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Development, DRR and disaster response evaluation

Development interventions, by definition, tend to take a long-term outcome-based view, and have historically had a sustainability perspective integrated within them. By contrast, disaster response and humanitarian evaluations have tended to focus on effectiveness, emphasising the achievement of short-term objectives.

It is now recognised that flawed interventions, such as those implemented during the Rwanda crisis, can exacerbate risks and undermine the positive effects of previous development interventions. As a result, disaster response evaluations increasingly seek to evaluate wider and longer-term impacts and effectiveness.

After the 1980 and 90s, the sector shifted away from a response focus and disaster risk reduction interventions emerged. It often depended on the mandate of the implementing agency (response or development) as to whether an evaluation was carried out and the approach used. The DRR sector tended to adopt development evaluation approaches, while the humanitarian sector has tended to develop its own approaches.

Your task

What is unique about the disaster and humanitarian response context that means the disaster response/humanitarian sector might be justified in developing a bespoke approach to evaluation?

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This article is from the free online course:

Disaster Interventions and the Need for Evaluation, Accountability and Learning

Coventry University