20 April 2021
Olga Altman (far right) served as a national UN Volunteer for Inclusion, Innovation and the 2030 Agenda with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Dominican Republic. She is part of the UNDP/UNV Talent Programme for Young Professionals with Disabilities. UNV, 2019

Evaluating for an inclusive United Nations

Putting everyone’s wellbeing first

We commissioned the final project evaluation in March 2020. Setting out to identify barriers to disability inclusion within the UN system, we did not expect the evaluation itself would encounter an unprecedented obstacle: the start of the evaluation coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.

As per the Independent Evaluation Office’s guidance, we put a principle of ‘Do No Harm’ first and undertook an all-virtual evaluation process with remote data collection to protect the well-being of everyone involved.

Nothing about us without us

Going virtual did not mean going distant. An intensive planning was followed by a highly participatory data collection. UN Volunteers with disabilities, representatives of their host entities and UNV project managers were given the time and space needed to share their experiences.

The strength of this evaluation was in the commitment of everyone involved – and in the comprehensive planning conducted. A well-crafted evaluation design and a detailed evaluation matrix allowed for a step-by-step process leading to excellent results.

Stimulating learning – and action

We received an evaluation report that is concise, well written and easy-to-read. Not only has the evaluation confirmed the project’s achievements, but it has also set out highly relevant and actionable recommendations for future disability inclusion endeavors of UNV. The evaluation’s recommendations have stimulated learning in UNV and UNDP and, in the long run, will contribute to mainstreaming the engagement of UN Volunteers with disabilities.

UNV wishes to thank Gheorghe Caraseni for conducting this evaluation. As a programme administered by UNDP, UNV benefits from the guidance provided by the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO), which also published this blog.

UNDP/UNV Talent Programme for Young Professionals with Disabilities
SDG 10: Reduced inequalities SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals
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