Evaluating humanitarian action

ICRC, health workshop, Mendi
Photo: ICRC / Reuben Tabel

How do we know whether the objectives of humanitarian action are being met?

Humanitarian action is all about saving lives, alleviating suffering and maintaining human dignity during and in the aftermath of crises and natural disasters. Evaluation of Humanitarian Action (EHA) provides systematic and objective examinations to draw out lessons learned, which help to improve policy and practice and enhance accountability. 

ALNAP regularly releases guidance to support evaluation practitioners, from our EHA Guide, to our most recent paper with CaLP on challenges when evaluating cash-based assistance. In 2025 we will release an updated version of our popular guidance on Evaluating humanitarian action using the OECD DAC criteria.


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Real-Time Learning and Real-Time Evaluation approaches during COVID-19

Watch this ALNAP – UNEG event recording, which features a panel discussion chaired by Susanna Morrison-Metóis, Senior Research Fellow with ALNAP.

Definition: Evaluation of Humanitarian Action (EHA)

The systematic and objective examination of humanitarian action, to determine the worth or significance of an activity, policy or programme, intended to draw lessons to improve policy and practice and enhance accountability. A closer look at some of the key terms in this definition reveals the following:

A planned and consistent approach, based on credible methods.

Stepping back from the immediacy of the humanitarian action and getting some perspective, basing fi ndings on credible evidence.

Exploration or analysis to determine the worth or significance of the action.

Drawing lessons to improve policy and practice and enhance

accountability are the reasons for doing an evaluation.