Following our activities in Central America after Hurricane Mitch, then in Afghanistan and Chad, Groupe URD has now been running its Haiti Observatory for 2 years. Having published 9 Newsletters and carried out almost 30 evaluations and a number of research projects, training courses and discussion workshops, our objectives have always been to:
- support learning mechanisms among humanitarian actors and within Haitian institutions through the analysis and sharing of lessons drawn from evaluations;
- build the capacity of Haitian state and civil society organisations in relation to commissioning, conducting, supporting and making use of evaluations.
The topics that we have dealt with have evolved with the humanitarian context. The Observatory Newsletter has two sections: Haiti Observatory News, with information about evaluations and upcoming training courses, experience sharing workshops and conferences; and Lessons Learnt, which includes articles which compile and summarise findings written by the Observatory team or by external authors.
At the beginning of 2014, 3 years after the terrible disaster which devastated a large part of the country and after the withdrawal of many humanitarian operators, what content would be most useful? What are the subjects which should be explored in greater detail? What lessons can still be drawn from the actions carried out in order to make the transition to development programmes more effective ? What should be kept? What needs to be added? What needs to be changed ?
At Groupe URD, we are always on the lookout for ways to improve our work so that we can respond to the needs of the sector as appropriately and judiciously as possible. We will therefore be making contact with you, dear readers, in the near future, in order to hear what you think about our activities to help us with our strategic and editorial choices for 2014. In the meantime, we would be very happy to receive emails from you about what you have found the most useful. This first issue of 2014 includes: an article by the International Federation of the Red Cross which describes the learning project which it has put in place which aims to promote organisational change by integrating the lessons learnt in Haiti into its procedures and operational methods; the key messages from an iterative evaluation of projects funded by Swiss Solidarity in Haiti; and the lessons learnt from British Red Cross urban livelihoods programmes, and specifically in Delmas 19.