Evaluation at FAO

OED Director presented the Programme Evaluation Report 2019 at 41st Session of FAO Conference


The 41st session of the FAO Conference opened on 22 June in Rome with a focus on the assessment of the state of food and agriculture. Masahiro Igarashi, Director of the Office of Evaluation, presented to the full membership the Programme Evaluation Report 2019 and presented the results of the Evaluation of FAO’s work on gender.

The Programme Evaluation Report is regularly presented at the FAO Conference, the supreme governing body of the Organization, every other year. The report provides an analytical summary of the emerging and recurrent trends in evaluations, the main results and achievements as well as the gaps and lessons found in FAO’s work on the previous biennium.

This year, the report pointed towards a number of areas where FAO has done well, and also on several strategy and implementation aspects that need further clarity and improvement. Masahiro Igarashi highlighted the following points:

•             In the 2017-2018 biennium the Office of Evaluation finalized a total of almost 70 evaluations, of which 48 project and 14 Country programme evaluations.

•             The FAO Strategic Objectives approach introduced holistic and inter-sectoral concepts (such as the food system approach) to address development challenges. However, translating these concepts into concrete activities was not easy, as traditional sectoral approaches continued to dominate the dialogue with partners. The same challenge applied to crosscutting topics such as gender and nutrition, for which FAO’s greatest contributions were at the policy and strategy level.

•             On the Country Programme Frameworks, though their evolution is well recognized since 2014,  guidance was not always successfully translated into desired actions and products. At country level, many programmes lacked results chains linking activities to higher development goals and the framework lacked governance to become an effective results accountability tool. Thanks to the evaluation findings and recommendations, FAO’s management is already working to enhance the effectiveness of the next Country programme framework’s cycle.

In response to the Director’s presentation the Conference welcomed the Programme Evaluation Report 2019, including the main findings emerging from the thematic, strategic, country and project evaluations appreciating the inclusion in the report of examples of findings and lessons learnt from the Strategic Objective evaluations. It also:

•             welcomed the progress made in the use of partnerships and their improved quality and stressed the need to make further efforts to strengthen synergies with other UN system organizations, especially Rome-based Agencies, as well as strengthening strategic partnerships with the private sector;

•             welcomed the synthesis of lessons learnt in the application of the Country Programming Framework (CPF), and looked forward to the further strengthening of the tool to guide FAO’s support to the countries in line with the national government priorities and in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Repositioning of the United Nations Development System;

•             appreciated the work done by the Office of Evaluation with its thematic, strategic, country and project evaluations, and encouraged the office to propose ways to further strengthen the results frameworks of CPFs and associated monitoring and evaluation while noting with concern that many country programmes are not linked to higher development objectives; and

•             welcomed the evaluation of FAO’s work on gender and appreciated the relevance and validity of FAO’s Policy on Gender Equality as an overarching framework to guide the gender work of the Organization, and encouraged FAO to leverage its proximity to rural communities and track record in agriculture to play a key part in addressing gender issues in rural areas, and to further build the capacity of its technical officers to mainstream gender in their work;

•             welcomed the initiative taken by the Office of Evaluation to support national evaluation capacity development and encouraged the office to continue its effort to this end.

•             welcomed the Management’s agreement to implement the evaluation of FAO’s Work on Gender’s recommendations, in particular to update FAO’s Policy on Gender Equality.


Click here to download the Programme Evaluation Report 2019 or visit the FAO Conference website to find the full list of documents presented.