In order to establish a baseline against which to measure improvements in the quality of IUCN evaluations, the M&E Initiative undertook a Meta-Evaluation in 2000 of the quality of all IUCN evaluations undertaken from 1994-2000. The Meta Evaluation assessed the range of evaluations in terms of accepted criteria used in meta analyses, including type of evaluation, timing, client, audience, context and rationale, purpose, methodological clarity, and quality of evaluation results. The first Meta-Analyses indicated that, measured against accepted evaluation standards, improvements were needed in almost all categories with particular attention to the need for improved data based findings and conclusions.
The second Meta-Evaluation in 2003, showed improvements in most categories, but still a need to continue to focus on methodological clarity and data based findings.
A first Content Analysis was undertaken in 2003 to identify the range of issues and themes that reoccur in IUCN evaluations. These reports along with the annual evaluation plans have formed the foundation for reporting on evaluation quality and results to the IUCN Council and senior management.