Education Cannot Wait First Emergency Response Fund Evaluation
A large Mokoro team, led by Alta Fölscher, undertook this global evaluation of the First Emergency Response (FER) funding modality for Education Cannot Wait (ECW). The FER is one of three ECW funding modalities and is aimed at responding to the most immediate and urgent education needs in sudden-onset and escalating crises. Its purpose is to restore the education function, especially access to and equitable inclusion in education.
The objectives of this formative evaluation were: a) to determine the extent to which the FER modality is meeting its envisioned purpose and to better understand which aspects of its design and approach are working or require improvements in the future; and b) to assess the FER project portfolio’s collective outcomes at global and country level. The evaluation provided important lessons learnt and recommendations for the improvement of the FER modality as part of ECW’s strategic direction and engagement in the broader global Education in Emergencies and Protracted Crises (EiEPC) sector.
This evaluation used a mixed-method, theory-based approach. Data was collected through: global level interviews; analyses of FER financial and results data and documentation; analyses of global data on EiEPC needs and financing; country case studies conducted in Colombia, Niger, Nigeria and Mozambique; in-depth desk-based analysis of FERs in Afghanistan and Nepal and the first round of COVID-19 FER proposals; and a survey of FER grantees on the performance of FER operations and systems at country level. The evaluation also assessed the complementarity with and alignment between FERs and other funds financing education interventions in emergencies. The evaluation scope and process were affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Its scope was adjusted to include the first ECW COVID-19 round of FERs. Data collection and team synthesis processes were conducted mostly at a distance, although some in-person site visits were possible in the country case studies.