Evaluation and Design

Humanitarian Response

FEG has been an integral part of the global effort to improve the timing and speed of humanitarian response. The link between emergency assessment and response is both a technical issue and a process issue, and FEG has addressed both parts of the response lag.

The diagnosis of why humanitarian responses are often delayed even when emergency alerts are issued on time is often complicated by the fact that the response typically requires the coordinated efforts of many actors. To this end, FEG has focused on the obstacles to rapid response within the relationships and institutional structures of the aid community as well as between donors, their partners and the government. Developing new mechanisms to respond in a timely way requires building trust and communication between partners, as well as developing concrete contingency plans. FEG’s approach has been to address these complex dynamics and to ensure that sufficient attention is paid to the interaction between agencies and government and how these relationships affect response.

FEG’s work in the field of emergency assessment and response has spanned two decades and covered emergencies in Africa and Asia. In 2007, FEG was involved in a large-scale evaluation for WFP SENAC with ODI in Pakistan, Malawi, South Africa, Washington and Rome, analysing the link between emergency assessments and decision-making globally. In 2006, FEG evaluated the OCHA Emergency Response Fund for DFID in Ethiopia, looking in particular at timing and effectiveness. Almost 20 years ago, in 1999, FEG designed a national strategic emergency fund for the Government of Ethiopia to increase the country’s response capacity to emergencies by maintaining a flexible in-country emergency cash reserve. FEG also developed a strategy and tool kit to examine livelihoods in context of conflict for global USAID use. Going back a decade or more, FEG led a number of country-based post-emergency response retrospective analyses to review strengths and weaknesses of the response effort and to summarise lessons learned to inform future efforts For instance, FEG developed a retrospective analysis of the 2002/3 emergency response in Ethiopia for USAID/REDSO and in addition FEG reviewed the 2000 emergency operation (EMOP) in Kenya for the national Food Security Steering Group.

Kenya Arid Lands Institutional Framework Design

In 2009, FEG designed and brokered a new institutional framework for the new Ministry of State Development for Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands. Part of the design process involved creating a coordinated donor investment process for the Government of Kenya and DFID. This innovative process produced a region-wide multi-sectoral donor harmonisation mechanism that is based on a sector-wide approach (SWAP).


FEG has been a key partner with Mokoro and VALID International in the global evaluations of two major nutrition evaluations: REACH and SUN.