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Evaluation of DFID’s Humanitarian Innovation and Evidence Programme

The Humanitarian Emergency Response Review (HERR), chaired by Lord Ashdown, emphasised the need to improve the evidence base underpinning humanitarian action. Itad led the evaluation of DFID’s response, HIEP (the Humanitarian Innovation and Evidence Programme), which assessed the extent DFID has fulfilled the government’s commitment to respond to the HERR.


HIEP was a joint initiative between DFID’s policy, operations and research departments that aimed to improve humanitarian outcomes by increasing the quality, quantity and use of evidence in decision-making, by catalysing and bringing to scale major innovations in humanitarian practice. Four areas of investment were prioritised: providing better information about risk, identifying which humanitarian interventions work best, building national capacity to respond to disasters, and ensuring that evidence is available and informs decision-making. 

Our approach

Itad used a mix of methods to undertake this complex multi-year, multi-country evaluation.  At the centre of our design was a theory-based approach.  We worked closely with DFID staff at the start of the evaluation to develop the theory of change that underpinned HIEP and DFID belief that through its investment in the generation of research in the humanitarian sector and its wider advocacy in the sector, it could support both better evidence-based decisions at the field level, as well as wider changes in the humanitarian system. 


Contact Rob Lloyd ( if you would like to discuss this project.

Image credit: DFID (CC BY-ND 2.0)