Evaluation of DFID’s Humanitarian Innovation & Evidence Strategy

2013-Ongoing, Multi-Country; DFID

The recent Humanitarian Emergency Response Review (HERR) emphasised the need to improve the evidence base underpinning humanitarian action as well as the use of innovative technologies in humanitarian response.

Itad is leading an evaluation of DFID’s new Humanitarian Innovation and Evidence Programme (HIEP), which will assess the delivery of the strategy and ascertain to what extent DFID has fulfilled the Government’s commitment in the HERR Response.

The HIEP is a joint initiative between DFID’s policy, operations and research departments that aims to improve humanitarian outcomes by increasing the quality, quantity and use of evidence in decision-making, and catalysing and bringing to scale major innovations in humanitarian practice. Four areas for investment have been prioritised: providing better information about risk, identifying which humanitarian interventions work best, building national capacity to respond to disasters, and ensuring that evidence is available and informs decision-making.

Itad is using a mix of methods to undertake this complex multi-year, multi-country evaluation.  At the centre of our design is a theory based approach.  We worked closely with DFID staff at the start of the evaluation to develop the theory of change that underpins HIEP and how DFID believes that through its investment in the generation of research in the humanitarian sector and its wider advocacy in the sector, it can support both better evidence based decisions at the field level, but also wider changes in the humanitarian system. We are now testing this theory through case studies of eight HIEP funded projects and additional data collection and analysis at the level of the overall programme.

The overall analytical method we are using is contribution analysis. This is being used to systematically analyse the extent to which interventions have contributed to observed change, across different cases in different contexts, and assess the impact of the HIEP. The evaluation has both a formative phase and two summative phases. The formative phase was delivered in June 2014 and highlighted strengths and weaknesses in the HIEP design and early implementations and areas for improvement, the summative phases will take place in 2015 and 2017 and will assess the overall impact of HIEP.

Image © Ukaid being distributed in Pakistan. Photo Credit: DFID

For more information please contact:

Rob Lloyd
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T: +44(0)1273 765250