Formative Evaluation of the integration by UNDP of the Principles of “Leaving No One Behind” – UNDP IEO

The commitment to ‘Leave No One Behind’ (LNOB) is a central transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and one of three organizational ‘directions of change’ for UNDP. This formative evaluation report sets out the extent to which the LNOB principles of equality, equity and non-discrimination permeate key areas of UNDP programmes and operations, and puts forward recommendations for deepening the integration of these principles.

The evaluation assessed key aspects of LNOB integration in UNDP programmes and institutional effectiveness at global, regional and country levels, covering the period 2018 to mid-2022. It was conducted while practical measures to integrate LNOB into UNDP programmes and operations were being actively implemented, and therefore a formative, organizational learning focus was timely.

Formative Evaluation of the integration by UNDP of the Principles of “Leaving No One Behind” The world is vastly unequal. Extreme wealth and opportunity rub shoulders with extreme poverty and marginalization. Climate change, conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic aggravate the impact of pre-existing marginalization, and intersecting layers of discrimination based on race, class and gender further harm and exclude some populations.
The principles of leaving no-one behind (LNOB) have become increasingly prominent in global thinking since 2015, and a priority across the UN system. UNDP was one of the first UN agencies to integrate LNOB into its key priorities, and the current UNDP Strategic Plan foregrounds its importance as one of the organization’s directions of change.
Accepting LNOB and incorporating it into policy is only half the battle. Fully integrating the LNOB principles requires a sea change in not only how things are done, but how they are approached. This evaluation addresses UNDP’s progress toward integrating LNOB into policy and practice, including in some of the most challenging contexts in which the agency works. The evaluation scrutinizes the challenges UNDP faces, and offers six practical recommendations to fully integrate LNOB principles into the organization’s frameworks, practices and mindset.
This evaluation was carried out by the Independent Evaluation Office, and is the first to focus exclusively on UNDP’s integration of LNOB principles. It covers UNDP programme interventions implemented between 2018 and 2021. Download the full report and infographic through the link below.

Full Report 
Summary Sheet



Evaluation is critical for UNDP to support countries to achieve the dual goals of ending poverty and reducing inequality and exclusion.

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) reports to the UNDP Executive Board. The IEO Board is governed by the organization’s Evaluation Policy, for which the Executive the custodian. The core function of the IEO is to conduct thematic and programmatic evaluations, and it also sets standards and guidelines for evaluation, monitors compliance and shares lessons for improved programming. Visit for more information.

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