How well are development & humanitarian actors doing in their #COVID19 response & recovery efforts? How can they improve?

The Lessons from Evaluation series by the COVID-19 Global Evaluation Coalition provides timely summaries of evaluation evidence to inform the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These demand-driven summaries, are authored by different Coalition participants and drawn from the collective evidence base of all.


Nine key lessons were identified across five functional areas- Partnerships and Operations, Management, Communications, Human Resources, and Opportunities for Innovation.
Based on the emerging evidence and lessons discussed, the following key messages represent areas where the available evidence converged. These are categorised as areas that seem to be going well (green); areas where there are warning signs, concerns or mixed reports (yellow); and areas that seem to be off track and may require corrective action. These initial conclusions are provided in the spirit of real-time learning to encourage reflection; further evidence and analysis are needed on all of these topics.
Areas that are going well:
The speed of initial responses, both for new support specific to COVID-19 and for adjusting programming and allowing flexibility in ways of working and partner requirements
Embrace of innovations and a higher relative risk appetite to leverage ideas in support of response efforts
Building on trusted partnerships and leveraging existing co-ordination mechanisms to quickly deploy resources at scale

Areas of emerging concern (potentially problematic):
Operational and implementation challenges, including displacement effects of COVID-19 that affect other priorities, and reduced abilities of implementing agencies, government counterparts and beneficiaries to fully participate and engage in activities
Gaps in collection, consistency and reliability of financial and results data and, reduced participation in monitoring, reporting, and evaluation
Challenges in consistent, effective communication (internal and external)

Areas that may require corrective action:
Unsustainable pressures on staff
Insufficient focus on systems strengthening, including health systems strengthening, and preparations for a large-scale vaccine rollout
Organisations insufficiently reactive and slow to revisit decisions or update strategies as the crisis continued, new information became available, and the scale and duration of the pandemic came into focus

Synthesis Report: Full report of the synthesis of early lessons and emerging evidence on the initial COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. Also available in French and Spanish.
Summary Note: A two-page note summarizing the findings of the early synthesis report, Also available in French and Spanish.

The COVID-19 Global Evaluation Coalition is an independent collaborative project. The Coalition is made up of the development evaluation units of countries, United Nations organisations and multilateral institutions. The Coalition provides credible evidence to inform international co-operation supporting non-clinical responses to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in developing countries – helping to ensure that lessons are learned and that the global development community delivers on its promises. The Coalition will support and communicate both individual participants’ evaluations, and joint work involving multiple participants. This collaborative approach will maximize synergies and learning, while reducing duplication of effort in evaluating different elements of the COVID-19 pandemic response.