Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Project

This project will create effective, joined up systems for monitoring, evaluation, and learning, creating new models and providing a strong evidence base to address the current lack of knowledge about effective humanitarian capacity building.

About the project

It is notoriously difficult to gather evidence about what works in humanitarian capacity building, due to the many variables that can affect success, and how difficult they are to measure. Because of this, there is little knowledge available on the subject. Furthermore, an effective evidence base cannot be built without collaboration and sharing across the humanitarian sector.

The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Project was created to work across each of the fourteen collaborative projects of the Department for International Development’s Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP).

MEL worked across the portfolio to create effective, joined up systems for monitoring, evaluation, and learning. It increased coherence between the projects and, crucially, provided us with an evidence base of what works in capacity building.

Operating at programme level rather than at the level of individual projects, the MEL project embedded five Regional Learning Advisors in the DEPP focal countries who collaborated with the projects in that region to maximise data collection, analysis and use at the national and regional levels. A central team provided the same support at the global level and ensured there were links between the five regions. An independent evaluation team was also contracted to accompany the programme throughout its three years.

Project achievements included:

- Enabled DEPP projects to create a working cycle of monitoring, evaluation and learning that made iterative improvements of their work
- Promoted effective learning and collaboration, by monitoring the progress of projects
- Pioneered new approaches in order to generate new evidence, invested in embedded capacity and innovative technology, tools and platforms
- Consistently evaluated the DEPP key assumptions / questions, and learning lessons from the DEPP projects and disseminated these to the other projects/ countries to ensure uptake of learning


Who was involved?

This project was delivered through a consortium led by Action Against Hunger (ACF-UK) and included Relief International, Partnership Brokers and Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

Where did the project take place?

The project worked in all ten DEPP countries - the Philippines, Myanmar, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mozambique.

Latest news


DEPP Learning Report 2016

The Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) is a three-year, £40m programme jointly implemented by the Start and CDAC Networks that aims to significantly improve the quality and speed of humanitarian response in countries at risk of natural disasters or conflict related emergencies. This programme is very much aligned with sector-wide discussions around the need to shift the focus of aid investment towards crises prevention, preparedness and building national humanitarian capacity in order to reduce the damage caused by disasters. In the past year, the DEPP has transitioned from its initial set-up phase to active implementation, and projects are now beginning to collect evidence around the many successes, challenges and results of their activities. This year’s DEPP Learning Report, produced by the DEPP Learning Project at Action Against Hunger, explores the extent to which the programme is leading to the changes it has set out to make. It does this by highlighting examples of key learning, reflections, successes and challenges from the 14 projects that make up the DEPP. This piece is aimed at both DEPP stakeholders as well as other humanitarian actors with a vested interest in emergency preparedness and response.


Blog Post

Challenging charity solutions to poverty: new business models

Yitna Tekaligne, country director, Christian Aid Ethiopia, discusses new approaches to tackling poverty and gives examples from four social enterprises in Kenya.


Blog Post

Lessons from Ethiopia and Myanmar on emergency response

Martin Dawes, CDAC Network, speaks to people involved in DEPP projects in Ethiopia and Myanmar.


Blog Post

‘I don’t understand localisation…but I know this is a good project’

Martin Dawes from the CDAC Network, a partner on the Disasters and Emergency Preparedness Programme (DEPP) discusses localisation and what it means to different people in the sector.


Find out more

MEL Project One Pager
The DEPP 2015 Learning Report full version
The DEPP 2015 Learning Report summary
The DEPP 2015 Learning Report MEL Project update
The DEPP 2015 Learning Report The External Evaluation - Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
MEL Project Team contact details
MEL Project MEL Systems work stream

Key contacts