3ie supports seven impact evaluations under this programme that provide rigorous evidence to improve the quality of life of people living in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. These impact evaluations examine important questions related to nutrition; food security; resilience; water, sanitation and hygiene; and multi-sectoral humanitarian programming. We expect these studies to answer priority questions on effective and efficient ways to deliver humanitarian programming to improve recovery and build resilience of vulnerable and crises-affected populations.

As part of this programme, 3ie supports high-quality impact evaluations and systematic reviews to improve evidence on community-driven reconstruction; peace-building programmes; cash-based humanitarian interventions; and water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives, among several others. Funding for this programme is provided by UNOCHA-Common Humanitarian Pooled Fund in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Danida and the World Food Programme.

Why more evidence is needed

UNOCHA predicts that in 2018 over 135 million people globally will need humanitarian assistance and protection. Despite the large number of people in need of assistance, little evidence exists on the effectiveness of aid interventions in challenging humanitarian environments. Two evidence gap maps and a 3ie scoping study highlight the lack of high-quality studies that show the causal relationship between assistance and changes in targeted results.

3ie’s evidence programme

In 2014, 3ie, with the support of UK aid and USAID, launched the humanitarian assistance grant-making programme to increase the stock of high-quality, policy-relevant evidence in the humanitarian sector.

To develop and ensure the relevancy of this programme, 3ie, in collaboration with these donors, hosted a consultative event in 2015 to discuss the scope of the programme and the evidence gaps that exist. At the event, we presented findings from a scoping paper and a methodology working paper that identified innovative methods of measuring impact in humanitarian conditions.

Latest publication: Synthesis of evidence on nutrition programmes in the Sahel

This paper synthesises findings from 3ie-supported impact evaluations of programmes implemented by the World Food Programme to prevent and treat moderate acute malnutrition and improve food security in four countries in the Sahel region. WFP has presented the studies and the synthesis at the executive board meeting and is organising webinars to share the lessons and findings. According to a management response to the synthesis, WFP is using the synthesised findings to validate its global nutrition policy (2017-21) and improve operational strategies in the Sahel and globally.  

View synthesis paper | View synthesis brief

New video: How to use innovative methods for humanitarian evaluations

Watch our new how-to video, in which evaluation specialist Tara Kaul highlights some of the lessons we have  learned in supporting the generation of useful and timely evidence in fragile and conflict affected humanitarian settings.

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Partner with us: humanitarian evidence

Humanitarian-BD-flyer3ie has more than a decade of experience in disaster-stricken, fragile and conflict-affected countries. We welcome collaboration with organisations working to increase the production and use of high-quality evidence and improve how humanitarian assistance is designed and delivered.  Download flyer


Related content

What methods may be used in impact evaluations of humanitarian assistance?

Working paper 3ie 2014

Since 2005, more than US$90 billion has been spent on humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian crises are complex situations where demand for aid very often exceeds supply.

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Around 70 per cent of fragile states have seen conflict since 1989 and 30 per cent of official development assistance is spent in fragile and conflict-affected situations.

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This review by Doocy and Tappis assessed and synthesised existing evidence on the effects of cash-based approaches on individual and household outcomes in humanitarian emergencies.

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Learning summary Brief 3ie 2016
This learning brief draws from the preliminary challenges and lessons from the ongoing impact evaluations under 3ie’s Humanitarian Assistance Evidence Programme.

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Scoping paper 3ie 2014

Most areas in the humanitarian sector suffer from a paucity of evidence.

Impact evaluation in the post-disaster setting

Working paper 3ie 2009

Alison Buttenheim synthesises the guiding principles and analytic frameworks for post-disaster impact evaluation, and applies it to a design for the evaluation of relief and recovery programmes fol

The effects of vouchers for essential household items on child health, mental health, resilience and social cohesion among internally displaced persons in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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This impact evaluation report highlights the impact of essential household items vouchers provided to recently displaced persons and vulnerable host families in the Democratic Republic of Congo at fairs organised by UNICEF and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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Impact evaluation Brief 3ie 2020
This brief is based on the findings of a 3ie-supported impact evaluation measuring the impacts of support to households for better adult mental health, child health, social cohesion and resilience.

Impacts of increasing community resilience through humanitarian aid in Pakistan

Impact evaluation 3ie 2019
In this impact evaluation report, authors evaluated a humanitarian aid package aimed at building resilience of local communities and enhancing recovery and coping capacities.

Impacts of the World Food Programme’s interventions to treat malnutrition in Niger

Impact evaluation 3ie 2018

Authors of this evaluation assessed the impact of a grouping of nutrition interventions, including an agriculturally sensitive food for assets programme, on moderate acute malnutrition in Niger.

Impact evaluation of the World Food Programme’s moderate acute malnutrition treatment and prevention programmes in Sudan

Impact evaluation 3ie 2018
Report authors evaluated the effectiveness of a food-based treatment programme and additional supplementary feeding interventions on moderate acute malnutrition incidence and prevalence in children, pregnant and lactating women in Sudan.

Impact evaluation of WFP’s programs targeting moderate acute malnutrition in humanitarian situations in Chad

Impact evaluation 3ie 2018
Authors of this evaluation looked at the differences in impact of a prevention programme on moderate acute malnutrition on children between 6-23 months during the pastoral and agricultural lean season.

Cash-based approaches in humanitarian emergencies

Systematic review 3ie 2016

This review by Doocy and Tappis assessed and synthesised existing evidence on the effects of cash-based approaches on individual and household outcomes in humanitarian emergencies.

Evidence for peacebuilding evidence gap map

Evidence gap map

This map presents existing evidence on the outcomes of peacebuilding interventions in conflict-affected settings in L&MICs. Interventions were mapped in five thematic areas, including legitimate politics, security, justice, economic foundations, and revenues and social services.

There are no replication studies