This section outlines the purpose of the learning paper in the context of the broader evaluation and summarizes the structure of the document. It also sets out the scope of the learning paper, and describes the methodological approach used to gather data and analyse findings.
1.1. Purpose of the Evaluation
1. The Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluation (IAHE) of the COVID-19 Humanitarian Response seeks to assess the collective preparedness and response of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) member agencies at the global, regional, and country level in meeting the humanitarian needs of people in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has three objectives:
Determine the extent to which the IASC member agencies’ collective preparedness and response actions, including its existing and adapted special measures, were relevant to addressing humanitarian needs in the context of the pandemic.
Assess the results achieved from these actions at the global, regional and country level in support of people, and with governments and local actors.
Identify best practices, opportunities and lessons learnt that will help to improve ongoing and future humanitarian responses, including through wider and accelerated adaptation of certain humanitarian policies, approaches, and practices.
1.2. Purpose of the Learning Paper
2. This Learning Paper meets the third objective of the evaluation, that of learning. It is intended to inform future humanitarian policy and practice, notably the work of IASC Task Force 5 on localisation and the implementation of the Grand Bargain 2.0 Framework, which focuses on local responders as one of the enabling priorities.
3. The Learning Paper uses the framework of IASC guidance to strengthen localisation in the context of the COVID-19 response to explore the following three thematic areas:
Relationships between international (i.e. UN, INGOs, RC/RC) and local actors (including partnership arrangements, respect for principles of duty of care, and recognition and visibility of the work and role of local frontline responders).
Funding mechanisms and how these allowed local actors to play a key role through prompt access to funding, re-programming efforts, and fast track provisions.
Promotion of local leadership and local participation in coordination mechanisms and decision-making processes at national and sub-national levels.
4. The three thematic areas above complement those examined in the broader IAHE, which addresses the following evaluation questions:
To what extent did international humanitarian preparedness and response to COVID-19 complement and empower national and local actors in their efforts and leadership to address COVID-19-related humanitarian needs?
How effectively did IASC collective mechanisms for planning and implementing the response ensure local participation?
5. The Learning Paper focuses on the same timeframe as the IAHE, i.e., from 1 January 2020, when the World Health Organization (WHO) activated its Incident Management Support Team, until the evaluation team completed data collection in June 2022.