Program Update | EAST AFRICA

Assessing Impact and Value for Money at the Economics of Resilience to Drought Learning Event

James Odour, NDMA CEO, giving his opening remarks during the Economics of Resilience to Drought learning event. Photo credit: Africa Lead

Nairobi, Kenya (14 March 2018)

Africa Lead facilitated the Economics of Resilience to Drought Learning Event on March 14, 2018 at the Trademark Hotel in Nairobi. Ninety-three participants from donor agencies, implementing partners, PREG members, representatives from the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) staff from the Kenya and East Africa Mission attended the half-day learning event. James Oduor, NDMA CEO and Patrick Wilson, USAID/Kenya and East Africa Deputy Mission Director, opened the event. Courtenay Cabot Venton, the principal researcher of the Economics of Resilience to Drought study, was the lead facilitator for the learning event.

The main objective of the event was to create awareness and disseminate widely the findings of the Economics of Resilience to Drought study commissioned in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia by the USAID Center for Resilience in collaboration with NDMA. The learning event set out to create a platform for stakeholders such as government, donors, international non-governmental organizations, implementing partners, the United Nations, and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to develop key steps on the best way forward in terms of use of the information in improving resilience programming and showing value for money.

Courtenay Cabot Venton, the Lead facilitator presenting the findings of the study report to participants during the Economics of Resilience to Drought Learning Event. Photo credit: Africa Lead

Patrick Wilson, USAID/Kenya and East Africa Deputy Mission Director emphasized in his opening remarks that, “building partnerships among all the key stakeholders in resilience for joint programming is important to support economic growth and reduce poverty in the region.”

Presentations and discussions focused on the impact and economic value of early humanitarian responses, safety nets, and investments in resilience on humanitarian assistance visa via late humanitarian responses. Partners widely agreed that early humanitarian responses to drought and other disasters are more cost effective, saves lives, and reduces losses as opposed to responding after households are engaging in negative coping strategies and prices are destabilized.

Additionally, the learning workshop involved five group discussions by which partners discussed the highlights of the study, gaps that needed to be addressed in the study, practical steps for translating the study findings into programming, and the implications of the findings to donors and policy makers.

By the end of the event, partners identified key next steps and recommendations to improve future resilience programming and humanitarian assistance: governments at the national and sub-national levels need to take lead in resilience building initiatives, invest more in early warning and early response systems to facilitate timely actions to mitigate adverse effects and losses, adequately budget for resilience building, design more adaptive programming, collect evidence based data to guide resilience planning and programming, and develop a policy framework for coordinating humanitarian assistance.

Tyler Beckleman, Deputy Mission Director for the Somalia Mission Field Office, closed the event by encouraging the participants to take resilience programming forward and conduct follow-up studies and learning events to inform future programming and planning.

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