External Evaluation of the Fundís Independent Evaluation Office (IEO)

Terms of Reference

November 18, 2005

The team of experts conducting this evaluation welcome input from all interested parties between November 18, 2005 and January 15, 2006. Please forward all questions, comments and suggestions to IEOEval@imf.org.

1. Purpose of the Evaluation

As foreseen in the terms of reference of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO), the  Executive Board has decided to initiate an external evaluation of the IEO. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess the effectiveness of the IEO and to consider possible improvements to its structure, mandate, operational modalities, or terms of reference. The main points of reference for the assessment are the IEO’s goals, as set out in its terms of reference, namely to:

  • serve as a means to enhance the learning culture within the Fund;
  • strengthen the Fund’s external credibility;
  • promote greater understanding of the work of the Fund throughout its membership;
  • support the Executive Board’s institutional governance and oversight responsibilities.

2. Focus of the Evaluation

In assessing the IEO's goals as set out in Section 1, the evaluators are requested to give particular attention to the following topics:

  1. Independence of the IEO. The actual and perceived independence of the IEO is a key element for its successful operation. Has the framework defining the relationships between the IEO, Management, and the Executive Board ensured its independence? Has the staffing of the office (internally and externally recruited personnel) and of the evaluation teams (full-time IEO personnel and external consultants) contributed to its independence? How independent are IEO evaluations perceived inside and outside the Fund?
  2. Topics for evaluation. The IEO terms of reference contains only very broad guidelines regarding the choice of evaluation topics. Has the choice of topics been appropriate in view of the IEO’s goals, as set out in Section 1, and the Fund’s institutional needs?  How has the broad-based consultation process worked in defining evaluation topics? Has the guideline regarding the avoidance of interfering with operational activities or attempting to micro-manage the institution been effective? Is there an appropriate division of labor between the IEO, the Office of Internal Audit, and the self-evaluation efforts? Should the IEO’s role in assessing the Fund’s organizational structure and internal processes be strengthened?
  3. Conduct of evaluation. Providing the opportunity for different parties to comment an evaluation before its finalization while ensuring its independence constitutes a difficult trade-off. How have these issues been dealt with?
  4. Evaluation results. The effectiveness of independent evaluations hinges on the quality of the reports and the relevance and usefulness of their recommendations. How do target audiences (both internal and external) perceive the overall quality of IEO reports? Were the recommendations generally perceived as useful by staff, management, the Board, and external audiences? Was an appropriate balance achieved between generality and specificity of the recommendations? Are follow-up procedures  sufficient to ensure effective implementation of approved recommendations? Should the IEO’s role in monitoring follow-up be strengthened? Is the current number of evaluations appropriate in terms of the Fund’s ability to react effectively to the recommendations? Have the IEO’s dissemination and outreach activities within and outside the Fund been appropriate and effective? 

3. Evaluators

The evaluation will be carried out by [three] independent experts. They shall conduct their work freely and objectively and shall render impartial judgment and make recommendations to the best of their professional abilities. As noted in the IEO’s terms of reference, an important element of the evaluation would be the solicitation of input from a broad range of stakeholders, both from the official as well as the non-governmental community.

4. Access to Confidential Information and Protection of Confidentiality

The evaluators shall have unrestricted access to interview staff, Management, and Executive Board members, as well as to access all relevant Fund and IEO documents, minutes, and internal staff memoranda needed to carry out their task.

The evaluators undertake not to disclose, deliver, or use for personal gain or for the benefit of any person or entity without the consent of the Fund, any restricted or confidential information in possession of the Fund that they receive in the course of the evaluation. The Chairman of the Evaluation Committee will request an appropriate officer of the Fund to review the draft evaluation report with the purpose of pointing out to the evaluators any inadvertent disclosure of restricted or confidential information.

The evaluators are free to request information from country authorities and other sources outside the Fund as they deem appropriate.

5. Evaluation Report: Publication, Executive Board Consideration, and Comments

The Fund reserves the exclusive right to publish the report, and the evaluators undertake not to publish any part of the report separately. The staff, Management, the Executive Board, and the IEO will have the opportunity to respond to relevant parts of the evaluation report in draft form, as well as in final form. Evaluators are free to take account of any comments on the draft evaluation report.

Comments on the final evaluation report shall be considered part of the official record. There is a strong presumption that the Executive Board will decide to publish the evaluation report, any comments thereon, as well as the conclusions of the Executive Board consideration of the report.