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Based in Geneva, UNHCR's small Policy Development and Evaluation Service is committed to the systematic examination and assessment of UNHCR policies, programmes, projects and practices. PDES also promotes rigorous research on issues related to the work of UNHCR and encourages an active exchange of ideas and information between humanitarian practitioners, policymakers and the research community.
All of these activities are undertaken with the purpose of strengthening UNHCR's operational effectiveness, thereby enhancing the organization's capacity to fulfil its mandate on behalf of refugees and other persons of concern to the Office. The work of the unit is guided by the principles of transparency, independence, consultation, relevance and integrity.
Areas covered by PDES since mid-2012 include: Emergency response; protection and solutions; urban refugees; protracted refugee situations; refugee youth; sexual and gender-based violence; external relations and advisory functions.