The mission of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are affected by conflict and disaster and to help them survive, recover and gain control over their futures. Fulfilling this mission requires a resolute commitment to working more efficiently and effectively. Towards this end, the IRC maintains a dedicated professional Research, Evaluation and Learning (REL) team to ensure that the organisation is both outcome-driven and evidence-based in its approach.
The REL team is developing targeted tools and guidelines to enhance the IRC’s ability to track performance and improve the quality of its programmes, including through systemic measurement and data collection; robust methods for monitoring and analysis, such as impact evaluations of interventions; and improved accountability to clients and donors. In addition, the REL team regularly contributes to presentations and publications that share lessons learned and best practices, engaging with policy, academic and practitioner communities and developing new approaches to advance the effectiveness of the IRC’s work and that of the broader humanitarian community.
Member since: 2009 | Country: United States | www.rescue.org
Overview of engagement
The IRC was one of the first non-government organisation (NGO) members of 3ie and recommitted to 3ie membership in 2009. The IRC has engaged closely with 3ie for the humanitarian assistance thematic window, the innovations in increasing immunisation thematic window and the Evidence for Peacebuilding (e4p) scoping work. In addition, 3ie and the IRC regularly work together to propose and design conference sessions and workshops on issues affecting NGOs conducting impact evaluation.
Examples of 3ie engagement
- Community of practice: In 2015 IRC hosted a consultation event at its New York Headquarters for the e4p Initiative – a joint endeavour of 3ie, Innovations for Poverty Action and the World Bank. 3ie Deputy Director Annette Brown presented the e4p evidence gap map to 25 participants. Feedback generated at the event was used to inform the e4p scoping paper.
- Community of practice: In 2014 IRC participated in a panel on impact evaluations in conflict areas at the ‘Making Impact Evaluation Matter’ conference jointly hosted by 3ie and the Asian Development Bank. More information on the panel can be found here.
- Peer learning: IRC borrowed 3ie’s Evidence Gap Map approach to develop 10 Evidence Maps that examine related research and studies on IRC’s outcomes focus on power, safety, education, economic wellbeing, health, cash transfers, service delivery and humanitarian emergencies. More information and links to IRC’s gap maps can be found here.
- 3ie services: 3ie Deputy Director Brown has provided advice to IRC staff on topics including cost effectiveness analysis, evidence to policy guidelines, measurement and others.
- Community of practice: IRC and 3ie jointly developed and delivered a webinar on cost effectiveness analysis for InterAction.
- 3ie services: Deputy Director Brown served as chair for an IRC-organised panel session at the 2015 InterAction Forum, titled ‘Show Me the Money! Meeting the Demand to Demonstrate Value for Money through Monitoring and Evaluation Approaches’. Panelists included former 3ie Board Commissioner and current IRC member representative Jeannie Annan as well as speakers from Pact and ChildFund International.
- 3ie services: Phil Davies presented an evidence gap map workshop for IRC staff and consultants. 3ie also provided quality assurance services for some of IRC’s in-house search strategies.
As the IRC has deepened and detailed our approach to being outcomes-driven and evidence-based, I’ve found 3ie membership to be one of our most valuable resources, whether I’m looking for a technical sounding board, a thought partner or a source of high-quality training, regardless of the outcome or sector!
During the last two years, 3ie has given constructive feedback on the IRC’s Outcomes and Evidence Framework, which spans outcome areas of health, safety, education, economic wellbeing and power; arranged rapid evidence analysis training to fill out the expertise of our research staff; and worked with us to present an approach to cost analysis
Anjuli Shivshanker – Senior Coordinator, Evidence to Action