Social Terrain will be hosting Europe’s next annual 3-day Evaluation of Humanitarian Action (EHA) training workshop given by the highly experienced evaluators and trainers Margie Buchanan-Smith and John Cosgrave. Margie and John are co-authors of the seminal Evaluation of Humanitarian Action Guide (ALNAP, 2016) – The Guide will be the foundation for this training.

This will be the 10th year that John and Margie run this training workshop, which has received consistently positive feedback from participants. Over this time they have trained and mentored hundreds of humanitarian aid professionals. The trainings have proved invaluable for colleagues to learn, 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.

Program 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 standard 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 with the affected population?
  • When access is constrained: how do you evaluate when you have limited or no access to affected people and geographical 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 real change based on your evaluation?
  • Ethics – What ethical dilemmas are you likely to face and how can you deal with them?
Learning Outcomes:
  • Greater clarity of the purpose and objectives of EHA, and of the principal challenges of doing EHA.
  • Better understanding about how to select your evaluation questions, and of the most relevant frameworks against which humanitarian assistance should be evaluated.
  • A practical approach to planning, designing, implementing and following through on evaluations of humanitarian assistance.
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 is also a qualified and experienced coach.

John Cosgrove

John is a multi-sector professional with broad experience of humanitarian action in over 65 countries and of training in over 30 counties. John served as the evaluation advisor and coordinator for the evaluation of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami (one of only two sector -wide humanitarian evaluations). John combines learning from nearly 40 years work with conceptual frameworks and solid evidence from research to deliver training that is firmly grounded in the realities of the humanitarian sector.


Roffey Park Institute Forest Road, Horsham, West Sussex. RH12 4TB, UK |

Roffey Park offers easy access to major air, rail, and road links and free car parking. Directions will be provided to all participants.

Course Fee:

1) Corporate (Government, UN, NGOs etc.): £1,800;

2) Individuals (Self funders/private consultants etc.): £1,440;

A 10% discount on the above fees for early bird registration and payment received by 31st March. (Cancellation after 30th April will incur a late cancellation fee of 30%)

Please note that all participants should have a basic knowledge of English and be able to express themselves in the English language.

Course fee includes:

  • Course & materials
  • En-suite accommodation & buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner

NB. The course fee does not include transport to and from the venue.


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