PC 86/3(b)


Eighty-sixth Session

17-21 September 2001

Programme Evaluation -Topics to be Considered for Future Evaluations

Table of Contents

1. In line with established practice, the Director-General wishes to consult the Programme Committee regarding possible topics for the evaluation reports to be presented to the Committee and subsequently included in the Programme Evaluation Report (PER) in the next two biennia (2002-03 and 2004-05).

2. As agreed by the Committee, the results of evaluations are now being reported to the Committee on a continuing basis for in-depth discussion before their publication in more summary form in the biennial PER (see CL 117/3 Report of the Eighty-second Session of the Programme Committee, September 1999). This has made it desirable to plan for such evaluations on a more medium-term perspective. For the next two biennia, three to four evaluations will be undertaken by the Evaluation Service each biennium, the results of which will be reported to the Committee as they are completed.

3. This paper contains a list of possible subjects for inclusion in the evaluation plan. The Committee is now invited to indicate its views on the topics, keeping in mind the need for some flexibility in the final coverage in the light of new developments and the workload of the Evaluation Service. The Committee's preferences on the topics will be taken into account by the Director-General in finalizing the evaluation plan.

4. The topics suggested have been selected using the following criteria:

  1. the topicality in the light of interest expressed by the Governing Bodies (such as food security, poverty, sustainability, FAO decentralization, etc.);
  2. previous coverage of evaluations reported to the Committee; and
  3. evaluation-related materials available.

5. While individual programmes will continue to be covered, a greater emphasis will be given to thematic evaluations in the context of strategic thrusts of the Strategic Framework and Medium-Term Plan. This consideration is reflected in the topics suggested below, especially those for thematic evaluations, which will include, where appropriate, work under related PAIAs (Priority Areas for Interdisciplinary Action) as defined in the Medium-Term Plan.

6. In principle, both thematic and programme evaluations will cover an approximate period of three biennia, reviewing work carried out by units in Rome and in the decentralized offices covering both Regular Programme and Field Programme activities for the selected topics. Where possible and appropriate, thematic evaluations will include evaluation of relevant TCP projects.

7. A list of evaluations presented to the Committee since 1995 and planned for presentation for 2001 is annexed for ease of reference. The Committee's attention is drawn to the fact that:

  1. a programme evaluation of animal health, with particular reference to TCP projects, will be available for its review at its session in May 2002; and
  2. an external evaluation of the Special Programme on Food Security is also to be presented for its review in May 2002.


8. Up to three topics can be selected - one for each group. For each of the topics selected, work under related Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action (PAIAs) will also be covered and is cross-referenced below as applicable.

  1. Strategy A (Contributing to the eradication of food insecurity and rural poverty), covering one of the following two:
    1. Main activities in support of A.1 (Sustainable rural livelihoods and more equitable access to resources) with particular focus on those linked to the components for:

      (i) improving the opportunities available to the rural poor to strengthen, diversify and sustain their livelihoods by taking advantage of the potential synergies between farming, fishing, forestry and animal husbandry, including through pre- and post-production income-generating enterprises (e.g. through the TCP and the SPFS); and
      (ii) supporting efforts to strengthen local institutions and to enact policies and legislation that will provide for more equitable access by both women and men to natural resources (particularly land, water, fisheries and forest) and related economic and social resources. This will also include a thematic TCP evaluation and a review of the PAIA Local Institution Building to Improve Capacity for achieving Sustainable Rural Livelihoods; or

    2. FAO normative work and field operations for A.3 (Preparedness for, and effective and sustainable response to, food and agricultural emergencies), including a thematic TCP evaluation and a review of the PAIA Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Preparedness and Post-emergency Relief and Rehabilitation.

  2. Strategy B.1 (International instruments concerning food, agriculture, fisheries and forestry and the production, safe use and fair exchange of agricultural, fishery and forestry goods), covering one of the following three topics:

    1. Implementation of the Code of Conduct on Responsible Fisheries (Major Programme 2.3), possibly including a thematic TCP evaluation;
    2. The Codex Alimentarius, IPPC and other work on science-based standards and norms contributing to the development of international trade in food, agriculture, fisheries and forestry products; or
    3. The development and application of international regulatory instruments and agreements.

  3. Strategy D (Supporting the conservation, improvement and sustainable use of natural resources for food and agriculture), covering one of the two topics:

    1. Sustainable management of fragile ecosystems, including forests, pastures and uplands in support of Strategy D.2 (Conservation, rehabilitation and development of environments at the greatest risk) with a possible thematic TCP evaluation and a review of the PAIA Strengthening Capacity for Integrated Ecosystem Management; or
    2. Selected activities in support of Strategy D.1 (Integrated management of land, water, fisheries, forest and genetic resources), with particular focus on the components for: (i) developing and promoting integrated resource management systems... ; and (ii) serving as a point of reference and source of knowledge on key issues of natural resource management and facilitating the sharing of experience (this would be preferred in the case that topic 1.a related to Strategy A.1 is selected to reduce possible duplication).


9. One topic to be selected from the following two:

  1. Strategy for Continuing to improve the management process - topic: Decentralization of FAO's programmes and services (in collaboration with AUD); or
  2. Strategy for Communicating FAO's messages - topic: FAO's work in communicating its main messages in line with the strategy thrusts. (Note that Review of the Publication Activities of FAO was included in the PER 1996-97).


10. Four to be selected from the following five programmes:

  1. 2.1.2 Crops - either crop production, or crop protection, plant health and pesticides;
  2. 2.1.3 Livestock (excluding animal health which will be largely covered by a thematic evaluation of TCP projects on the subject, planned to be reported in 2002 as well as animal genetic resources reported on in 1994-95);
  3. 2.2.1 Nutrition (excluding food safety and standards);
  4. 2.5.3 Rural Development (but not if 1.a is selected under I. above); or
  5. 2.2.2 Food and Agricultural Information - Activities related to Agricultural Statistics (2.2.2 P1, P2, and P3), including gender dimension.


The Evaluations reported to the Programme Committee during 1995-2001

Programme Evaluation Report 1994-95:

Programme Evaluation Report 1996-97:

Programme Evaluation Report 1998-99:

Reports submitted in 2000:

Reports submitted in 2001:

Reports to be submitted in 2002 (May Session):