DEC Bangladesh floods appeal evaluation

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
Originally published

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) invites tenders by an independent team to carry out an evaluation of the use of DEC funds raised via the Bangladesh Floods Appeal. This will involve a comprehensive review, both in the UK and Bangladesh. The evaluation will begin on 24 May 1999, with a Final Report by end August. Tenders, by the team leader, are required by no later than Fri. April 23, 1999. Terms of Reference will be available on this web site or ReliefWeb under Humanitarian Vacancies or in the AlertNet Jobs Section, or fax 0171 580 2854 from the week beginning 29 March 1999.

Independent Evaluation of Expenditure of DEC Bangladesh Appeal Funds

Terms of Reference
(approved 25/03/99)

1. Background

1.1 General

In July 1998, following more than three weeks of continuous rain, Bangladesh experienced its worst floods in living memory. The fact that the floods were Asia-wide serves to emphasise the exceptional, overwhelming and complex character of the emergency. Within Bangladesh alone over 25 million people were made homeless and 50 of its 64 districts flooded. Five months on, many livelihoods remain shattered in a country that will take years to recover.

DEC rules require an independent evaluation of the expenditure of appeal funds to be initiated in the eighth month following an appeal launch. This provides an important mechanism to:

  • increase transparency and accountability to fundraising partners and the donating public;
  • enhance good practice in emergencies, through individual and collective learning;
  • identify the added value of the DEC appeal in the overall context of the humanitarian response.

The evaluation report is made public within twelve months of the launch.

1.2 Use of DEC funds

On the 19th September the DEC launched a national appeal in response to the emergency. Eleven DEC agencies participated in the appeal. The appeal has generated some £3.5million in pooled funds to date, supporting a wide range of humanitarian responses amongst which:

  • Search and rescue
  • Food aid
  • Water and sanitation
  • Health care
  • Shelter and infrastructure
  • Food security
  • Clothing and household materials
  • Credit/Cash for work programmes etc.

2. Key Purpose of the Evaluation

To assess the appropriateness, effectiveness and impact, including the strengths and weaknesses, of DEC funded projects stated objective.

3. Specific Focus for the Bangladesh Independent Evaluation

- The relationship between DEC funded activities and local disaster preparedness plans in the context of Bangladesh’s well developed flood mitigation and response mechanisms.

- Whether agencies’ activities served to strengthen or impede existing indigenous coping strategies.

- Whether agencies’ activities reflect lessons learnt from previous flood programmes.

Particular consideration to be given to:

- Assessment processes

- Level of beneficiary participation:

i) Involvement of beneficiaries in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of agencies’ humanitarian programmes.

ii) How beneficiaries are defined, identified and reached.

iii) Types of participation and reason for choice.

- Issues of gender, generation, and needs of vulnerable groups (e.g. disabled, HIV/AIDS)

- Collaboration, coordination and duplication within the DEC grouping and in respect of other key players, in particular the Bangladeshi Government and UN agencies.

- Issues of standardisation.

- Issues of geographical coverage (e.g. agencies with existing presence and those without).

- Adequacy of management, accounting, reporting and monitoring procedures by both members and their local partners.

4. Method

It is anticipated that the evaluation team will:

  • undertake a brief review of previous evaluations of Bangladesh flood operations (many are documented in ALNAP).
  • develop a sampling framework to address the complexity and diversity of the DEC funded programmes.
  • take full account of the customs, practices and politics of the situation, as well as the different approaches adopted by DEC agencies in Bangladesh.
  • seek the active participation of implementing partners, local staff, Bangladeshi nationals including Government, and beneficiaries (men and women). These, should be invited to give their views as to the assistance provided, the way they were selected, and any other relevant views of the agency in question.
  • undertake a cost benefit analysis re inputs and immediate or anticipated returns.

5. The Report

It is anticipated that the outline of the evaluation report will be as follows:

  • Executive Summary
  • Emergency Context
  • Methodology
  • Appeal Management
  • Analysis and Commentary
  • Conclusions & Recommendations

6. Evaluation Team and Timeframe

The team should bring a sufficient balance of the following: professional competence (e.g. socio-economist/health specialist etc) Bangladeshi understanding, practical and analytical skills and gender awareness. The field team(s) will include Bangladeshi nationals and should be gender balanced.

