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Evaluation of UNICEF’s coverage and quality in complex humanitarian situations

Delivering humanitarian assistance in complex humanitarian situations is extremely challenging due to the multi-dimensional nature of these emergencies – often resulting from a combination of political instability, conflict and violence, social inequality and underlying poverty.


In these environments, the most vulnerable people are often located in hard-to-reach or the most insecure locations. As a result, the coverage and quality of humanitarian assistance is often a significant challenge, since insecurity and inaccessibility limit organisations’ capacity to implement, manage and adequately monitor humanitarian response.

Over time, UNICEF’s role in emergencies has grown to keep pace with escalating needs, and an increasing percentage of its humanitarian budget has been focused in complex humanitarian situations. In recent years, however, the organisation has increasingly faced complex humanitarian crises that have stretched its ability to respond.

Our role

Between 2017 and 2019, Itad conducted the first-ever evaluation of UNICEF humanitarian action in complex humanitarian situations in order to generate, through robust and systematic analysis across a range of country contexts, practical solutions for the improvement of the coverage and quality of UNICEF response to crises in complex humanitarian situations.


The evaluation process and results have contributed to a body of evidence and learning about the enablers and barriers to delivering high-quality humanitarian action in complex humanitarian emergencies – and how these have impacted UNICEF’s performance and ability to reach affected populations. Practical solutions and recommendations will enable UNICEF to scale-up good practice and introduce innovations that will contribute to improving the coverage, quality and equity of its humanitarian response.


Read the evaluation report.


Contact Leonora Evans Gutierrez ( if you would like to discuss this project.


Image © Humanitarian Aid in Donetsk. Photo Credit: UNICEF Ukraine/2015/Aleksey Filippov. (CC BY 2.0)