Humanitarian actors and researchers have amassed evidence about the state of knowledge in the humanitarian sector, including assessments of what works and what does not work. Synthesising this information and making it readily available to policymakers and humanitarian practitioners remains challenging. The Humanitarian Evidence Synthesis and Communication Programme produces a series of reviews to distil humanitarian evidence and communicate it to key stakeholders in order to enable better decision-making and improve humanitarian policy and practice.
This initiative is a DFID-funded partnership between Oxfam GB, the lead agency, and Feinstein International Center (FIC) at Tufts University, the implementing partner. The programme is called the Humanitarian Evidence Programme for short. Oxfam GB and FIC share DFID’s ambition to increase the use of high quality evidence of ‘what works’ within the humanitarian sector. This partnership also recognises the challenges, in accessing and combining high quality evidence as well as in promoting its use within a difficult environment for uptake. By combining the skills and experience of Oxfam and FIC, this partnership will respond to the challenges. The partnership’s approach to the programme is founded on the principle that commitment to high quality evidence, active management of the supply chain, and research uptake are all crucial to achieve value for money.
During the inception period from 26 June 2014 to 31 December 2014, the Humanitarian Evidence Programme successfully completed all deliverables and planned for the implementation period. The inception report covers major milestones, challenges and learning of the inception period, and plans for the implementation period and research uptake. In learning from other rigorous review programmes, there are challenges with the market capacity to carry out quality reviews as well as with quality assurance processes. This report presents an honest analysis of and offers mitigation strategies for these challenges.
The inception period also demonstrated the enthusiasm and promise of the programme. The launch of the web pages was well-received, and feedback from key informants and the Advisory Board expressed solid support for the overall mission and the potential of the programme.
Ott, E.; Krystalli, R.C.; Stites, E.; Timmins, N.; Walden, V.; Gillingham, E.; Bushby, K. Humanitarian Evidence Synthesis and Communicaton Programme. Abridged Inception Report. Oxfam GB, Oxford, UK (2015) 52 pp.