Dr Liesbet Heyse, Assistant Professor in Organization Sociology/Network of Humanitarian Action & Chamutal Eitam, PhD Researcher & Marie Curie Fellow ‘Organizational Learning and Evaluative Practices in INGOs’ It was wonderful to receive the news that our humanitarian assistance Genome project was awarded a large grant from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund. The idea for the project originated at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, by the academics Chamutal Eitam and Liesbet Heyse. They developed two methods to systematically analyze evaluation reports into the determinants of organizational learning and project performance, based on academic insights and operational evidence. The grant from the HIF has allowed our individual research projects the opportunity to merge. In partnership with ICT Company Soluto, the Emergency Capacity Building (ECB), and ICCO-KerkinAktie the Humanitarian Genome project has been put into action. We combined our efforts to produce a proposal for the creation of a search engine that will allow the extraction and synthesis of information and lessons learned from evaluations across the humanitarian sector. The proposal writing effort was a pleasure in itself, sparking exciting ideas and avenues for exploration through our project. With ALNAP and ECB being the frontrunners in the sector, we built our innovation around their existing efforts and academic insights into performance management. We hope that our innovation will contribute to the advancement of more efficient, effective and pragmatic lesson-learning and evaluation use in the sector. We are now in the midst of preparing the next stage of our project. In order to succeed several practical matters require our attention, such as: a detailed project plan, preparing the signing of the grant agreement and discussing the specifics of our collaboration with partners. We are taking the exciting first steps in developing the content of the project, whilst the project itself will commence on the 1January 2012. We’re keen to get underway, and as they say… “Good beginnings promise a good end….”!
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