Evaluation of ReliefWeb 2006

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 01 Sep 2006
In conjunction with the ten year anniversary of ReliefWeb, OCHA commissioned an independent evaluation of the project to assess whether, in line with its mandate, it meets the needs of its target audiences, and provides accountability to donors, OCHA management and users. The six month evaluation took place from February to July 2006 and was undertaken by two consultants from Forum One Communications.

The evaluation team used a combination of broad audience surveys, detailed in-person interviews, and its own expert review and judgment to assess the usage, value and success of ReliefWeb. It surveyed more than 1,300 ReliefWeb users working in more than 139 countries and about 80 "content partners" residing in 31 countries. It conducted about 50 face-to-face discussions with a total of more than 150 individuals across Nairobi, Geneva, London, Washington, Brussels and New York. These discussions also included phone-based interviews with groups of humanitarian workers at Regional Office locations in Dakar, Panama, Bangkok and Kobe.

The evaluation found that ReliefWeb is generally fulfilling its mandate and mission, doing well at disseminating timely information on humanitarian issues, serving decision-makers at headquarters, and strengthening the humanitarian community response capacity. ReliefWeb is highly regarded by users in terms of credibility and reliability of its sources, and the neutrality and independence of its perceived views and information. ReliefWeb is not viewed as favorably with regard to its lack of 'representativeness' in publishing content from smaller NGOs.

The evaluation makes specific recommendations under the following five areas: Increase Value to Information Shared on ReliefWeb; Partnership Growth; Audience Growth; Products and Services Improvement; and Management Strengthening.
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