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.
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
Cash-based transfers and gender window
Cash transfers are growing in popularity as a tool for humanitarian assistance. The cash-based transfers and gender impact evaluation series presents an opening for WFP and partners to show how cash-based programming may contribute to, or compromise, progress towards gender equality in fragile settings.
Climate and resilience window
WFP engages in a range of interventions that contribute to resilience building within the humanitarian-development sphere, where climate change and extreme weather events increase the likelihood and severity of food crises. This series presents an opportunity to assist WFP country offices in producing rigorous evidence on the impact of our interventions, that will inform programme design and implementation.
Resilience learning for transitional development
WFP, with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and other partners, has created an ambitious platform to strengthen resilience through integrated programming. A key part of the agenda is using impact evaluations to understand and document the effect of WFP’s and partners’ interventions on resilience and well-being. See how testing combinations and sequences of interventions strengthen resilience in the Sahel.