Evaluating Humanitarian Action


Start date


End date



The 3 day Evaluation of Humanitarian Action (EHA) training workshop will be given by the highly experienced evaluators and trainers Margie Buchanan-Smith and John Cosgrave. Margie and John are co-authors of the seminal ALNAP guide on Evaluating Humanitarian Action, which will be the foundation for this training. See www.alnap.org.

This will be the 11th year that John and Margie run this training workshop which has received consistently positive feedback from participants, and is constantly updated to address cutting edge challenges and innovations in EHA. Over this time they have trained and mentored hundreds of humanitarian aid professionals. The trainings have proved invaluable for colleagues to gain practical skills in carrying out, and/or managing evaluations of humanitarian action, to share their evaluation experiences and to network.

The overall aim of the training workshop is to make evaluations more effective in contributing to the improved performance of humanitarian interventions and to enhance the quality of the evaluation process. This course is recommended for evaluators, managers and users of evaluations. Previous evaluation experience is not necessary, but some knowledge and experience of humanitarian action is required

Course facilitators

- Margie Buchanan-Smith Margie is an experienced evaluator of humanitarian action, with UN agencies, NGOs and governments. She has led numerous evaluations, often in conflict environments; has managed and commissioned evaluations; and is regularly requested to act as a peer reviewer for humanitarian evaluations. Margie has 30 years’ experience of humanitarian action. She is a Senior Research Associate with the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute in London, and is a Visiting Fellow with the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University. She is an accomplished trainer and also a qualified and experienced coach.

- John Cosgrave John is a multi-sectoral professional with strong evaluation, assessment and communication skills. He has excellent training, planning, project management and problem solving expertise. Mr Cosgrave has broad experience in over forty countries covering all aspects of managing both relief and development. He has extensive experience in designing and delivering training, facilitation and mentoring. His training style is based around participatory methods, founded on a core of teaching of key concepts, tools and information

What you will learn

Course Outline

  • The purpose of EHA - what is the reason for evaluating humanitarian action? What can evaluation achieve?

  • Initiating and planning EHA - what steps should you take when commissioning and planning an evaluation, to ensure it is utilization-focused?

  • Evaluation questions – how do you select your evaluation questions, and relate them to the standar d evaluation criteria?

  • Frameworks for evaluation - what frameworks can you use to assess performance against broader policies and standards?

  • Evaluation methods - what are the typical evaluation methods in EHA? How can you use both qualitative methods and quantitative methods? Specifically, how can you consult the affected population?

  • When access is constrained - how do you evaluate when you have limited or no direct access to affected people and geographic areas?

  • Management - how can you manage the evaluation process to produce a robust evaluation? What challenges are you likely to encounter?

  • From Data to Reports - how do you turn the findings from your fieldwork into a useful evaluation report?

  • Use and dissemination of EHA - how can you promote change and improved performance based on your evaluation?

  • Ethics - what ethical dilemmas are you likely to face and how can you deal with them?


There will be an opportunity during the training to work on two or three upcoming evaluations, in small working groups. If you/ your organization are planning an evaluation in the coming weeks or months (whatever your role- as manager, evaluator, or as potential user of the evaluation), would you like to work on it during the training? This would be a great opportunity to do a lot of the thinking and preparation for a forthcoming evaluation, applying the learning from the training with input from other course participants. If you have a planned evaluation in mind, do let us know in advance if you can; we’d be happy to discuss it with you. We will also have some of our own real-life case studies to use as well.

Finally, here is the link to the ALNAP EHA guide which we will be using as the main training resource throughout the training: http://www.alnap.org/resource/23592.aspx

How much does it cost?

Individual: £600 (please email [email protected] to access this ticket)

Organisation: £800

Plus, pay within one month of the course start date for a 10% early bird discount!


Any questions? Check out our FAQs: https://www.redr.org.uk/Training-Learning/Events/Frequently-Asked-Questions and our T&Cs: https://www.redr.org.uk/Training-Learning/Events/Terms-and-Conditions-Europe-and-Global-Region

RedR UK is committed to making our courses accessible to any organisation, regardless of size. We offer course scholarships for eligible participants who meet specific criteria. For more information on RedR Scholarships and how to apply, please click https://www.redr.org.uk/Training-Learning/Events/Scholarship-Places 

If you have any questions about this course or require further information, please contact [email protected]

In case of any complaints, please email [email protected] 

RedR UK is committed to making sure everyone’s needs are met, including people of different genders, ages and disabilities. If you have any specific access requirements or learning needs RedR are committed to try and make reasonable adjustments to support your needs, please email [email protected] or phone 0207 840 6000 at any stage of the booking process to talk directly to RedR about your needs.



RedR UK, 250a Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, London, Greater London, SE115RD

Google Map