The Independent Advisory and Evaluation Service (IAES)’s Terms of Reference approved by the System Council articulates the mandate of the Evaluation function . IAES’s Evaluation function workplan complements the two independent bodies for which IAES serves as secretariat, the Standing Panel for Impact Assessment (SPIA) and the Independent Science for Development Council (ISDC). The IAES is structured as an operationally independent group that reports through the ISDC chair to System Council.
The IAES's Evaluation function delivers and supports process and performance evaluations which provide accountability, support to decision making, and lessons for improving quality and effectiveness of agricultural research for development outcomes. The CGIAR Evaluation Framework and Policy guide the work of the function. The 15 core standards and principles for the practice of evaluation in CGIAR as outlined in the Evaluation framework dictate the guiding principles of the IAES's Evaluation function. These principles establish the parameters for independent, robust, utilization-focused evaluations that support accountability and learning, and guide decision-making.
Two categories of evaluations are conducted in CGIAR:
- Independent evaluations commissioned by the System Council through IAES's Evaluation function
- Largely independent (or decentralized) evaluations commissioned by One CGIAR entities and management
IAES’s Evaluation function develops and implements cost-effective multi-year evaluation plans, in consultation with One CGIAR board, entities and management and approved by System Council. These plans are to meet CGIAR’s need for rigorous high-quality independent evaluations that inform decision-making. The Evaluation function provides quality assurance to system-wide largely independent/decentralized and other on-demand evaluations commissioned by CGIAR management.
Evaluation function implements knowledge management and communication activities and dissemination of actionable lessons and recommendations from evaluative exercises to support improved programming and operations. As mandated by the CGIAR Evaluation policy, the evaluation function prioritizes the use of evaluations, facilitates management response to independent evaluations and coordinates follow-up on the implementation of agreed actions.
More details on the CGIAR-wide Evaluation practice can be found in the CGIAR Evaluation Policy (2022). The overall approach to process and performance evaluations, including the theory of change and core standards and principles for the evaluation practice, is set out in the CGIAR Evaluation Framework (2022).
In 2021, the IAES's Evaluation function commissioned a major evaluative exercise— the 2021 Synthesis of Learning from a Decade of CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs)—to inform the next phase of CGIAR-led agricultural research.
In 2020, the IAES's Evaluation function coordinated independent evaluative reviews of each of the twelve CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs).
 The office was renamed in July 2022, read more here. It was previously known as CGIAR Advisory Services (CAS) Shared Secretariat Evaluation function (CAS/Evaluation), which replaced the former Independent Evaluation Arrangement (IEA) in early 2019.