The evaluation was commissioned to provide evidence-based findings and constructive feedback to inform the reformulation of WFP’s role in nutrition in the Sharawi context and was intended for both accountability and learning purposes. It focused on assessing the appropriateness, relevance, coherence, connectedness, and effectiveness of the programme’s nutrition components. Overarching evaluation questions focussed on the appropriateness of the intervention, the results of the intervention, and the ways in which the intervention produced the observed results.
The evaluation covered the following nutrition components: a) General Food Distribution; b) Prevention and treatment of Undernutrition and Anaemia (NUT); c) School Feeding (SF).
Key evaluation findings included:
- The nutrition components of the PRRO are relevant, adapted to the Sahrawi context, and appropriate to cover needs of the target population. However, although population needs are regularly assessed and recommendations from studies and surveys indicate the need for adapting programming to specific population-groups’ (age, gender, or locations) vulnerabilities;
- Most nutrition and food security outcomes for refugees have significantly improved during the period evaluated, indicating a positive contribution of the WFP intervention. However, the aggravation of the prevalence of anaemia in the last two years suggests that WFP’s financial and operational constraints might, among other cultural and contextual factors, have had a negative effect on nutritional conditions;
- WFP’s role in the coordination for nutrition needs to improve, as its role is currently viewed as that of a “supplier” of nutrition goods. In the active food sector, WFP is an effective and recognised leader, mainly at a practical logistical level. In contrast to Food Sector coordination (where WFP plays the key role), which has been active and systematic over the years, initiatives for inter-sectoral or inter-agency coordination are relatively recent.
Key recommendations from the evaluation included:
- WFP Algeria must decide on its role in nutrition and clarify, internally and externally, how to perform it.
- If WFP Algeria decides to assume a more active strategic role in nutrition, in 2018, the agency should actively promote and support a revision of the current nutrition strategies and activities, by (i) performing a comprehensive evaluation of current nutrition interventions; (ii) reviewing current regulatory documents; (iii) promoting increased internal and external complementarities and synergies, and (iv) assessing and rationalising coordination mechanisms for the nutrition sector.
- WFP Algeria should reinforce the internal competences and technical capacities in nutrition, as a first step to improving the appropriateness and relevance of the design of the PRRO, and consequently of its nutrition components. It must also strengthen the internal processes and partnerships that influence the performance and results of the PRRO.