This revamped report also coincides with the submission to the Conference of my reform proposals. The latter have drawn heavily on the findings and recommendations of evaluations, in particular that of FAO’s decentralization which was a useful source of advice in shaping the reform proposals in terms of further decentralization and improved administrative procedures. The Independent Review of the Technical Cooperation Programme was also helpful in drawing up proposals for change in the focus and execution of that programme which are now being put into effect. Other evaluations proved of considerable practical use to the managers directly concerned.
The Council decided a year ago to launch an Independent External Evaluation of FAO (IEE), and I have very much welcomed this initiative. The terms of reference which the Inter-Sessional Working Group (ISWG) established by the Council has drawn up, are comprehensive, forward-looking and realistic. It is my expectation that in carrying out its work, the IEE team will find the evaluations conducted by FAO’s Evaluation Service to be helpful. As noted in the foreword to my reform proposals, I believe that implementation of the reforms will provide a favourable context for the independent evaluation which can provide further impetus and direction to the reforms. The Secretariat will stand ready to work with the evaluation team and facilitate its work, while fully respecting the independence of the process. It is my firm belief that the conclusions of the IEE will substantiate FAO’s essential contributions to fighting hunger and poverty and the Organization’s role as the major provider of global services and knowledge on food and agriculture, a role which must be even better recognized and which deserves adequate funding.