Independent External Evaluation of UNESCO

At its 35th session in October 2009, the General Conference decided on an external and independent evaluation of UNESCO of a comprehensive, strategic and forward-looking character (35 C/Resolution 102).

The purpose of the Independent External Evaluation (IEE) was to provide actionable and timely recommendations to the governing bodies of the UNESCO and the Director-General in order to position the Organization for meeting future needs and challenges.

According to the Terms of Reference of the IEE, the evaluation sought to answer the following overarching question: “How should UNESCO position itself to address the challenges of the 21st century and make the most of prospective opportunities?”

A team of external evaluation specialists was hired to undertake the evaluation. Led by Professor Elliot Stern of the United Kingdom, the team consisted of experts from Argentina, Canada, China, Egypt, India, Italy, Mauritania, Norway and Sweden.

IEE Findings

At the 185th session of the Executive Board in October 2010, the IEE team presented a synthesis report (185 EX/18) as well as the full evaluation report (185 EX/18 Add.). It recommended that a renewal strategy be built on five strategic directions:

1.      Increasing UNESCO’s focus

2.      Positioning UNESCO closer to the field

3.      Strengthening participation in the United Nations

4.      Strengthening governance

5.      Developing a partnership strategy

IEE Follow-up

The 185th Executive Board decided to establish an ad hoc working group whose mandate is to examine the report on the independent external evaluation (IEE) and to develop proposals concerning the recommendations thereof.

The ad hoc working group reported to the Executive Board in May 2011 (186 EX/17 Part I) with proposals on how to take forward the IEE recommendations. Meanwhile, the Secretariat reported on the proposed operational aspects of the IEE report (186 EX/17 Part II).

At the 187th session of the Executive Board in autumn 2011, as part of the follow-up to the IEE, the Secretariat reported on progress achieved to date in response to the five strategic directions (187 EX/17 Part I). A total of 87 specific follow-up actions were formulated by the Executive Board and the Secretariat in the follow-up to the IEE.

At the 36th session of the General Conference in autumn 2011, as part of the follow-up to the IEE, the Secretariat submited to the General Conference all relevant information concerning the final report of the IEE and progress achieved in follow-up to it (36 C/28). 

The Secretariat has been reporting to the Executive Board every session on progress achieved in the follow-up to the IEE. For more information and detailed action plans, please consult the documents on the right on this page.