Combined Evaluation of DG ECHO's Humanitarian Response to Epidemics and DG ECHO's Partnership with the World Health Organisation, 2017-2021

Clarke, N., Moussavi, S., Satin, E., and Veyrenche, J.P.
Publication language
Date published
01 Dec 2022
Thematic evaluation
Partnerships, COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, Strategic evaluation
Use in Humanitarian Programme Cycle
Final evaluation
European Commission

This combined, independent evaluation focused on DG ECHO’s humanitarian response to epidemics and its strategic partnership with WHO between 2017-2021.

The evaluation found that DG ECHO supported relevant and effective interventions that contributed to controlling disease outbreaks. Its strong field presence served as a platform to make appropriate funding decisions, and support humanitarian coordination and advocacy in epidemics. Initiatives to deploy civil protection assets in epidemic response show promise, but are currently underdeveloped. Specific policies on epidemics were lacking, and there were gaps between stated humanitarian policies and field-level practice. Major recommendations include bridging these gaps, fuller participation in relevant EU global health security initiatives, and expanding the specialist epidemics’ funding tool.

The DG ECHO-WHO partnership lacked a clear documented vision, and DG ECHO lacked a nucleus of health policy experts to guide strategy. Instead the relationship was governed by ad-hoc High-level Strategic Dialogue meetings where mutual priorities were discussed but not filtered down to operational levels. Opportunities to work across the nexus exist, but these are hampered by the lack of a common vision to guide collaboration. Recommendations include developing a common framework for engagement; intensifying multilevel dialogues; and collaboration on strategic programming that leverages both partner’s respective strengths.