Tearfund has a wealth of knowledge and experience in delivering disaster response programming stretching back to 1968 and the Biafra famine. It was with this depth of experience that Tearfund embarked upon a response to Pakistan’s floods in late 2010. Tearfund and its partners responded quickly and the decision was made to deploy a Tearfund Operational Programme (TOP) to directly implement a response. This method of engagement, though similar to its Disaster Management Team (DMT), was new to Tearfund, so it was a response Tearfund was keen to learn from.

Internal organisational learning is a core principle of all Tearfund operations and Jigsaw was asked to undertake an in-depth evaluation of Phase two and three of the TOP response, which took place in Sindh province, Pakistan, between 01 January 2011 and 30 September 2013. Phase two included facilitating the return of beneficiaries to their homes, providing transitional shelters, food security and livelihoods assistance, cash-for-work programmes, WASH activities and disaster risk reduction activities. Phase three focused on rehabilitation: building community resilience to future flooding and strengthening the community through development activities.

The evaluation had two overarching aims:

  • to strengthen accountability of the TOP; and
  • to increase internal organisational learning

Jigsaw Consult worked closely with Tearfund to develop a robust methodology for the evaluation. The methodology was built around semi-structured interviews that incorporated detailed questioning in key areas outlined by Tearfund. The analysis focused on six broad categories: Impact, Stakeholders, Output, Process, Resource and Organisational Capacity Perspectives.

A wide range of stakeholders were interviewed to ensure a breadth of perspectives. Jigsaw Consult visited 13 beneficiary communities and conducted 85 face-to-face semi-structured interviews with beneficiaries (67), Tearfund staff (13), implementing partners (2), government authorities (2) and co-ordinating bodies (1). The analysis drew on the experiences of those involved in each element of Phase two and three of the Pakistan flood response. The evaluation report highlighted the key strengths of the response and with a set of recommendations for Tearfund’s future disaster response interventions.

"It has been a pleasure to work with Jigsaw Consult. They produced a high quality report which has enabled Tearfund to identify areas for improvement, as well as celebrate successes. Having a consultant who understood the context and the vision of Tearfund was invaluable to us.'" – Rachel Rigby, Programme Officer, Tearfund

Throughout the evaluation, Jigsaw Consult worked alongside both TOP in-country staff and Tearfund’s head office in the UK. The fieldwork was delivered in a supportive and equipping manner. Tearfund’s head office is now working with the TOP in Pakistan to implement the evaluation’s recommendations.