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Tsunami Evaluation Coalition

On 23 February 2005, eight weeks after the devastating earthquake and tsunamis the previous December, a group of predominantly humanitarian agencies met in Geneva. Aware of the added value joint evaluation can bring to the humanitarian sector, their intention was to create a sector-wide, multi-agency collaboration on evaluation of the tsunami response in order to optimise sector learning.

It was also hoped that this collaboration would reduce the need for duplication of effort in individual agency evaluations.Another significant intention was to focus collaborative efforts on recurring systemic problems in humanitarian action, with analysis concentrated at the policy rather than programmatic level.

After this meeting, many of the participating agencies joined together to form the Tsunami Evaluation Coalition (TEC). This independent learning and accountability initiative carried out the most intensive study of a humanitarian response since the Rwanda multi-donor evaluation in the mid-1990s. This was also the first time since then that the sector had sought to scrutinise itself as a whole. The TEC was managed by a Core Management Group (CMG) of agencies, and the ALNAP secretariat was the facilitating platform for the TEC.

The primary aim of the TEC is to improve the quality of humanitarian action - including the linkages to longer-term recovery and development - by learning lessons from the international response to the tsunami. To optimise this learning, TEC member agencies worked together to sponsor five joint thematic evaluations on selected aspects of the response. The reports from these five studies form the basis of the TEC's Synthesis Report.

In addition to its primary aim, the TEC had two further aims.

  • To provide accountability to both donor and affected-country populations for the overall response. The TEC did this by, for example, producing reports suitable for public consumption, and holding evaluation feedback workshops to validate and create ownership of TEC findings.
  • Testing the TEC approach as a possible model for future joint evaluations. The TEC organised three learning reviews  and also circulated a survey questionnaire to its members.

Why the TEC formed

  • The agencies that formed the TEC were interested in maximising learning from the tsunami response though joint evaluation, with a focus on topics that would benefit from a humanitarian-sector-wide approach rather than an individual agency one.
  • It was hoped that this collaboration would reduce the need for individual agency evaluations as well as duplication of effort.
  • Another significant intention was to focus collaborative efforts on recurring systemic problems in humanitarian action, with analysis concentrated at the policy rather than programmatic level.
  • Participating agencies also believed that joint evaluation increases the likelihood of evaluation findings being used to their full potential, and agencies involved in the TEC were committed to following up on findings of the joint evaluations and subsequent synthesis report.

Member agencies

The TEC had over 40 member agencies from across the humanitarian sector. These agencies represented a broad coalition of UN agencies, donors, (I)NGOs, the Red Cross / Red Crescent Movement, and research groups.

Agencies have been involved in the TEC in two ways. Formal members are agencies involved in at least one of the following: the Core Management Group (CMG); evaluation steering groups; evaluation working groups; funding different components of the TEC process.

Wider TEC members are agencies that shared their ToRs, lessons and reports with the TEC, as well as contributing to discussions concerning, for example, dissemination and utilisation of TEC findings. Many of these agencies are committed to promoting TEC findings and recommendations and their individual agency evaluations are included as secondary sources of the synthesis report.

Formal TEC members

UN agencies (7): 
FAO, OCHA, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP, WHO

Research networks (9): 
ALNAP, DARA International, Feinstein International Famine Centre, Groupe URD, HPG/ ODI, ICMH (International Centre for Migration & Health)

Donors (16): 
AusAid (Australia), BMZ (Germany),CIDA (Canada), Danida (Denmark), DfA (Ireland), DfID (UK), IOB/ MFA (Netherlands), JICA & MoFA (Japan), MFA (France), MFA (Luxembourg), NORAD (Norway), NZAid (New Zealand), SDC (Switzerland), Sida (Sweden),USAID (United States)

NGOs and RC (14): 
ActionAid International, AIDMI (India), CAFOD, CARE International UK, Cordaid, IFRC, Oxfam GB, Oxfam NL, RedR, Save the Children - UK, Tearfund UK, World Vision International, World Vision Canada

TEC Core Management Group

The TEC's Core Management Group (CMG) was established to provide general oversight and direction for the TEC on behalf of its wider membership. Members of the CMG have included representatives from a total of 14 agencies, and CMG agencies were also core funders of the TEC.

CMG Members

  • Donors: Danida, Sida, SDC.
  • UN agencies: FAO, OCHA, UNDP, UNICEF, WHO.
  • (I)NGOs / RC movement: CARE UK, AIDMI, World Vision International, IFRC.
  • Other: ALNAP secretariat, Groupe URD.

The CMG met approximately every six weeks between February 2005 and March 2007. Click here for CMG meeting minutes.

Main TEC publications and related documents

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