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As we strive to eradicate hunger by 2030, knowing which interventions do – and do not – work provides essential information to steer a more precise course towards Zero Hunger, contributing to saving lives and changing lives.  Evaluations help the World Food Programme (WFP) determine whether we are doing the right thing, if we are achieving results and whether or not we could do things differently. This makes us accountable to our donors and the people we serve, and offers learning for the organization. Impact evaluation has a key role to play in this area.

WFP defines impact evaluations as assessments of the positive and negative, direct or indirect, intended or unintended changes in the lives of those who receive WFP assistance.

As the world’s largest humanitarian agency, WFP is well placed to generate rigorous impact evaluation evidence to better understand the needs of the people we serve and how to support them to transition out of food insecurity.

Impact evaluation has already significantly altered the way the world understands poverty and the effectiveness of development interventions. But humanitarian and transition contexts have not yet benefitted from the same level of impact evaluation evidence. WFP’s Impact Evaluation Strategy (2019-2026) sets out a vision for increasing the coverage and use of rigorous impact evaluations in humanitarian and development settings. It signals WFP’s renewed commitment to generating operationally relevant evidence of global significance. Responding to growing demand from host countries, donors and policymakers for high-quality evidence, the strategy aims to build a platform of support that bridges current gaps in capacity and resources to deliver impact evaluations.

Introducing WFP’s Impact Evaluation Strategy

Areas of Work

Impact evaluation governance

Within the impact evaluation strategy, WFP’s vision is to use rigorous impact evaluation evidence to inform policy and programme decisions, optimize interventions and provide thought leadership to global efforts to end hunger and achieve the SDGs. The Annual Report for the Strategic Advisory Panel on Impact Evaluation at WFP charts our progress and learning.

World Bank DIME partnership

WFP and the World Bank’s Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) department are working together to build impact evaluation capacity and generate evidence for achieving zero hunger.

Cash-based transfers and gender window

Cash transfers are growing in popularity as a tool for humanitarian and development assistance. The Cash-based Transfers and Gender Impact Evaluation Window presents an opening for WFP and partners to show how cash-based programming can contribute towards gender equality and women’s empowerment in fragile settings, without increasing risks for recipients.

Climate and resilience window

WFP is working with communities to improve food security and nutrition, and build resilience where climate change and extreme weather events increase the likelihood and severity of food crises. With support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and other partners, WFP is pursuing an ambitious agenda to understand how programmes can support resilience in the face of shocks and stressors. As part of this effort, the Climate and Resilience Impact Evaluation Window aims to support WFP country offices by producing rigorous evidence that will inform the design, targeting, and implementation of WFP’s resilience programmes.

Workstream on Optimizing Humanitarian Interventions

WFP is the is the world’s largest humanitarian organization. With support from USAID, this workstream aims to generate rigorous evidence to inform how humanitarian and emergency interventions can be most impactful, by filling knowledge gaps in priority areas including how to improve the targeting, transfers, and timing of interventions that save and change lives.

School-based Programmes window

School-based programmes are one of the most extensive social safety nets worldwide. There is a growing need for more evidence to inform the trade-offs in school-based programmes’ designs and implementations and understand how they can play an important role as a social safety net protecting boys and girls during shocks. The School-based Programmes Impact Evaluation Window presents an opportunity to assist WFP country offices and partners in generating evidence to help make informed policy decisions.