Monitoring and Evaluation

 

Profiled evaluation

Humanitarian Assistance in the Pacific: An evaluation of the effectiveness of Australia’s response to Cyclone Pam

When Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu in March 2015 it was the most powerful cyclone recorded in the Southern Pacific Region. Over half of Vanuatu’s population, an estimated 188,000 people, were affected. Homes, livelihoods and essential services were damaged or destroyed.

As the scale of the destruction exceeded the response capacity of national systems, the Vanuatu Government requested international assistance. Humanitarian organisations flooded into Vanuatu and a global appeal raised A$58 million. The Vanuatu Government activated comprehensive national disaster plans and made it clear that it intended to control the humanitarian response. The scale and the speed of the international response made this difficult.

This evaluation reviewed Australia’s response to Cyclone Pam to identify how DFAT can better support Pacific countries to prepare for, respond to, and recover from rapid onset emergencies. Australia’s response was evaluated in the context of the policy frameworks at the time, notably the Humanitarian Action Policy 2011 and the Protection in Humanitarian Action Framework 2013. For the evaluation to be forward looking, recommendations were formulated in the context of updated policy frameworks, recognizing that the policy landscape has changed since the response.

Kate Sutton, Humanitarian Advisory Group Director, co-led this evaluation with Karen Ovington, Office of Development Effectiveness DFAT