Social Terrain will be hosting the 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 ALNAP guide on Evaluating Humanitarian Action, which will be the foundation for this training. See

This will be the 11th year that John and Margie run this training workshop which has received consistently positive feedback from participants, and is constantly updated to address cutting edge challenges and innovations in EHA. Over this time they have trained and mentored hundreds of humanitarian aid professionals. The trainings have proved invaluable for colleagues to gain practical skills in carrying out, and/or managing evaluations of humanitarian action, to 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 the affected population?
  • When access is constrained – how do you evaluate when you have limited or no direct access to affected people and geographic 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 change and improved performance 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 also a qualified and experienced coach.

John Cosgrove

John is a multi-sectoral professional
with strong evaluation, assessment
and communication skills. He has
excellent training, planning, project
management and problem solving
expertise. Mr Cosgrave has broad experience in over forty countries covering all aspects of managing both relief and development. He has extensive experience in designing and delivering training, facilitation and mentoring. His training style is based around participatory methods, founded on a core of teaching of key concepts, tools and information.

What past participants had to say
  • Relevant, practical, balanced & informed, inspiring, essential
  • Illustrated through experience and real life examples
  • The course was outstanding

The Lumen Rooms, 88 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9RS, UK |

Located where Tavistock Place meets Regent Square

Course Fees
  • 1) Organisations (Government, UN, NGOs etc.): £995 + VAT
  • 2) Individuals (Self funded evaluators/private consultants etc.): £885 + VAT
  • 3) Students: £795 + VAT
  • 10% discount for early bird registration and payment received by the end of February 2018.
  • 10% discount for organisations sending 2 participants, and 20% for 3 participants

Cancellations up to 30th April will incur a 50% cancellation fee. No refunds will be given for Cancellations after 1 May (unless participants can find a paying replacement.)

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
  • Memory stick with presentations
  • ALNAP handbook
  • Buffet lunch
  • Refreshments (coffee/tea etc.)

This is a non-residential training. Social Terrain can advise on accommodation in close proximity to the training venue.