Poverty-Environment Action for SDGs receiving IEO's 2022 Outstanding Evaluation Award

Posted April 13, 2022


Photo; UNDP


Since 2018, the Poverty-Environment Action for Sustainable Development Goals project has been trailblazing the approach of mainstreaming environmental sustainability and climate objectives for poverty eradication into development planning, budgeting and monitoring systems, public and private finance, and investment.

Eight full-fledged countries are being supported through the joint UNDP-UNEP initiative with four in Africa (Rwanda, Mauritania, Malawi, Mozambique) and four in Asia (Bangladesh, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Nepal). In addition, Tanzania and Indonesia are being supported through Technical Assistance (TA) initiatives at country level. At regional level, four TAs are also being supported:

  1. Green Bonds in South Africa (to strengthen existing green transformation approaches in South Africa and promote dialogue among key actors on SDG and nationally determined contribution implementation); 
  2. Blue Economy with Asia Development Bank (ADB) (to integrate poverty-environment objectives into blue economy planning and financing mechanisms); 
  3. UN Women on Climate Smart Agriculture (to influence decision-makers to provide enhanced support to female farmers by demonstrating that addressing the gender gap in agriculture will bring development benefits through improved food security and reduced poverty); and 
  4. Capacity building platform (to strengthen the capacity of governments, particularly ministries of planning, finance and environment and UN Country Teams to address and scale up action on the poverty-environment dimension of COVID-19 recovery, including under their national UN Socio-Economic Response and Recovery Frameworks).

The mid-term review of the project was conducted in its second year of implementation. Promoting evaluation for transformational change, this mid-term evaluation was steered to be forward-looking, balanced between the oversight function and assessment of project’s achievements thus far, and generating evidence to inform learning and corrective decision-making going forward. The evaluation followed the UNDP evaluation quality process and criteria, and the evaluation report underwent several rounds of quality review and assurance. A joint task team was set up to provide strategic joint management responses to the six evaluation recommendations. Key corrective actions agreed to be undertaken were also presented to the PEA Project Board and are being regularly followed up on as part of the project’s implementation until December 2022.

Being one of the winners of the UNDP Independent Evaluation Office's (IEO) 2022 Evaluation Excellence Awards, the PEA mid-term evaluation evaluation was found to be of high quality and deserving of recognition by IEO’s Evaluation Advisory Panel members. This forward-looking and constructive evaluation sets an example of how an evaluation can come up with timely and actionable recommendations in order to make corrective decisions for the remaining time of the project. Furthermore, it shows an adequate balance between accountability considerations and a commitment to analytically identify paths for future action and improvement.

The recording on the 2022 Evaluation Excellence Awards ceremony is available on YouTube