Within UNICEF, there has long been a recognition that our approaches to monitoring and evaluation have to reflect the nature of our involvement in the development process. The Country Programmes supported by UNICEF are country-led and nationally executed and therefore there will be an increasing emphasis on country-led evaluations and the strengthening of national monitoring and evaluation systems. In supporting countries to uphold and protect the rights of children and women and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, we recognize the importance of using evidence to shape policy and practice, both internationally and in specific country contexts.
Unfortunately, we have to acknowledge that the reality is often far removed from the lofty ideals of international agreements. So much evaluation work, especially in developing countries, is still donor-driven and designed to meet the needs of outside agencies. The change that is needed is a paradigmatic one if monitoring and evaluation are truly to inform national policy making processes. It will require a change of attitude and behaviour as well as the building of capacity at many levels.