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Review of the World Food Programme's Humanitarian Assistance and Development Effectiveness

This report presents a review of the humanitarian and development effectiveness of the World Food Programme (WFP). WFP is both a humanitarian and development United Nations agency. It is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. In emergencies, it distributes food where it is needed to save the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After the cause of the emergency passes, it focuses on development, using food to help communities rebuild their lives.

The purpose of this review is to provide an independent, evidence-based assessment of the humanitarian and development effectiveness of WFP. The review was based on the content of 52 WFP evaluations published between 2006 and 2011.

Through this review, CIDA learned that:

  • Evaluations reviewed report that WFP programs are highly relevant to the needs of the target groups and developing country governments. Factors contributing to success in this area include the quality of WFP's needs assessments and the nature of the arrangements of the partnerships created.
  • Evaluations reviewed report that WFP is effective in achieving most of its humanitarian and development objectives and expected results. A key factor contributing to WFP effectiveness is its strong logistics capacity. However, this effectiveness is weakened at times by program interruptions due to commodity shortages or unpredictability of donor funding.
  • Findings on sustainability of the benefits/results of WFP programming represent an area for improvement for the organization. Some programs had weak exit strategies and did not build sustainability into program design.
  • Efficiency represents another challenge for WFP in some areas. Program interruptions were identified as hindering success in this area.
  • WFP has not been as effective in addressing the cross cutting theme of gender equality. Successes, however, were noted in the areas of the provision of sex-disaggregated data and some improvements for women and girls.
  • The cross cutting theme of environmental sustainability was not adequately addressed in the evaluation reports reviewed, which prevented the review from identifying any results in this area.
  • While WFP is effective in its use of evaluations, monitoring and reporting on results is a challenge. Factors that detracted from success in this area include insufficient capacity for monitoring and inadequate performance frameworks for programming.

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Review of the World Food Programme's Humanitarian Assistance and Development Effectiveness (PDF, 1.36 MB, 113 pages)
Review of the World Food Programme's Humanitarian Assistance and Development Effectiveness — Highlight Sheet (PDF, 335 Ko, 1 page)