IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hic/wpaper/193.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Can Rigorous Impact Evaluations Improve Humanitarian Assistance?

Author

Listed:
  • Jyotsna Puri

    () (International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie))

  • Anastasia Aladysheva

    (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI))

  • Vegard Iversen

    (University of Manchester)

  • Yashodhan Ghorpade

    (Institute of Development Studies)

  • Tilman Brück

    (SIPRI, ISDC and HICN)

Abstract

Despite the widespread occurrence of humanitarian emergencies such as epidemics, earthquakes, droughts, floods and violent conflict and despite the significant financial resources devoted to humanitarian assistance, systematic learning from such interventions using rigorous theory-based impact evaluations are very rare. The objective of this paper is therefore to examine the extent to which scientific impact evaluation methods can provide evidence to help improve the effectiveness and efficiency in humanitarian action. This paper explores the methodological options and challenges associated with collecting and generating high quality evidence needed to answer key questions about the performance of humanitarian assistance, including whether assistance is reaching the right people, at the right time, is bringing about the desired changes in their lives (effectiveness) and is being delivered in the right doses, ways and with manageable costs (efficiency). With the help of six case studies and drawing on real-life examples from the small but growing academic literature, we demonstrate how impact evaluation methods be used successfully and in an ethical manner to learn about how to improve humanitarian assistance. A key lesson from our review is that it pays to be prepared. Much information is being collected these days about the risks of various emergencies unfolding, be they sudden onset or slow onset emergencies. Hence national actors and international donors can prepare for these events and for conducting meaningful impact evaluations. Given the overwhelming needs and the lack of funds, doing more with limited resources is a key challenge for humanitarian assistance and impact evaluation is one way of achieving this.

Suggested Citation

  • Jyotsna Puri & Anastasia Aladysheva & Vegard Iversen & Yashodhan Ghorpade & Tilman Brück, 2014. "Can Rigorous Impact Evaluations Improve Humanitarian Assistance?," HiCN Working Papers 193, Households in Conflict Network.
  • Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:193
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.hicn.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/HiCN-WP193.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bhalotra, Sonia & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Cassan, Guilhem & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2014. "Religion, politician identity and development outcomes: Evidence from India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 4-17.
    2. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2004. "Can Labor Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 91-134.
    3. Frank Bickenbach & Eckhardt Bode & Peter Nunnenkamp & Mareike Söder, 2016. "Night lights and regional GDP," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(2), pages 425-447, May.
    4. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
    5. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
    6. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2008. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil's Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 703-745.
    7. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico & Moreira, Diana B., 2012. "Corrupting learning," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 712-726.
    8. J. Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2012. "Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 994-1028, April.
    9. Axel Dreher & Thomas Herzfeld, 2005. "The Economic Costs of Corruption: A Survey and New Evidence," Public Economics 0506001, EconWPA.
    10. David Albouy, 2013. "Partisan Representation in Congress and the Geographic Distribution of Federal Funds," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 127-141, March.
    11. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women's Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success?," IZA Discussion Papers 7771, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Raymond Fisman & Florian Schulz & Vikrant Vig, 2012. "Private Returns to Public Office," Working Papers id:4979, eSocialSciences.
    13. Yogesh Uppal, 2009. "The disadvantaged incumbents: estimating incumbency effects in Indian state legislatures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 9-27, January.
    14. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    15. Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Atif Mian, 2005. "Do Lenders Favor Politically Connected Firms? Rent Provision in an Emerging Financial Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1371-1411.
    16. Sheetal Sekhri & Sriniketh Nagavarapu, 2013. "Less Is More? Implications of Regulatory Capture for Natural Resource Depletion," Virginia Economics Online Papers 408, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
    17. Bhalotra, Sonia & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women’s Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success?," Economics Discussion Papers 9008, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    18. repec:esx:essedp:740 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Stephen Ansolabehere & James M. Snyder, 2006. "Party Control of State Government and the Distribution of Public Expenditures," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 547-569, December.
    20. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Min, Brian & Uppal, Yogesh, 2015. "Election cycles and electricity provision: Evidence from a quasi-experiment with Indian special elections," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 64-73.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    impact evaluation; methodology; research design; statistics; humanitarian emergency; humanitarian assistance; disaster; violent conflict; reconstruction; aid; development;

    JEL classification:

    • H84 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Disaster Aid
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:193. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alia Aghajanian) or () or () or (). General contact details of provider: http://www.hicn.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.