For the last six years, ALNAP has been developing the first Evaluating Humanitarian Action Guide to help humanitarian actors increase the quality and usefulness of evaluating findings and results. This event launched the Guide and looks at some of the key issues in evaluating humanitarian action today, such as how we can better involve people affected by crises, the value of independent evaluations, and how to encourage uptake.
Evaluation has been identified as an important component of results-based protection, especially in how it can promote reflection and learning. A few key points from the discussion:
- Organizational Change: evaluations can support broader organizational change processes but cannot change organizations alone
- Timing is important: it is beneficial for evaluations to inform other initiatives to support organizational change and ensure a larger impact, including annual reviews and other opportunities that attract the attention of senior leadership
- Monitoring: there are significant resources invested in good monitoring and data can/should be used to inform evaluations. Good monitoring should generate a lot of learning
- Learning: evaluation is one method to promote reflection & learning but we need to build learning processes into how we work:
- Enshrining learning within organizations so that lessons from evaluations and other processes can be taken on board and staff is empowered to work in a different way
- Bringing an evaluation team in from the start of a program can help to create space for reflection among program staff