It is envisaged that a maximum of 130 person-days will be allotted for the consultants to carry out the evaluation.

The timeframe must be sufficient to allow for agency comments on draft reports and revisions. The final report must be available by the end of August.

7. Management of Tenders and Evaluation

7.1 Tenders:

Tenders to be made to the DEC Secretariat. A maximum 5 page summary should be submitted with appendices of team member CVs and an indication of availability.

The final decision on tenders will be taken by the DEC Executive Committee, following recommendation from the DEC Operations Sub-Committee and comment by DEC Chief Executives. Key factors will be:

Framework, methodology, team balance (gender and professional experience), Bangladesh experience, timeframe and budget, key constraints, distinctive competence(s), and comments on terms of reference.

  • professionalism of the bid
  • experience of the team, both from a practical and analytical perspective
  • degree of parity with the terms of reference
  • likelihood of achieving the DEC timetable
  • realism, not just competitiveness, of the cost submission

Tenders will be accepted from ‘freelance’, as well as company or academic teams.

7.2 Management of evaluation:

Administration and overall co-ordination, including monitoring progress, lies with the DEC Secretariat. The evaluation Team Leader must file a report of progress weekly from the commencement of the evaluation, but should alert the Secretariat immediately when serious problems or delays are encountered. Approval for any significant changes to the evaluation timetable will be referred to the DEC Operations Sub-Committee.

7.3 Timing

The closing date for submissions is April 23rd. Submissions must be made to the DEC Secretariat. It anticipated the selection process will be completed by May 17th.

8. Further information

For further information please contact:

Jamie McCaul, Executive Secretary
52, Great Portland Street
London, W1N 5AH
Tel. 0171 580 6550
Fax 0171 580 2854


Background Information on the DEC

1. The DEC Objective

The objective of the DEC is to support UK voluntary sector NGOs in their task of alleviating acute human suffering amongst those least able to withstand the effects of a major overseas disaster, by:

  • providing an accredited national forum for joint fundraising in order to maximise the funds raised and facilitate immediate commitment from participating agencies;
  • creating a focal point for the response of the public, the broadcasters and others to such disasters;
  • facilitating agency cooperation, coordination and communication;
  • ensuring funds raised are used in an effective, timely and fully accountable way.

2. Conditions of Participation in a DEC Appeal

Participating agencies must submit to an independent evaluation of expenditure of DEC pooled funds in the eighth month following the launch of the appeal. Expenditure of DEC pooled funds must be completed within 6 months of the appeal launch or funds returned for reallocation. All participating agencies may bid for returned funds. Reallocation of funds is done on the basis of the programme most likely to meet the DEC’s Objective. In addition, participating agencies undertake to provide the following documentation.

  • '48 Hour Plan of Action' - a summary of intended humanitarian response, outlining area of need, activities and locations proposed, and beneficiaries targeted.
  • '4 Week Plan of Action' - a detailed plan of the programme(s) inclusive of budget
  • '7th Month Report of Expenditure' (Final Report) - the report, due on the 14th April 99, provides financial accounts with accompanying narrative outlining reasons for deviation from the 4 Week Plan, if any, and the agency’s view of the success or failure of the programme(s).

These, along with the DEC’s ‘Objective’ and ‘The Red Cross, Red Crescent and NGO Code of Conduct’, to which all DEC members are signatories, provide key reference documents for the evaluation.

3. Apportionment of DEC Pooled Funds

DEC pooled funds are disbursed on the basis of a pre-established formula intended to reflect a particular agency's capacity to meet the DEC’s Objective. see Appendix 2 for summary of disbursements to date.

4. Agencies Activities and Locations - see Appendix 3 for a summary



Participating Agencies
% Share
Agency Totals £
British Red Cross
Care International UK
Christian Aid
Concern Worldwide
Help the Aged
Save the Children
World Vision
Disbursement Total
£ 3,379,250.00