Annual report 2006-07
Message from the ALNAP Chair and the Head of the ALNAP Secretariat
This year saw the launch of the synthesis report of the Tsunami Evaluation Coalition (TEC) in London and Geneva. The findings and implications were also the theme of the 20th Biannual Meeting of ALNAP, held in Rome and hosted by FAO and WFP. The TEC report has prompted a great deal of discussion and debate, and some hard questions are now being asked about the reasons behind insufficient progress in improving humanitarian performance. And rightly so.
While ALNAP member agencies are addressing many of these issues individually through their own internal mechanisms, we believe that ALNAP also has an important collective role to play. We are committed to translating evaluation findings and recommendations into better-quality humanitarian assistance. Our five-year strategy will thus aim to increase ALNAP’s focus on utilisation. This means improving the quality and utilisation of evaluations to enhance positive outcomes, for both individual agencies and the entire system. One of the key points arising from previous Reviews of Humanitarian Action is that the system has not yet been able to use learning to shape organisational change in a way that truly delivers a better service. Therefore, we believe that a renewed emphasis on utilisation is both timely and essential.
On a related issue, we are pleased to report that this year’s Review of Humanitarian Action resonated positively with an even broader audience than usual, and we have had extremely encouraging feedback. The chapter by Peta Sandison on the utilisation of evaluations provided a clear and challenging analysis of constraints on the effective take-up of evaluation recommendations, and was appreciated by evaluators and practitioners alike. It also provided useful recommendations for promoting change. The chapter by Hugo Slim, on what humanitarians can realistically expect to achieve, provided a more detached and insightful view on the limitations of our sector, and was welcomed by many as refreshing and helpful. The thorough exploration of key issues identified in the evaluation synthesis by Tony Vaux was also appreciated. For the first time, we had a special launch of the Review, at the Overseas Development Institute in London, which was attended by over 100 people.
As part of our continuing efforts to reach out to practitioners in the field, our 19th Biannual Meeting was held in Nairobi, hosted by CARE, on the theme of food security. Feedback has indicated that the creation of an ALNAP discussion space was highly valued by actors in the region, and has led to more collective work around quality and accountability. We are determined to hold more biannual meetings in regional locations, starting with Senegal in December 2007. CARE provided exceptional hospitality, and we were welcomed with a keynote address by Geoffrey Chege, CARE Regional Director. It was with great regret and much sadness that we learned of his tragic death in January 2007, and we will remember Geoffrey Chege as a gifted speaker and a man of boundless creative energy.
As ALNAP enters its tenth anniversary year, we look forward to working with all Full and Observer Members, to continue to mature and develop the Network. We would like to thank you for your commitment to ALNAP and all the energy and ideas that you bring to the table each year.
Eleanor Monbiot, Chair
John Mitchell, Head of ALNAP Secretariat