Evaluation at the United Nations was introduced in the 1970s, when member States felt the need for a more systematic planning and budgeting process and more comprehensive information to assist them in making decisions in the General Assembly.
In 1982, the General Assembly adopted "Regulations and rules governing programme planning, the programme aspects of the budget, the monitoring of implementation and the methods of evaluation". Regulation 7.1 of the current version (ST/SGB/2000/8) of the document explains:
The objective of evaluation is to:
Determine as systematically and objectively as possible the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and impact of the Organization´s activities in relation to their objectives.
Enable the Secretariat and Member States to engage in systematic reflection, with a view to increasing the effectiveness of the main programmes of the Organization by altering their content and, if necessary, reviewing their objectives.
Assess whether results have been obtained.
Provide a platform for learning and performance improvement.
Focus on whether the organization´s activities provide value to the Member States and other stakeholders.