Evaluation at FAO

Evaluation of FAO’s contributions to Sustainable Development Goal 2 - “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” (SDG2 evaluation)


At its 125th session, the FAO Programme Committee requested an evaluation of FAO’s contributions to Sustainable Development Goal 2 - “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” (SDG2 evaluation). The SDG 2 Evaluation was conceived as a ‘formative’ evaluation in that it tries to assess a programme of work that is still taking shape. It was a complex exercise, strongly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During its first phase in 2019, the evaluation focused on FAO’s corporate programmes and mechanisms at the global level. The report from the first phase was presented at the 128th session of the Programme Committee in June 2020. The second and final phase of the evaluation, conducted in 2020, involved 15 country case studies and 14 reviews of key FAO products and services under SDG 2 (e.g. FAO’s work on nutritional education, Farmer Field Schools and their derivatives, work on transboundary diseases, support to fair and informed commodity markets, or rural women economic empowerment). The second phase report will be presented to the 129th session of the Programme Committee in November 2020.

The evaluation suggests that FAO is well positioned at the global level and is committed to support the SDGs, a framework that it helped design. The new FAO’s Strategic Framework provides an opportunity to promote and communicate FAO’s role in a coherent and joined-up manner, aligned with the 2030 Agenda. FAO has engaged with the current UN reform – strongly connected to the SDGs – with a very collaborative attitude. At the national level, FAO’s position is weaker, due to a limited programmatic footprint. Nevertheless, a number of FAO initiatives already acting at scale in support of its Members achievement of SDG 2 are highlighted in the report, as when it supports national and regional programmes, legal and policy initiatives, investment in food systems, climate finance, UN collaboration, and national education and extension systems. Greater efforts are needed to translate the principle “to leave no one behind” into action, although progress was recorded on gender equality, and to transform FAO into a modern learning organization, more pragmatic and operational, and better able to support its Members in the transition to sustainable development.


Main Report

  • Report PC 128/3 (Phase 1)
  • Annex 1. Terms of Reference
  • Annex 2. People interviewed
  • Annex 3. List of documents consulted
  • Annex 4. Results from the survey of FAO personnel
  • Annex 5. Study on FAO’s role in the design of the SDGs
  • Annex 6. Portfolio analysis
  • Annex 7. Detailed Theory of Change: synergies and trade-offs within SDG2 and other goals 
  • Annex 8. Concept Note for the conduct of Country Case Studies
  • Annex 9. Concept Note for the conduct of Signature Products reviews
  • Annex 10. Systematic review of country and project evaluations conducted by OED since 2014
  • Annex 11. Signature Product Reviews
  • Annex 12. Country Case Studies

Evaluation Brief

  • Why an evaluation? PDF