Introduction, scope and methodology of the evaluation

AuthorDirectorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) (European Commission), Landell Mills International
Final Evaluation Report: Part A- Afghanistan Country Programme Evaluation
1. Introduction, scope and methodology of the
1.1. Introduction
This report relates to an independent evaluation of the Directorate General for European Civil Protection
and Humanitarian Aid’s (DG ECHO) humanitarian programmes in Afghanistan for the period 2014-2018.
The exercise was undertaken in combination with an evaluation of DG ECHO’s global partnership with
the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). While these two strands of the combined evaluation were
undertaken by the same team and ran in parallel, they constitute two different subjects of analysis. There
are common elements of methodology that apply to both components of the evaluation, each requiring
distinct research, analysis and synthesis, in line with the key evaluation questions in the combined Terms
of Reference (ToR, as in Annex 1). This part of the report presents the methodology, findings, conclusions
and recommendations of the Afghanistan country evaluation, conducted during January-April 2019, with
an intensive field visit undertaken during March-April. The report on NRC partnership is presented in Part
The evaluation started with an inception phase during which the Evaluation Team (ET), in consultation
with and guidance from the Inter Services Group (ISG) of DG ECHO, produced a detailed methodology
for conducting the evaluation. This was followed by an extensive desk research to map all available
evidence from secondary sources before the ET undertook the country visit to gather field data.
1.2. Humanitarian context and DG ECHO priority actions in
1.2.1. Key humanitarian issues and challenges
Protracted conflict, deteriorating security situation and challenges of access
Afghanistan is one of the countries listed in the top quartile in DG ECHO’s Crisis Assessment Index (score
3),8 and the security situation has been deteriorating rapidly since the withdrawal of international troops
in 2014. Large swathes of the country are now under the control of armed opposition groups (AOG), most
notably by the Taliban which now controls more districts than ever since its ouster in 2001. Continuing
insecurity and violence has rendered humanitarian access difficult for relief agencies, with increased
numbers of incidents targeting aid workers. A UN Strategic Review9 at the end of 2017 observed that,
instead of a post-crisis/transition context, Afghanistan is in a situation of protracted conflict.
Forced displacement, migration and increasing number of returnees from neighbouring
Afghanistan has witnessed numerous waves of forced displacement and migration, associated with four
decades of conflict. Escalating insurgency in several provinces over the past four years10 has created a
8 The Crisis Assessment Index scores countries in the three dimensions, namely: uprooted people index, natural disaster index and
conflict index. Each dimension has a value that is the result of combining indicators. If countries are in the top quartile (25%), they score
3; in the bottom quartile, they score 1; in the middle 2 quartiles, they score 2. (Source:
site/files/annex_3_inform-ci_2019_new.pdf; accessed 11 January 2019)
9 United Nations (2017). Special report on the strategic review of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Report of the
Secretary-General A/72/312S/2017/696, 2017
10 An indication of the escalation in conflict affecting civilians is evidenced in the civilian deaths due to conflict, as reported by UNAMA:
during 2014, there were 3,188 recorded civilian (non-combatant) deaths due to conflict, which increased to (highest levels recorded

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