Evaluation to connect national priorities with the SDGs

A new guide for evaluators and evaluation commissioners working on the Sustainable Development Goals was launched in New York. It offers a timely ‘real life’ introduction to assessing progress on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs at national level. The guide suggests that SDG evaluation can only make a difference if it is integrated into what countries are already doing.

The 48-page guide is entitled ‘Evaluation to connect national priorities with the SDGs‘. It has been co-created by IIED, EVALSDGs, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and UNICEF, and will be presented to an invited audience of evaluation specialists and national commissioners at UNICEF House.

The guide outlines four steps of evaluation development and design, highlights how SDG monitoring and evaluation processes and results can support national progress on sustainable development, identifies key characteristics and approaches, and considers how SDG evaluation can be integrated into national monitoring and evaluation systems.

Applying principles in country contexts

The guide was inspired by a workshop Helsinki in March, jointly organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, EVALSDGs, IIED and UNICEF to explore how evaluation could work to connect national priorities with the SDGs.

Cover of publication titled 'Evaluation to connect national priorities with the SDGs'

With input from 33 government representatives and evaluation specialists from 22 countries, a strong theme emerged: that if evaluation is to assist in aligning national policy with Agenda 2030, it must be bespoke, built around existing political and assessment systems.

So, rather than a one-size-fits-all manual, the guide looks at how to design a successful evaluation around existing national context and underpinned by the principles of the 2030 Agenda.

To support customised local or national journeys towards sustainable development, this guide:

  • Lays out the main steps involved in scoping, designing and conducting an SDG evaluation
  • Discusses the ways in which SDG evaluation processes and results can be used to support national progress on sustainable development
  • Identifies key SDG evaluation characteristics and approaches, and
  • Looks at how SDG evaluation can be integrated into national monitoring and evaluation systems.

The guide is already being used by national evaluation commissioners and professionals, and Costa Rica, having already started its SDG evaluation planning, is expected to follow suit soon.

The guide was launched on 4 February 2020 by the International Institute for Environment and Development, the EVALSDGs network, Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and UNICEF. See Adam Fishman’s post at http://sdg.iisd.org/news/guide-applies-sdg-monitoring-and-evaluation-to-national-contexts/

https://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/17739IIED.pdf

https://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/17739IIED.pdf

https://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/17739IIED.pdf