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Annual Synthesis of Operation Evaluations (2014 - 2015) Changing Course: From Implementing to Enabling

Annual Synthesis of Operation Evaluations (2014 - 2015) Changing Course: From Implementing to Enabling
This synthesis presents findings of evaluations conducted between July 2014 and June 2015, covering 16 operations of varying types, durations, sizes and settings, with a total planned value of USD 2.8 billion (over USD 1.5 billion funded), which targeted 26 million beneficiaries a year.

The evaluations found that operations, well aligned to national frameworks, provided broadly relevant food assistance to beneficiaries, with some limitations in individual activities.  Appropriate analysis sometimes lacked in detail.  Efficiency suffered from difficult terrain, and designs were insufficiently gender-sensitive.  WFP's strategic positioning varied across operations, but continued the trajectory signalled in the 2014-2017 Strategic Plan from implementer to enabler.

Data availability improved from last year's synthesis, and corrective measures to the monitoring systems noted. Beneficiary numbers and quantities of transfers distributed are the main output results reported, with capacity-development ones limited.  Beneficiaries were served with less food (67%) and cash-based (35%) transfers than planned, across activities. At outcome level, data was more readily available, albeit quality remained an issue, with some results remaining under-represented.  Under-achievement related to the mid-term nature of the evaluations for half of the operations; positive results were more frequent under SO 3.  Under SO 4, WFP's shift to enabler contributed to policy-level achievements.  Partnerships with governments were strong, with new enabling roles for WFP outlined in most operations, but weaker with cooperating partners, owing to poor communications and limited joint planning. Only two operations, respectively, were assessed as efficient, or sustainable.

Factors explaining results are external (operational terrain, limited resources) and internal (inadequate human resources, static targeting amidst evolving needs, weak results chains, poor communications).  Enabling factors included strong technical back-stopping by regional bureaux of small country offices and WFP credibility with governments.  Overall, the findings suggest that WFP is progressing steadily, sometimes uncertainly, along a continuum of change towards becoming fit-for-purpose.