planning.

FAO’s livestock programme is on the forefront of change in FAO with the creation of an internal Policy Unit and has exhibited the ability to attract significant donor funding for normative work. However, the evaluation also found that there is unmet potential for more effective inclusion of livestock in the work of other FAO units and greater visibility for livestock work in general, given its growing importance.

FAO’s work is highly appreciated in countries where it is active, but overall it was found that the Organization lacked the resources for effective country coverage and in general the programme lacked visibility on a global level. There was little evidence of a strategic or programmatic approach in the field activities, and it was found in many cases that technological interventions could have had greater impact had they been more closely linked to policy support activities.

Overall, the FAO Livestock Programme was assessed to be among the more progressive and innovative of the Organization, working hard to develop and implement new modalities to adapt to a changing environment in rural development work. The Programme has made good progress in identifying the challenges and opportunities of the dynamic livestock sector. The programme changes to be implemented in the Medium Term Plan 2006-2011 are a positive step towards a vision focusing on the provision of information and assistance to policy. However, those are very broad generalizations and it is important to define exactly what FAO can contribute to both areas (information and policy).

The 8-person evaluation team overall gave this Programme their strong endorsement, concluding that FAO's role in this sector continues to be critical, and that the efforts being made to sharpen the focus and strategy of the Programme's activities are moving it in the right direction.


The Programme's Mission supports FAO’s focus on food security, while explicitly recognizing the ‘livestock revolution’ as the main driver of the livestock sector in many member countries. The path towards reaching the vision will require further elaboration, identifying areas where the Livestock Programme can be proactive and add value, drawing on FAO's areas of comparative advantage in setting norms and standards and in analysis(for example, analysis of livestock trends from global to local scales, and of the design of institutional frameworks to help the rural poor). There may be a need to agree on explicit organisational policy or guidelines, and there will definitely be a continuing need to work closely with the other major institutions working in this area, such as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the International Livestock Research Institute.

The evaluation endorsed proposed changes in programme direction as of 2006, taking FAO livestock work towards a more coherent strategy based on the MDGs and the three areas of public good: equity (poverty); environment (natural resources); and veterinary public health. The programme will have a strengthened focus on provision of information and assistance to policy development, supported by technical interventions where these can have the widest impact. In this, the livestock programme has been in the forefront of FAO's move towards greater focus on information and policy and less on technology transfer. In the area of policy change, the evaluation found that FAO had a key role to play in:

Specific recommendations emerging from the evaluation were aimed at strengthening FAO’s capacity to deliver services to member countries in those areas, including:

Peer Review

A panel of external international experts in the livestock field were asked to review the evaluation conclusions and provide their insight to assist FAO to make best use of them. The panel endorsed the public goods approach that FAO has adopted and commended the three high-profile initiatives in the livestock sector which the livestock division is leading: Conservation and Management of Animal Genetic Resources, the Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Initiative and the Livestock, Environment and Development Initiative. The Panel broadly accepted the recommendations of the report, stressing the areas of interdisciplinarity, farm animal genetic resources and priority setting for the field programme. It noted that FAO needs to clarify respective roles in the livestock sector with other actors (institutional, civil society and the private sector) to ensure coordination and complementarity.

Management Response to the Evaluation FAO management also broadly endorsed the recommendations, and in particular the focus on development goals rather than production systems. In their response, management included a plan, with timing and responsibilities, for implementing the accepted evaluation recommendations.

FAO Governing Bodies’ Conclusions (Programme Committee)

Member country representatives in the Programme Committee found the report useful. The extent of extra-budgetary resources mobilised by the programme, in particular for normative work, was a demonstration of the programme’s importance for member countries and the high regard in which they held its work. In concurring in general with the recommendations, they noted that management and the peer review panel had also largely agreed with the evaluation report and that management was moving to implement the recommendations.


Evaluation of Livestock Production, Policy and Information (Programme 2.1.3) PC 93/5 Available at: http://www.fao.org/docrep/meeting/009/j4779e/j4779e00.htm

Managements Response PC 93/5-Sup.1 Available at http://www.fao.org/docrep/meeting/009/j4858e.htm

Report of the Peer Review Panel PC 93/5-Sup.2 Available at: http://www.fao.org/docrep/meeting/009/j5285e.htm

Report of the Ninety-third Session of the Programme Committee, Rome, 9 - 13 May 2005 CL 128-11 Available at http://www.fao.org/docrep/meeting/009/j5451e.htm

1 C 2003/4. This document will be made available to Members at the 94th Session, for ease of reference.