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Quality Support Services for the World Food Programme’s Decentralized Evaluations

Itad is delivering a robust quality assurance service for the World Food Programme’s (WFP) decentralized evaluations, helping WFP to capture results from its programming around the world and strengthen its learning culture through an enhanced evaluation function.


The challenge

WFP is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. WFP assists approximately 90 million people each year across 83 countries, creating a highly complex and challenging operating context.

According to the WFP’s Evaluation Policy (2016–2021), decentralized evaluations – i.e. evaluations commissioned by WFP Country or Regional Offices – are a vital tool to embed evidence into WFP’s thinking, behaviour and systems for accountability and learning.

Decentralized evaluations are ‘demand-led’ in line with country or regional priorities. They can be single or multi-issue, ranging from assessing climate adaptation or nutrition programmes, to helping WFP understand its emergency preparedness. Decentralized evaluations play a vital role in helping WFP understand the different ways it is achieving impact whilst also providing evidence-based recommendations for how WFP should prioritise its resources to achieve its mission.

Our role

The WFP Office of Evaluation established a Decentralized Evaluation Quality Support Service (DEQS) in 2016 to provide WFP offices commissioning a decentralized evaluation with a timely assessment of the quality of draft evaluation deliverables (ranging from Terms of Reference to evaluation reports), as well as recommendations for improvements. WFP has contracted Itad to manage the second phase of DEQS, aiming to support independent, credible and useful evaluations at country and regional level.

Our approach

Itad is working closely with WFP country and regional offices to offer advisory and quality assurance support. To deliver this service, Itad has mobilised a gender-balanced panel of established evaluation experts to work with WFP and its evaluations teams to ensure all decentralized evaluations meet Itad’s and WFP’s high quality standards.

Our support is structured around three main components:

  1. Revising existing DEQS forms, tools, guidance and processes to make any and all feedback provided through DEQS as useful as possible whilst contributing to enhanced uptake of feedback.
  2. Overall management of the DEQS to ensure the DEQS is managed as efficiently and effectively as possible – building in space for feedback from reviewers and users and enabling learning and adaptation.
  3. Operationalisation of the DEQS to ensure the timeline delivery of high-quality quality assurance support services that provide constructive and solution-focused feedback to users.

Expected outcomes and outputs

Annual DEQS Report

The Report will provide an over-arching analysis of the quality of the WFP’s DEQS evaluations based on the quality assessments of the evaluation reports for the previous year. The report

will aggregate the data across the assessments and highlight the key strengths, weaknesses and good practice examples for each deliverable. As the service progresses, we will also compare trends in quality between different years. The Annual Report will provide actionable recommendations to improve the quality of future reports.

This is an exciting project as it puts us ‘on the other side’ of our collaboration with clients – we are supporting WFP evaluations teams to produce high quality products, rather than do the evaluations ourselves. It’s fulfilling to see how our efforts contribute to promoting a learning culture  across such a highly impactful organisation like WFP.

To discuss more about the project contact: Ekaterina Shaleva