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Letter: Jeff Crisp on independent evaluations of UNHCR

April 20, 2005

The opinions expressed here may not represent the views of RSDWatch or Asylum Access, and are distributed here in the interests of public discussion.

I was interested to see your [joint NGO] proposal for an independent evaluation of UNHCR’s role in RSD procedures.  As you may know, UNHCR has introduced an evaluation policy which fully protects the independence of the evaluations that it commissions, and the value of this policy has been seen, I believe, in recent evaluations of issues such as the community services function in UNHCR and the implementation of UNHCR’s policy on refugee children.

With respect to UNHCR’s role in RSD, the government of the Netherlands responded to a request for evaluation proposals some three years ago by proposing an evaluation of this topic.  The proposal was rejected on the grounds that the organization was already conducting its own review of the issue.  I believe that this is still on-going.

Finally, it goes a little against the spirit of an independent evaluation for your own proposal to stipulate what one of its recommendations should be (i.e. “The evaluation should recommend rights-based RSD procedures to be followed consistently by all field protection officers with a mechanism to ensure their implementation.”)

Jeff Crisp

Director of Policy and Research, Global Commission on International Migration

Former Head of Evaluation and Policy Analysis, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

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