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The importance of evaluation 

As a leader in humanitarian response and sustainable development worldwide, it is essential that the World Food Programme (WFP) remains fit for purpose. We achieve this by conducting independent, evidence-based evaluations at all levels of the organization. 

WFP evaluations involve periodic, impartial, systematic assessments of our activities, operations, strategies and policies. As well as providing lessons for immediate use, they allow us to capture and preserve institutional knowledge. This creates an evidence base of our successes and challenges across diverse settings, which we use to learn and improve. 

As the world faces mounting humanitarian challenges, independent evaluations help quantify how well WFP is achieving its mission – not only in our response to emergencies, but also through our resilience-building efforts.

WFP evaluation policy

The Office of Evaluation (OEV) supports regional bureaux and country offices in managing evaluations themselves. This localized approach shortens the learning cycle, strengthens partner and beneficiary accountability, and provides donors and partners with greater detail about the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, impact and sustainability of WFP’s work.  

All WFP evaluations include impartiality safeguards. They are conducted by independent professionals in accordance with United Nations Evaluation Group norms and standards, and WFP’s evaluation quality assurance system.   

Evaluation of State of Palestine WFP Country Strategic Plan 2018-2022

Areas of work

Strategic evaluations

Strategic evaluations assess global or corporate themes, programmes and initiatives that have been selected for their relevance to WFP’s strategic direction and management. OEV chooses topics based on: regular identification of risks and opportunities ahead of time, recurring findings from evaluations, relevance to strategic developments in WFP’s internal context and external environment, corporate innovations and ways of working, major knowledge gaps, and stakeholder suggestions and needs. 

Policy evaluations

Policy evaluations assess quality, implementation and results. Evaluation of policies takes place between four and six years after the start of implementation and/or prior to policy changes.

Country strategic plan evaluations

Country strategic plan evaluations are the main instrument for accountability and learning regarding WFP’s interventions at country level. They encompass the entirety of WFP activities during a specific country strategic plan. They assess:  WFP’s strategic positioning and role, the extent to which WFP has met the requirements of the country strategic plan, WFP’s contributions to strategic outcomes, efficiency, and factors that explain WFP performance. 

Evaluations of corporate emergency responses

Evaluations of corporate emergency responses focus on the humanitarian context and principles, as well as the coverage, coherence and connectedness, of the emergency response. All system-wide responses to sudden and significant changes to a humanitarian situation (a Level 3 emergency) should trigger an inter-agency evaluation within the first year. 

Impact evaluations

Impact evaluations assess the positive, negative, direct, indirect, intended and unintended changes in the lives of the people WFP serves. OEV may select topics for impact evaluations based on major knowledge gaps, stakeholder suggestions or other needs. This type of evaluation requires specific data availability and evaluation methods. Surveys, document reviews, focus group discussions, consultations with key players and participatory methods are often used. 

Decentralized evaluations

Complementing OEV’s centralized and impact evaluations, decentralized evaluations cover activitiesthemes and transfer methods. They are managed by WFP country offices, regional bureaux and headquarters-based divisions other than the OEV. Decentralized evaluations are recommended before: the scale-up of pilots, innovations and prototypes, high-risk interventions, and the third repeat of an intervention.

Evaluation syntheses

Evaluation syntheses combine and analyse data from multiple evaluations to highlight cross-cutting issues and provide general conclusions.

Evidence summaries

Evidence summaries collate available evidence addressing a research question or a set of research questions related to a single topic. They are linked to ‘rapid review’ evaluation methodology and so are commonly produced within a short timeframe.