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Evidence & knowledgein humanitarian actionJohn Mitchell, ALNAP5 March 2013 l 28th ALNAP Annual Meeting lWashington DC
Why isEVIDENCE         Quality         Accountability         UnderstandingIMPORTANT?
What do we mean byEVIDENCE?
EMPIRICISMT h e e r o altdoe x i s t sObs wv r i na s a s uo e m e nitv eMe n r bjectr e a l etr i m e n t i n c tE x p i ...
But empiricism has itsDETRACTORS
What do we wantEVIDENCEFOR?        Do we need to intervene?            Will this work?            Is this the best thing t...
Humanitarianism is multidisciplinary.Is our evidence any good?Can we have common standards for evidence?
We c a m e u p w i t hFIVE                 Truth/accuracy                 Representativeness                 Significance ...
The context  Baseline dataoften not present
The contextAccess challenges
The contextMobile populations
The contextSensitivity of data in conflict situations
The contextLack of standard info collection    approaches and formats
The contextAtomised system: information in         many places
The context
HOW ARE WEDOING?     Needs assessment:     Early warning: more     Evaluation: mainly qualitative;     variety of challeng...
Do weUSE        Evaluations: selective use        Early warning: not always used;        over-reliance on outcome indicato...
Truth/accuracy RepresentativenessEmpiricist and phenomenologicalEVIDENCE                                   Quality        ...
There areMORE QUESTIONSThese include…THAN ANSWERS
How can we determine whenevidence is ‘good enough’ inhumanitarian contexts?
Does our thinking aroundevidence privilege or devaluecertain types of information?
What should the relative roles ofresearch and programmefunctions be in building anevidence base?
What can we learn from othersectors about generation anduse of evidence?
What role should evidence playin decision-making?
How can decision-makersbalance different types ofevidence?
Bri ngi ng peopl e togetherso conversati ons can happen
THANK YOUJohn Mitchell, ALNAP5 March 2013 l 28th ALNAP Annual Meeting lWashington DC
Evidence and knowledge in humanitarian action (John Mitchell, ALNAP)
Evidence and knowledge in humanitarian action (John Mitchell, ALNAP)
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Evidence and knowledge in humanitarian action (John Mitchell, ALNAP)

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Presentation by John Mitchell (ALNAP) at ALNAP's 28th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

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Transcript of "Evidence and knowledge in humanitarian action (John Mitchell, ALNAP)"

  1. 1. Evidence & knowledgein humanitarian actionJohn Mitchell, ALNAP5 March 2013 l 28th ALNAP Annual Meeting lWashington DC
  2. 2. Why isEVIDENCE Quality Accountability UnderstandingIMPORTANT?
  3. 3. What do we mean byEVIDENCE?
  4. 4. EMPIRICISMT h e e r o altdoe x i s t sObs wv r i na s a s uo e m e nitv eMe n r bjectr e a l etr i m e n t i n c tE x p i y, d i sf r o p o t h e sos s e r v e rHy m ib
  5. 5. But empiricism has itsDETRACTORS
  6. 6. What do we wantEVIDENCEFOR? Do we need to intervene? Will this work? Is this the best thing to do?
  7. 7. Humanitarianism is multidisciplinary.Is our evidence any good?Can we have common standards for evidence?
  8. 8. We c a m e u p w i t hFIVE Truth/accuracy Representativeness Significance Generalisability AttributionCRITERIA
  9. 9. The context Baseline dataoften not present
  10. 10. The contextAccess challenges
  11. 11. The contextMobile populations
  12. 12. The contextSensitivity of data in conflict situations
  13. 13. The contextLack of standard info collection approaches and formats
  14. 14. The contextAtomised system: information in many places
  15. 15. The context
  16. 16. HOW ARE WEDOING? Needs assessment: Early warning: more Evaluation: mainly qualitative; variety of challenges of accurate, approaches, local voices absent; reliance on of attribution analysis expert challenges knowledge
  17. 17. Do weUSE Evaluations: selective use Early warning: not always used; over-reliance on outcome indicators Policymaking: evidence use Needs assessment: dependence on depends on ownership unrelated factors; monitoring for updateEVIDENCE?
  18. 18. Truth/accuracy RepresentativenessEmpiricist and phenomenologicalEVIDENCE Quality Accountability Understandingused to decide when and how to respondSignificance Generalisability Attribution
  19. 19. There areMORE QUESTIONSThese include…THAN ANSWERS
  20. 20. How can we determine whenevidence is ‘good enough’ inhumanitarian contexts?
  21. 21. Does our thinking aroundevidence privilege or devaluecertain types of information?
  22. 22. What should the relative roles ofresearch and programmefunctions be in building anevidence base?
  23. 23. What can we learn from othersectors about generation anduse of evidence?
  24. 24. What role should evidence playin decision-making?
  25. 25. How can decision-makersbalance different types ofevidence?
  26. 26. Bri ngi ng peopl e togetherso conversati ons can happen
  27. 27. THANK YOUJohn Mitchell, ALNAP5 March 2013 l 28th ALNAP Annual Meeting lWashington DC
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