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Evaluating UNICEF’s Response to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

Itad is evaluating UNICEF’s response to the unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, providing learning to the organisation in country and at HQ level to support best practice in future responses.


In 2021, political developments led to a significant deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. Essential services were on the brink of collapse, exacerbating the needs of an already vulnerable population.

More than half of the population (24.4 million people) needed humanitarian assistance, including 12.9 million children. UNICEF prioritised responding to the immediate humanitarian needs in the country and scaling up the delivery of essential services to prevent the collapse of public systems.

As part of this response, UNICEF has made programmatic adaptations, adopted new ways of working and rapidly scaled up its support to deliver principled, timely, quality and child-centred humanitarian response in line with the revised Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action.

We are providing a comprehensive assessment of UNICEF’s programmatic and operational response in Afghanistan against its own mandate, corporate commitments, stated objectives and standard evaluation criteria.

Our role

We are looking to understand what has been achieved for affected populations in both countries and how these results have been produced.

Our evaluation is designed to have an accountability and learning purpose. Our findings are expected to help the UNICEF Country Office at regional and HQ levels generate learning to support programming strategy and operational planning, while more directly shaping the on-going response in the country.

The evaluation is additionally expected to capture good practices and make actionable recommendations to inform UNICEF efforts across future L3 emergencies.

Methods and approaches

Our approach aims to deliver actionable and carefully evidenced recommendations. Whilst the evaluation will be used for enhancing accountability, especially to affected populations, we believe the primary value of this evaluation is being delivered through learning.

Critical to the usability and value of this evaluation will be a focus on meaningful engagement with and participation of the end users.

We are using a participatory, field-based and user-driven approach to promote ownership and use by UNICEF staff and managers involved in emergency response particularly at the field level, as well as affected populations.

Outcomes and impact

Overall, it is our ambition that the evaluation process and results will contribute to a body of evidence and learning around the enablers and barriers to delivering a high-quality L3 response and how these have impacted on UNICEF’s performance and ability to reach affected populations.

Team members
Jason Collodi Pierre Townsend Helena MatosDaCosta