Skip to main content

Evaluation report: IFRC-wide response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Publication date
View original



The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have permeated nearly every aspect of daily life for communities in nearly every country around the world. No governments, corporate entities, small businesses, non-profits or humanitarian agencies have been spared. It has required sudden and dramatic changes to work practices, felt even more acutely by organisations which are both responding to the needs of communities on the ground while at the same time trying to ensure their own survival.

The pandemic came on the heels of a timely resolution of the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 2019 entitled Time to act: Tackling epidemics and pandemics together. The resolution encourages States and components of the Movement to strengthen cooperation and coordination and for National Societies to use their auxiliary role to support efforts in community-centered disease prevention, control, preparedness and response. It brings into focus the needs of people in vulnerable and high-risk situations and importance of protecting the safety of staff and volunteers.

The mid-way point of the IFRC-wide Emergency Appeal for COVID-19 provides a useful opportunity to take stock of the successes and challenges of the response from global to local level, across the network of 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (National Societies), with a view to informing the response going forward and to identify learning opportunities for future responses.

Similar to the pandemic response itself, this evaluation faced many challenges attempting to remotely capture and analyse experiences across all regions in vastly different national contexts, and to address the enormous scope and scale of the many different interventions being carried out by the IFRC network.

The evaluation process involved over 300 key informant interviews and focus group discussions, and an Evaluation Survey with nearly 1,000 responses, including National Society frontline staff and volunteers and analysed a large volume of data and documentation.

This report is the culmination of a 6-month process which evaluates the relevance, effectiveness and coherence of the IFRC-wide COVID-19 response and identifies opportunities and recommendations going forward.

It is hoped that the findings and recommendations from this evaluation provide useful insights into the current response for leaders and decision-makers across the IFRC network and help to guide further research and action to better support communities in meeting the challenges that lie ahead.