Frequently asked questions

1. Why was MOPAN created?

MOPAN’s immediate objective was to monitor the performance of multilateral organisations at the country-level against their own mandate. More specifically, it aimed to: (i) Improve the flow of information on multilateral performance from the country-level to their headquarters; (ii) Strengthen the engagement of the MOPAN members at the country-level in the assessment of multilateral performance; and (iii) Promote a more informed dialogue with the MOs at both headquarters and the country-level about their performance. Over time, MOPAN’s ‘raison d’être’ has evolved. Today, most members see its value in the joint effort to gather, assess and analyse information on Multilateral Organisations’ overall performance (at an organisational level, not only at country-level).

2. What is MOPAN’s status?

The Network was established as an informal entity aiming to exchange information and discuss possible cooperation on the monitoring of multilateral organisations. Its Secretariat was however established through a formal Hosting Arrangement with the OECD, starting in 2013.

3. Who funds and governs MOPAN?

MOPAN is funded by contributions from all members. The Network is governed by its main body, the Steering Committee.

4. Is MOPAN membership confined to any specific category of countries?

Absolutely not. It had initially started with 6 like-minded members and has since expanded its membership to 18 governments. All MOPAN members provide funding to multilateral organisations. They have a common interest in assessing the performance of the organisations they fund. All members must fully endorse the primary accountability of the multilateral organisations to their respective executive boards and respect their full independence.

5. Why does MOPAN matter?

MOPAN assesses the performance of multilateral organisations in a cost-effective way and with a view to improve their effectiveness. Multilateral organisations are a key player in development. Improving their relevance and effectiveness is crucial for the international community to support the 2030 agenda. With its members that together provide the vast majority of funding to and through multilateral organisations, MOPAN has the leverage to use the assessments to help the organisations to reform and make them fit for purpose. Additionally, MOPAN takes advantage of its unique position in the multilateral system to offer crucial insights and learning opportunities to help organisations and their stakeholders engage in a more evidence-driven way.

6. What does membership entail?

MOPAN members contribute to the Network through an annual financial contribution which covers the cost of the delivery of the work programme and the needs of the Secretariat. Members participate in the meetings of the Steering Committee, typically 2-3 times per year. Additionally, Members offer in-kind support, e.g., chairing MOPAN, acting as Institutional Leads throughout the assessment cycle and participating in specific working groups.

7. How is MOPAN adjusting to the current multilateral landscape?

MOPAN continuously adjusts its approach to ensure the assessments are relevant in the evolving development context. The key performance indicators have been adjusted to cover new normative frameworks (e.g. Agenda 2030). It was set in a generic form so that it can apply to a wide diversity of organisations, thereby reflecting the broader range of multilateral organisations working on development issues.

8. Can MOPAN replace ALL bilateral evaluations?

Some Governments still conduct their own bilateral assessments for a number of reasons, however, MOPAN’s assessments – with their focus on organisational performance - increasingly provide a solid evidence base that donors can draw upon on to minimise the duplication of demands on their Multilateral Partners. Today most donors are drawing on MOPAN for performance-based information, with some complementing this with an assessment of the fit of an MO’s policies with their own national policies and strategies.

9. What learning opportunities does MOPAN offer?

A key component of the mission of MOPAN is to contribute to organisational learning within and among multilateral organisations, their direct clients/partners and other stakeholders. MOPAN seeks to embed learning in the assessment process and reports, as well as through its dedicated analytical work. The design of MOPAN assessments presents a range of opportunities for learning. This may occur at both the theoretical and the empirical level on different dimensions, including: (i) The dynamics and characteristics of the multilateral system, such as characteristics and specificities of individual organisations, as well as characteristics of MOPAN and its members (ii) Methodological/evaluative issues in assessments (iii) In-process dialogue on various aspects of the assessments and the findings (iv) Best practices and benchmarking highlighted throughout the assessments. In addition, MOPAN’s dedicated analytical work, “Lessons in Multilateral Effectiveness” offer a dedicated learning complement to MOPAN’s contribution to accountability information.

10. How does MOPAN ensure its own accountability and learning?

In line with its strong belief in organisational learning and the establishment of a culture of evaluation, MOPAN undergoes regular Independent External Evaluations at the guidance of its Steering Committee, the results of which are published on our website. The findings of the evaluations in collaboration with consultation from a range of stakeholders are used to inform changes to the design and implementation of the MOPAN methodology and its operational structure. Beyond this, MOPAN solicits feedback from its stakeholders on a regular basis and has developed its own internal learning agenda to ensure continued relevance and improvement both on its own practices as well as those of the organisations which MOPAN assesses.

11. How are organisations selected for each assessment cycle?

MOPAN’s Steering Committee selects multilateral organisations for assessment based on the collective preferences of members. The timing for each assessment is also determined by MOPAN’s Steering Committee, and seeks to balance timing around key organisational cycles (such as replenishments or strategic cycles) and the need for timely information.

12. What role do MOPAN members and assessment organisations play within the assessment process?

The MOPAN assessments are external and independent. To ensure this, the assessments are conducted by an external service provider which is contracted out following an international bidding process. Meanwhile members of MOPAN are involved in the assessment. One or two of them accompany each review and serve as “Institutional Lead”. They are the face of the Network in that particular review, provide insight and represent MOPAN politically in the process. They do not decide on the ratings and outcomes of the reports.

13. How can you apply the same model to very different organisations?

The MOPAN performance areas are broadly applicable to a wide range of organisations. In seeking to produce credible, fair and accurate assessments, the indicators have been formulated to intentionally adopt a generic model. Therefore, all or most indicators should apply to organisations under assessment, unless there is a clear evidence-based case of non-applicability. Furthermore, indicators will be applied as relevant to the organisation’s mandate and operating practice. For example, results will be assessed according to the organisation’s own corporate results framework. Finally, the MOPAN approach does allow for adaptation where it is necessary to account for the specific nature of organisations.

14. On what ground and terms do you assess organisations?

The MOPAN approach is purposefully: (i) geared to the Theory of Change, reflecting updated concepts and ‘continuum’ or organisational and development effectiveness (ii) aligned to all five performance areas (iii) a generic model, subject to adaptation; the indicators are designed to be applicable to varying types of multilateral organisations, and varying types of activity/intervention (iv) built to enact the principle of ‘function’ over ‘form’, with the presence of a system, behaviour or practice not sufficient to equate to evidence of ‘effectiveness’ (which is rather reflected in its application in practice)

15. Is there specific data at country-level?

Country data is collected via the survey component of MOPAN, and complemented through the document review and consultations held with regional or country offices of the assessed organisation. At the time of writing, country level data is subsumed into the wider evidence base, rather than being individually reported.