The IWG-MTE held its first meeting from 13 to 15 February 2023 in Bonn, Germany.
The purpose of this meeting was to set the basis for the midterm evaluation and to consider the programme of work of the IWG-MTE. The group considered the content, implementation and monitoring of the Strategic Framework and discussed on the scope, focus and methodology of the independent assessment.
The secretariat and the Global Mechanism, as well as the team of external evaluators that will prepare the independent assessment, made several presentations
on these topics. Information was provided also on a variety of other processes that are interlinked with the midterm evaluation, such as the IWG on drought and the review of the Science-Policy Interface.
The IWG-MTE considered its own tasks and work programme and agreed on a schedule for its work. Its first task is to ensure that the independent assessment is responsive to the objectives and criteria of the evaluation and conducted according to high evaluation standards, and many related measures were considered at the first meeting.
The group also discussed in detail its task of advising the secretariat on the organisation of the participatory consultations on the conclusions and recommendations of the independent assessment. According to the COP decision on the terms of reference of the midterm evaluation, these consultations are to be organised during the CRIC, but they are not included in the programme of work for the CRIC. This leaves room for differing interpretations bon how and when the consultations would be organised. The matter is now with the CRIC Bureau, and it will provide its recommendation for the consideration of the COP Bureau.
In the coming weeks, the IWG MTE members and observers will provide further feedback to the preparation of the independent assessment. By the end of March, the planning of the assessment will be completed and the team of evaluators will start the data collection.
In April-May, the UNCCD national focal points, science-technology correspondents, accredited civil society organisations and other key stakeholders will be invited to participate in a survey, and some targeted interviews will be organised as well.
The IWG-MTE will discuss on the emerging findings of the independent assessment in an online meeting of the group before the end of June. Its next in-person meeting will be held immediately after the CRIC session in October. That meeting will start the consideration of the report of the group, building on the independent assessment.