Multi-year humanitarian funding in Ethiopia

Lewis Sida, Simon Levine, Bill Gray and Courtenay Cabot Venton

Executive summary

In early 2014 the UK Department for International Development (DFID) commissioned Valid Evaluations to carry out a thematic evaluation of their multiyear humanitarian funding (MYHF) approach in Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Pakistan. This forms part of the Humanitarian Innovation and Evidence Programme (HIEP) and is one of a number of studies into new or emerging humanitarian approaches. This report summarises the findings in Ethiopia and is one of four summative country reports. A final synthesis report will draw together the overall findings of the evaluation.

At the outset of the evaluation, DFID’s multi-year (MY) humanitarian portfolio for Ethiopia consisted of three connected grants to the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund (EHF), managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

This thematic study, with substantive research taking place between 2015–2017, aimed to generate learning on how far a MYHF approach has enabled DFID programmes to ensure a timely and effective humanitarian response; build disaster resilience; and achieve better value for money (VFM).

The evaluation aimed to answer three main questions:

  1. Are vulnerable individuals and households more resilient to shocks and stresses as a result of DFID-funded (and other) interventions? What lessons can be learned about how to best enhance resilience in protracted crisis? How do investments in resilience contribute to or compromise delivery of humanitarian relief and eventual outcomes for people affected by crisis?

  2. Has the availability of contingency funding enabled DFID and its partners to respond more quickly and effectively when conditions deteriorate?

  3. To what extent does DFID MY and contingency funding provide better VFM than annual funding for DFID and partners?

To access the full report go to Humanitarian Policy Group (ODI - HPG)