Evaluation of emergency response: Humanitarian Aid Agencies and evaluation influence
Oliver, Monica LaBelle
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Organizational development is a central purpose of evaluation. Disasters and other emergency situations carry with them significant implications for evaluation, given that they are often unanticipated and involve multiple relief efforts on the part of INGOs, governments and international organizations. Two particularly common reasons for INGOs to evaluate disaster relief efforts are 1) accountability to donors and 2) desire to enhance the organization s response capacity. This thesis endeavors briefly to review the state of the evaluation field for disaster relief so as to reflect on how it needs to go forward. The conclusion is that evaluation of disaster relief efforts is alive and well. Though evaluation for accountability seems fairly straightforward, determining just how the evaluation influences the organization and beyond is not. Evaluation use has long been a central thread of discussion in evaluation theory, with the richer idea of evaluation influence only recently taking the stage. Evaluation influence takes the notion of evaluation use a few steps further by offering more complex, subtle, and sometimes unintentional ways that an evaluation might positively better a situation. This study contributes to the very few empirical studies of evaluation influence by looking at one organization in depth and concluding that evaluation does influence in useful ways.
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