It is the International Rescue Committee's mission to respond to the world’s worst crises and help people to survive and rebuild their lives. It is our responsibility to fulfill that mission with the greatest possible degree of effectiveness and efficiency.
We therefore never stop questioning. Does a programme work? Does it work better than another? What is the impact? The viability? The relevance? Can it be improved? How? When? For whom?
The IRC combines research with hands-on day-to-day experience that develops real expertise. This approach enables us to save lives and jumpstart recovery, achieve optimal use of resources, and increase the likelihood of lasting solutions. By investing in research and evaluation, the IRC advances humanitarian aid, developing a long-term vision to answer fundamental questions about what works and why.
The IRC maintains a dedicated Research, Evaluation and Learning team whose job it is to ensure that we rely on evidence to design and operate our programmes and build evidence about what works in humanitarian and development programmes. The team develops cutting-edge tools and guidelines that enhance the IRC’s ability to monitor and evaluate the quality of work and track performance. They build our capacity for sound data collection and methods of analysis, and for demonstrating with precision the impact of our practitioners.
The IRC’s evidence-based, evidence-generating approach relies on strong partnerships with leading academic experts across a wide range of sectors and with researchers at leading universities in the USA, Europe and globally. And we regularly participate in academic networks for humanitarian aid and development.
As part of our ongoing efforts to evaluate the impact of our work and use the knowledge gained to improve our programs, the IRC has partnered with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Balsillie School of International Affairs on a critical review of impact evaluations of community-driven development (CDD) programmes.