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?” Specific questions were asked relating to:

  • The international challenges within the mandate of UNESCO
  • The impact of UNESCO in addressing these challenges
  • The role of UNESCO within the UN system and in relation to other international organizations
  • The division of competencies between the governing bodies and the Secretariat
  • The contribution of civil society and the business community.

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.

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.).  The full report with annexes can be viewed here.

Since the presentation of the IEE report to the Executive Board, the governing bodies and the Secretariat have been working on how best to address the findings and recommendations of the report. The Executive Board established an ad hoc working group which 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).

For more information on the IEE and its follow-up, please visit the IEE webpage.

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