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DEC-HC Real Time Evaluation East Africa Crisis response 2011

Overview of Findings

Humanitarian Coalition Ottawa 13th December 2011

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Effectiveness of response (including preparedness & scale-up) Quality of response: principles, standards (including coordination) Accountability to aid recipients Lessons learned and links to longer-term with attention to gender issues throughout

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The nature of the crises in Ethiopia & Kenya

Successive rain failures, loss of livestock, exhausted

coping capacities, cumulative effect of shocks: a longer term developmental crisis requiring an exceptional response saw the crisis coming from late 2010, with plentiful early warning information, Alarming nutritional data emerging through the media in May-June, particularly from the Somali refugee camps, galvanized the international community into action

A qualified success in terms of agency preparedness and ability to scale up and meet relief needs, once situation declared critical Early response efforts and preventive action made by drawing on agency own resources and existing donor funds Responding to triggers rather than trends

Generally, a collective failure of early intervention at the time, and on the scale, that was required


Building on existing programmes and partners, linking to longer term DRR & resilience, excellent examples of inclusive & gender-aware programming, use of own funds, some real innovation & responsiveness

Problems and challenges

Relative lack of early intervention (due to external constraints funding, policy and administrative) Delays in approval of response plans Neglect of some areas in Ethiopia; still major issues in camps and surrounds business as usual, especially for larger agencies Neglect of certain groups e.g. urban poor Lack of clear exit / transition strategies

Summary: Generally good analysis and appropriate programme design, though problems of maintaining standards and quality of implementation through overstretched partners

Integration of appropriate tools and best practice approaches (cash, livestock protection, gender); use of flexible approaches Some good gender & social analysis clearly influencing project design Implementation of LEGS and other common standards Effective coordination in some areas (health and nutrition)

Problems and challenges

Challenge of meeting standards given constraints (funds, access, etc) HRD very food assistance focused; relative neglect of some other sectors Assessment & analysis quality is patchy; lack of surveillance systems Some agencies still lack awareness of / attention to gender issues Limited impact monitoring; no INGO discussion of shared partners Weak coordination in some areas and/or sectors, or between INGOs

Summary: Generally strong policy and performance on accountability to aid recipients, with good representative structures & feedback mechanisms Positives
Good awareness of entitlements; complaints mechanisms established or in process; responsive to expressed priorities of women and men; good examples of community ownership.

Problems and challenges

Some failures of inclusion (e.g. elderly, poorest), consideration of literacy or social status; sectoral differences in accountability; greater challenges in camps

Summary: Relatively strong at programme and operational level, less so at policy and strategy level
Deliberate efforts to take into account lessons learnt from previous years responses. Good programme learning, innovation and adaptation

Problems and challenges

Fragmentation of INGOs and lack of concerted action Discontinuity of staffing and organisational experience Lack of convincing policy options for DRR & early intervention. Discontinuity of learning and experience over the past 20 years

Somali refugees in Dollo Ado & Dadaab

Agencies caught unprepared for new influx of refugees

lack of effective contingency planning initial overstretch unchanging approach from old to new caseloads

Continuing catastrophic level of malnutrition and mortality (Dollo Ado) Major challenges:

government restrictions; security UNHCR, government agencies and bottlenecks Struggle to maintain standards, though achieved in some areas Working with host communities

Planning for the future

Why is there a lag between early warning and response? Why is preventive action slow or patchy, and relief responses delayed?

How can we better join the dots between relief, early intervention, social protection, and DRR, particularly in chronically crisis prone areas ? Has the nature of the crisis been misrepresented in the media?

A number of best practice examples, particularly from national partner organizations Most INGOs recognize the need to describe differences between men & women (e.g. roles, resources, needs), but the ability to apply and incorporate the analysis into program design is still dependent on individuals Some program and sectoral managers still not understanding the relevance of gender; a majority not recognizing their role with respect to violence mitigation Few projects are planned and documented in ways that guarantee equal benefits for women and men Many are implementing creative and gender aware projects, but not necessarily giving themselves credit for it in reporting.