Evaluation of Humanitarian Action: A Pilot Guide

Now available at the ALNAP website

“The Evaluating Humanitarian Action Guide supports evaluation specialists and non-specialists in every stage of an evaluation, from initial decision to final dissemination.

Here are six reasons we think it’s time for a comprehensive EHA guide:
1. Official donor assistance for humanitarian action has increased  nearly six times in real terms from 1990 to 2011.
2. More interest and investment in evaluations as concerns are raised about effectiveness of development aid and humanitarian relief.
3. A critical mass of collective knowledge now exists to build on – ALNAP’s evaluation database alone contains over 500 covering the last decade.
4. Commissioning of evaluations has shifted from agency headquarters  to field-based staff as agencies decentralise – yet field-based managers often have little experience in planning and managing evaluations, especially EHA.
5. Little evidence that evaluation results lead to change of, or reflection on, policy and practice – better designed evaluations could provide more compelling evidence for policy change and promote utilisation.
6. The demand for guidance on EHA is growing – a Humanitarian Practice  Network member survey in 2009 found that the number one guidance material requests were for EHA.

This ALNAP guide provides practical and comprehensive guidance and good practice examples to those planning, designing, carrying  out, and using evaluations of humanitarian action.
The focus is on utilisation: to encourage you to consider how to ensure from the outset that an evaluation will be used.
This guide attempts to support high-quality evaluations that contribute to improved performance by providing the best evidence possible of what is working well, what is not, and why. The ultimate goal is to better meet the needs of people affected by humanitarian crises, who will be referred to throughout this guide as the affected population.”

Reflexive Monitoring in Action: A guide for monitoring system innovation projects

“Researchers at Wageningen University and the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands, have been working together on a type of monitoring that they have called reflexive monitoring in action (RMA).  RMA has been developed especially for projects that aim to contribute to the sustainable development of a sector or region by working on system innovation.   Sustainable development demands simultaneous changes at many levels of society and in multiple domains: ecological, economic, political and scientific. It requires choices to be made that are radically different from the usual practices, habits, interrelationships and institutional structures. But that is precisely why it is not easy. System innovation projects therefore benefit from a type of monitoring that encourages the ‘reflexivity’ of the project itself, its ability to affect and interact with the environment within which it operates. If a project wants to realise the far-reaching ambitions of system innovation, then reflection and learning must be tightly interwoven within it. And that learning should focus on structural changes. RMA can contribute to this.   In the guide, -aiming at supporting the work of project managers, monitors and clients-, the authors present the characteristics and the value of Reflexive Monitoring in Action, together with practical guidelines that will help put that monitoring into practice. At the end of the guide the authors provide detailed descriptions of seven monitoring tools.”

The guide can be freely downloaded in pdf format, in English or Dutch, from http://tinyurl.com/wurcispubs or http://tinyurl.com/vupubs.

The guide is also available in printed version (Dutch only), through Boxpress (http://www.boxpressshop.nl). Price: € 49,95 (full colour) or € 29,95 (black-white with pictures in full colour). For more information please contact: barbara.vanmierlo@wur.nl

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