OCHA’s evaluation function was created in 2000 following the request in General Assembly resolution 51/194 “to strengthen accountability in the field of humanitarian assistance, in particular through improved monitoring and evaluation.”
OCHA conducts two main types of evaluation: internal evaluations, which assess OCHA’s activities, and inter-agency evaluations, which OCHA manages on behalf of the humanitarian system as part of its unique coordination mandate.
The internal and inter-agency evaluations aim to provide structured, objective and evidence-based analyses of expected and achieved accomplishments, with a view to inform policy discussions, contribute to learning, and provide accountability for performance and results. OCHA fully adheres to the United Nations Evaluation Group’s Norms and Standards for Evaluation in the UN system.
OCHA internal evaluations include:
- Strategic/thematic evaluations, which assess OCHA’s effectiveness and impact in specific areas of strategic importance, such as strategic objectives, core OCHA functions, cross-cutting themes or new initiatives.
- Field response evaluations, which assess OCHA’s performance in emergency response settings.
- Humanitarian financing evaluations, which assess the humanitarian financing instruments under OCHA’s management, i.e., the Central Emergency Response Fund and Country-Based Pooled Funds.
- Strategic framework evaluations, which assess the Strategic Framework and its components, as well as progress against OCHA’s strategic and management objectives.
Inter-agency evaluations include the evaluations of issues of system-wide importance. They are commissioned by the Emergency Relief Coordinator, or the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and the Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluation (IAHE), which assess the collective results of the joint response to an emergency. The strategic direction to IAHEs is provided by the IAHE Steering Group, which comprises the Evaluation Directors of IASC member organizations. IAHEs are the only UN-led activity assessing the combined humanitarian response to emergencies. Therefore, they have an important role in ensuring the system’s accountability to donors and affected people.