Evaluation of Disaster Risk Reduction & Climate Change Adaptation Programmes and Advocacy

About the publication

  • Published: July 2016
  • Series: --
  • Type: NGO reviews
  • Carried out by: Lezlie C. Moriniére and Marilise Turnbull
  • Commissioned by: --
  • Country: Nepal, Nicaragua, Uganda
  • Theme: Climate and environment
  • Pages: --
  • Serial number: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organization: Redd Barna
NB! The publication is ONLY available online and can not be ordered on paper.


Save the Children Norway (SCN) has invested in efforts to reduce the risk of disasters for decades. For its current strategic period, SCN decided to transition towards a more integrated approach for DRR/CCA within the thematic area of education.


At the end of 2015, SCN commissioned an external strategic evaluation of the programmes, projects and advocacy it has undertaken related to DRR and CCA between 2010 and 2015. This is the first global evaluation of SCN’s DRR and CCA portfolio, the results of which are expected to orient DRR and CCA programming and advocacy through the 2016-18 strategic cycle and beyond.


The approach used was a mixed-methods research design, intended to explore DRR and CCA efforts holistically and iteratively, from multiple vantage points. This included portfolio analysis and E-survey, document review, Key Informant Interviews, and three case studies to get higher resolution evidence on a subset of the complex and comprehensive portfolio.

Key findings

Is breadth an opportunity? From whichever angle it is surveyed, SCN’s DRR/CCA portfolio is broad. It spans numerous countries (20+), and addresses a wide specter. To realize this potential, however, its achievements and weaknesses need to be better understood and addressed.

Are SCN’s DRR/CCA efforts relevant? SCN’s DRR/CCA portfolio is relevant to global risk distribution and concentration. The proactive DRR/CCA portfolio shows moderate alignment with the world’s most at-risk countries. The portfolio is also relevant to sub-national risk profiles. In proportion to needs, however, it appears less relevant; the need for DRR/CCA, as indicated by numerous risk indexes, largely outweigh the investment.

Are SCN’s DRR/CCA efforts effective? Projects meet their stated objectives, advocacy influences national and global targets, and the overall portfolio directly addresses at least two of the priorities agreed at Sendai. Unfortunately, these achievements are not adequately documented or measured: examples of high quality and effective child participation exist but are not systematically measured. Critically, greater effectiveness in DRR/CCA will require more deliberately and consistently applying a systems approach, aligning advocacy with multi-level programming.

Are SCN’s DRR/CCA efforts efficient? Gaps and overlaps in monitoring (financial and other) systems make it impossible to measure efficiency in terms of investments in relation to results. However, other types of efficiencies and inefficiencies have been detected during this evaluation. By working at multiple levels, through government structures, and using the school-community nexus, SCN achieves results more efficiently. A greater emphasis on capacity-building within SCN is necessary if SCN wishes to integrate DRR/CCA technical assistance into Education more systematically – and potentially mainstream it across all sectors.

Is SCN’s work on DRR/CCA having an impact? While some programmes appear to be generating positive impacts, this is not consistently evaluated or reported.

Are SCN’s DRR/CCA efforts adequately connected? SCN is effectively partnering and forming alliances with civil society organisations and governments to achieve shared objectives for DRR and CCA. This is clearly a current strength of SCN’s approach, and an area for potential growth, scale-up and sustainability.

What is SCN’s added value? Areas of added value emerged organically from analysis of the portfolio. SCN’s child-centred approach marks a difference with many other organisations’ approaches. Similarly, SCN’s focus on DRR/CCA in education and particularly on the topic of school safety targets priority areas for children and development.


1. Understand your current portfolio from a full-spectrum perspective

  • to capitalize on good practice and aim for greater impact - Enhance Knowledge Management to better track DRR/CCA in funding, beneficiaries, results, evaluations, indicators; Invest in coding, indicators, mapping, multi-country case studies, post-project impact evaluations.
  • Consider enhancing further investing in, capturing, applying and disseminating learning on areas such as: Child-centred resilience in fragile states; Child participation in resilience/risk management; Children as agents of change in school and community.

2. Recast and manage DRR/CCA efforts as “Resilience”

  • Promote an all-threat analysis, including climate change trends, at the programme assessment, strategizing and proposal writing stages;
  • Work in synergy with other members in SC also progressing on mainstreaming - Add risk indices to future evolution of country selection
  • Think through integration vs. mainstreaming:2definition, decision and strategy and set up HR to reflect the decision
  • Consider using all of the 5 SCI themes as entry points and prepare guidance for integration into the sectors not existing to date (Education and child protection exists3)
  • Consider mainstreaming resilience in all sectors (full spectrum
  • across the traditional humanitarian-development divide, and holistic in terms of including multiple sectors and levels)
  • Consider fighting for SCI-promoted10% to make deepest changes

3. Enhance Advocacy for Resilience

  • Go beyond global advocacy; apply a ‘systems approach’ for advocacy, i.e. understanding and taking advantage of the linkages between levels, sectors and actors.
  • Strongly request greater collaboration from other SCI members.

Comments from the organisation

Save the Children Norway has developed a management response and is improving its DRR/CCA work as per the follow-up plan from the evaluation. 

Published 22.08.2017
Last updated 22.08.2017