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Bridging the Evidence Gap: Webinar series

Evidence is essential for effective, ethical, and accountable humanitarian action. 

However, gathering evidence in an emergency is fraught with difficulties; short timescales, political concerns, and important ethical considerations must all be taken into account. In recent years, significant progress has been made across the humanitarian sector to fill the evidence gap. But how do we bridge the gap between high quality evidence and humanitarian practice?

Bridging the Evidence Gap, ALNAP's latest webinar series, will highlight new tools, research and initiatives which have taken on a more evidence-driven approach to humanitarian action. Through this series we will explore the methodologies and creative designs on the cutting edge and their direct relevance to practitioners.

What will the series cover?

  • New evidence- or data-driven approaches to key humanitarian challenges 
  • ‘Cutting edge’ methodologies and creative designs in humanitarian research and their relevance to practitioners and policy makers
  • Critical discussions of how researchers and practitioners are trying to improve the quality of humanitarian evidence and data
  • Ethical questions concerning the use and production of evidence and data

This webinar series is part of ALNAP’s continued work on evidence and evaluation. It is one of the ways in which ALNAP is delivering on our commitment to the World Humanitarian Summit on improving the use of evidence in humanitarian action.



Latest webinar: Up to standard: The role of evidence in the Sphere Standard revision process

 3.5m sq per crisis-affected person. 15 litres of water per person, per day. These indicators, part of the Sphere Standards, are used around the world every day by humanitarians. But how are standards of quality established? Are they based on evidence? Why does it matter?

In this latest webinar, ALNAP and key leads in the Sphere revision process discuss the sources behind the standards and discuss the gaps in evidence for informing quality standards. 

Video | AudioTranscript


Who's out there? Getting an accurate picture of humanitarian presence

How can we use evidence to get an accurate and well-informed understanding of the presence of humanitarian actors on the ground? Particularly when working in highly insecure settings, where international organisations must operate under constrained access and where local efforts to meet humanitarian need can often go unnoticed.

In the fourth webinar in this series, we spoke to Humanitarian Outcomes and OCHA on ways to map humanitarian presence and the challenges encountered.

Video | Audio |  Transcript

Flying Blind? Gathering and using quality information in situations of constrained access

How can humanitarian actors obtain accurate information in crises where their ability to access affected populations is limited? In contexts where humanitarian organisations and communities are exposed to high levels of insecurity, it can be extremely challenging to gain a good picture of needs as well as keep track of the reach and effectiveness of programming.

In this third webinar of the ALNAP Bridging the Evidence Gap series, GPPi, ACAPS, and ADESO shared how they are tackling the challenge of how to gather accurate data on needs and programming when access is constrained.

Video | AudioTranscript

Using Evidence in Humanitarian Resource Allocation

From public debates over aid budgets to the World Humanitarian Summit's focus on finance reform, there is a rising interest in demonstrating that humanitarian funds are being allocated effectively and efficiently. But, to make sure this happens, humanitarian donors need evidence; evidence on needs, context, and the cost, quality and effectiveness of different intervention types.

Drawing on the vast knowledge and insights of ECHO, DFID, and Development Initiatives, this webinar will looked at how evidence and data are being used by donors to improve their decision-making, priority setting, and funding allocations.

Video | Audio | Transcript


Planning with evidence: cutting edge practices

Evidence is essential for effective, ethical, and accountable humanitarian action. But how should it be used in planning humanitarian programming? For the first webinar in the series, ALNAP was joined by four organisations to find out more about their ground breaking work in answering this question.

3ie, Oxfam, Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, and the International Rescue Committee have developed new tools and approaches for the humanitarian sector. During the webinar, the presenters discussed the challenges, accomplishments and practical uses of their new approaches for practitioners.

 Video | Audio | Transcript



The debate around evidence in the humanitarian sector is only just starting.

What is evidence and what do we need it for? How good is the evidence that is currently available? How can we improve the quality and use of evidence? Does evidence get used by decision-makers?

In Insufficient evidence? ALNAP looked into these questions and identified six criteria to judge the quality of evidence that is generated and used in humanitarian action:






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