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Annual Synthesis of Operation Evaluations (2016-2017)

Annual Synthesis of Operation Evaluations (2016-2017)
This synthesis presents findings of evaluations conducted between July 2016 and June 2017, covering 15 operations of varying types, durations, sizes and settings, with a total planned value of USD 2.3 billion (over USD 1.35 billion funded), which targeted 19.7 million beneficiaries a year.

This cohort reflects an increased trend for close partnerships with national actors in design geared to support policy and programme national frameworks for hunger solutions. However, shortcomings in capacity development designs are again reported (linked to incomplete diagnostics, lack of systemic view, unclear objective and/or implementation plans).

Data availability continues to improve, with monitoring systems praised in eight evaluations. Outcome data concerns persist, both for availability and quality/reliability – including lack of (robust) baselines, absence of data collection, often owing to limited resources, unrealistic/inappropriate targets. This year’s cohort continues to report data use challenges, and features emerging alignment with national monitoring systems. Beneficiary numbers and quantities of food, cash and vouchers distributed are the main output-level results reported. As for previous syntheses, the evaluations indicate that the targeted beneficiaries were provided with less food (65% of target) and cash (51%) than planned. All operations faced reduced duration, frequency, or entitlements of assistance. Reasons include limited national capacities; inadequate funding levels (noted in over two-thirds of the evaluations), conditionality of funding; as well as; contextual factors, such as natural disasters, conflict, violence and insecurity. Some results are still not captured by corporate systems. The evaluations reveal significant contributions to Sustainable Development Goals and Zero Hunger Challenge, including strengthened economic activity, increased and/or diversified agricultural production, increased household incomes, access to health services, enhanced resilience, and stabilised food prices.
Factors constraining achievement of results are both external (operational context, insufficient funding in terms of volume or type/duration, limited staffing of partners in terms of number and/or technical capacity), and internal (limited human resources– limiting technical capacity (especially in gender, protection, nutrition, resilience and monitoring). At activity level, design flaws), weak attention to synergies, and weaknesses in targeting are reported. Enabling factors include more evidenced-based designs, conducive national policy and programming environments (namely in social protection), increased implementation through national systems, established credibility with government partners, adaptive capacity, willingness to innovate, and transparent communications in support of partnerships.

Six lessons were identified to support WFP to continue optimizing performance. They pertain to: brokering strategic hunger solutions; adopting a system’s view; preparing for transition; increasing use of data for optimised performance management; moving towards gender transformation; and advocating for more enabling financial support.