The Danish Strategy for Humanitarian Action, which was launched in 2009 and focuses on six overall strategic directions, including vulnerability, climate change and natural hazards, and protecting conflict-affected populations. The purpose of the evaluation was to document results achieved during the current strategy period, as well as to learn lessons of what works and why with respect to implementation modalities, programme design and delivery, and linking relief and development in order to inform future strategy development.
The evaluation focused on a number of overarching questions, including: the relevance of the strategy in light of the changing humanitarian context; the extent to which the strategy provides guidance for engagement in international policy dialogue and making financial decisions; the results and lessons learnt from Denmark’s approach of relying on partnerships as the key implementation modality; the lessons learnt from reconciling humanitarian and development objectives in specific contexts; and the extent to which the strategy aligns with the Principles and Practices of Good Humanitarian Donorship.
Itad designed a participatory case study approach for this evaluation, with two in-depth case studies of the Danish response to the crises in Syria and South Sudan, as well as a desk-based study of the response in Afghanistan. Our analytical framework is based on the evaluation matrix, which sets out the detailed evaluation questions that the team will address, as well as an evidence assessment framework that will enable us to systematically build an evidence base for our findings. It assisted with the evaluation synthesis where we critically interpreted the conclusions from the three case studies in order to generate an understanding of their applicability at the global strategy level. We also used Contribution analysis to identify evidence that Danida and its partners have contributed to results.
The team employed a number of data collection methods, including policy and strategy analysis, humanitarian context analysis, results tracking, comparative partner analysis and interviews and focus groups with partners, stakeholders and beneficiaries in the case study countries, Copenhagen, Geneva, New York and Rome. The final evaluation report was due in December 2014 and will be followed in 2016 by a results update phase, with the goal of validating and updating the evaluation findings.
The synthesis report was published in May 2015, and can be found here.Image © Za’atari Camp, Jordan. Photo credit: Tasneem Mowjee