UK Governing Body Evaluation Questionnaire

Objectives‚ strategy and remit

1. The Governing Body has a clear set of objectives that are independent of those for the organisation.

2. The Governing Body realistically assesses its performance against its objectives at regular intervals and at year-end.

3. The Governing Body has developed a strategy for the organisation that is central to the way it is directed.

4. The strategy is well aligned to the organisation’s remit and its capabilities‚ i.e. its people‚ assets‚ intellectual property‚ and financial and other resources.

5. The Governing Body devotes quality time to reviewing the implementation of the strategy.

6. The strategy is up‎dated for any changes to the organisation’s remit or the external environment.

7. Significant programmes and projects are clearly aligned to the strategy and fall within the organisation’s remit.

Performance Management

8. Management regularly reports to the Governing Body on key outcomes and targets that flow directly from the strategy.

9. Performance information is integrated with financial reporting.

10. The Governing Body gets early-warning signals of problems ahead that will adversely affect key outcomes‚ targets or financial performance.

11. Management provides a thorough analysis of performance against budget‚ targets and key outcomes‚ and discusses any necessary remedial action.

12. The Governing Body has a good understanding of the performance of the organisation relative to other bodies‚ where appropriate.

13. The Governing Body takes collective responsibility for the performance of the organisation.

Relationship with key stakeholders

14. Relations between the UNESCO Secretariat and Member States are productive and supported by regular and open communication.

15. The Member States consider the organisation/the entity is performing well‚ has a strong Governing Body and a good reputation.

16. The Governing Body receives full reports whenever the UNESCO Secretariat receives significant feedback key stakeholders and major funders. The reports include stakeholder perspectives on the organisation’s performance‚ strengths and areas for development‚ where appropriate.

Propriety‚ fraud and other leakage

17. The Governing Body receives regular reports on fraud and takes steps to address any failures or perceived weaknesses.

18. The Governing Body is satisfied that it receives full and timely notification of all significant losses‚ special payments or other leakage. The Governing Body takes appropriate action to follow-up on major weaknesses or failures.

19. The Governing Body is always provided with advance notification of all proposed‚ significant novel or contentious expenditure.

Delivery Chain and project management

20. The Governing Body receives regular up‎dates on progress for all programmes and projects‚ and any others judged high risk by the organisation.

21. The Governing Body is provided with timely and robust post-evaluation reviews for all major projects and programmes‚ including an examination of whether all intended benefits were realised.

22. Where delivery is devolved to partner organisations‚ the Governing Body receives regular assurances over delivery‚ the operational effectiveness of partners’ governance arrangements and the regularity of expenditure made on its behalf.

The UNESCO Oversight Advisory Committee‚ Internal audit and reporting

23. The Oversight Advisory Committee has sufficient expertise‚ support‚ time‚ and access to key staff and information to enable it to disch‎arge its monitoring and oversight role effectively.

24. There is a proper discussion (not just nodding through) by the Governing Body of reports from the Oversight Advisory Committee‚ ensuring all members are aware of the issues discussed and their resolution.

25. The internal audit function is independent of management‚ appropriately skilled‚ competent and complies with Government Internal Audit Standards.

26. The Governing Body is satisfied that there is no evidence of aggressive or less than fully transparent accounting in the financial statements

Risk Management
27. The Governing Body is clear on its risk appetite.

28. The Governing Body has a sound process for identifying and regularly reviewing its principal risks‚ and makes the necessary amendments in the light of changes in the internal and external environment. This process involves all parts of the business.

29. The Governing Body receives regular‚ insightful reports on the organisation’s risk management and internal control systems that provide assurance over their operational effectiveness.

30. The Governing Body takes full account of risk in its decisions‚ for example‚ in relation to proposed major projects and programmes.

Relationship with key stakeholders

31. The Governing Body receives reliable projections of future cash flows for the medium as well as the short term‚ and is confident that the available funding will enable the organisation to develop and operate as planned.

32. The Governing Body is satisfied there have been no problems with regulatory and similar requirements‚ and that sound health and safety‚ employment and other practices are implemented to protect the organisation against unnecessary litigation and reputation risk.

33. The Governing Body is aware of changing demand patterns and is confident that these can be met from the resources available and within the organisation’s statutory remit.

34. The Governing Body monitors the political environment for potential changes to its remit and assesses the impact these will have on the strategy.

35. The Governing Body is aware of the organisation’s information needs. Any exceptions to best practice over data acquisition‚ usage‚ storage and destruction are reported.

36. No substantial‚ unexpected problems have emerged which the Governing Body should have been aware of earlier.

The Governing Body

37. The Governing Body is cohesive and combines being supportive of management with providing appropriate challenge.

38. The Chair leads meetings well with a clear focus on the big issues facing the organisation and allows full and open discussion before major decisions are taken.

39. Induction and development programmes ensure Governing Body members remain up-to-date throughout their time on the Governing Body.

40. Working as a team‚ the Governing Body has the right blend of skills‚ expertise and personalities‚ and the appropriate degree of diversity‚ to enable it to face today’s and tomorrow’s challenges successfully. Appointments place significant emphasis on succession planning.

41. The Governing Body constantly strives to improve its effectiveness by ensuring its own performance appraisal replicates good practice elsewhere.

42. The Governing Body draws up action plans following its performance evaluations. The actions include behavioural and qualitative aspects‚ where appropriate.

43. The Governing Body regularly reviews progress against its performance appraisal action plan.


1 = Strongly Disagree‚ 2 = Partly Disagree‚ 3 = Partly Agree‚ 4 = Strongly Agree


UNESCO. (2015). Audit of the governance of UNESCO and dependent funds‚ programmes and entities. (37 C/RESOLUTION 96); INTERIM REPORT. 196 EX/23.INF.5