Process Evaluation of the Irish Aid COVID-19 Funded Response in Sierra Leone

Publication language
Date published
30 Aug 2021
Impact assessment
COVID-19, Evaluation-related
Sierra Leone
Concern Worldwide

The COVID-19 Response project was funded by Irish Aid and implemented by a consortium of Concern Worldwide (lead), GOAL and Trόcaire.

The project's overall objective was "to strengthen community's resilience to prevent and reduce the spread and impact of the coronavirus pandemic" in nine districts in Sierra Leone.

The evaluation found that an adaptive and reflective approach was clearly articulated in the project design phase and incorporated in the original proposal as a critical element of project success. Contextual changes and the potential for shifts in priorities were anticipated in the design as risks that would be mitigated by an adaptive approach.

Project adaptations to respond to other shocks besides COVID-19 were anticipated, and the project proposal included a statement of intention to seek approval from the donor for adaptation and budget realignment in the event of other shocks.

There was an emphasis on using data to inform decision-making to ensure vulnerable groups were served, and the project produced the intended results. The consortium partners monitored the external environment in the changing pandemic context and used external and internal data sources to identify the need for change. The original project proposal was revised to articulate the changing context and the changes in assumptions on which the implied project theory of change was built.

Evidence from project reports, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews point to the fact that the adaptive approach promoted humanitarian standards such as targeting and account-ability, among other attributes. In terms of targeting, the project used available secondary and primary data sources and needs assessments to identify needs for change. The feedback received from local partners and stakeholders were relied on to make changes.