Special Evaluation/Report

Learning From Failure 2022

In 2019 and 2020, CARE published Learning from Failures reports to better understand common problems that projects faced during implementation. Deliberately looking for themes in failure has helped CARE as an organization and provides insight on what is improving and what still needs troubleshooting. This report builds on the previous work to show what we most need to address in our programming now.
As always, it is important to note that while each evaluation in this analysis cited specific failures and areas for improvement in the project it reviewed, that does not mean that the projects themselves were failures. Of the 72 evaluations in this analysis, only 2 showed projects that failed to deliver on more than 15% of the project goals. The rest were able to succeed for at least 85% of their commitments. Rather, failures are issues that are within CARE’s control to improve that will improve impact for the people we serve.
To fully improve impact, we must continue to include failures in the conversation. We face a complex future full of barriers and uncertainties. Allowing an open space to discuss challenges or issues across the organization strengthens CARE’s efforts to fight for change. Qualitative analysis provides critical insights that quantitative data does not provide insight into the stories behind these challenges to better understand how we can develop solutions.
CARE reviewed a total of 72 evaluations from 65 projects, with 44 final reports published between February 2020 and September 2021 and 28 midterm reports published between March 2018 and October 2020. Seven projects had both midterm and final evaluations at the time of this analysis. For ease of analysis, as in previous years, failures were grouped into 11 categories (see Annex A, the Failures Codebook for details).

The most common failures in this year’s report are:
• Understanding context—both in the design phase of a project and refining the understanding of context and changing circumstances throughout the whole life of a project, rather than a concentrated analysis phase that is separate from project implementation. For example, an agriculture project that built it’s activities assuming that all farmers would have regular internet access, only to find that fewer than 10% of project participants had smartphones and that the network in the area is unreliable, has to significantly redesign both activities and budgets.
• Sustainability—projects often faced challenges with sustainability, particularly in planning exit strategies. Importantly, one of the core issues with sustainability is involving the right partners at the right time. 47% of projects that struggled with sustainability also had failures in partnership. For example, a project that assumed governments would take over training for project participants once the project closed, but that failed to include handover activities with the government at the local level, found that activities and impacts are not set up to be sustainable.
• Partnerships—strengthening partnerships at all levels, from government stakeholders to community members and building appropriate feedback and consultation mechanisms, is the third most common weakness across projects. For example, a project that did not include local private sector actors in its gender equality trainings and assumes that the private sector would automatically serve women farmers, found that women were not getting services or impact at the right level.
Another core finding is that failures at the design phase can be very hard to correct. While projects improve significantly between midterm and endline, this is not always possible. There are particular kinds of failure that are difficult to overcome over time. Major budget shortfalls, a MEAL plan that does not provide quality baseline data, and insufficient investments in understanding context over the entire life of a project are less likely to improve over time than partnerships and overall MEAL processes.
Some areas also showed marked improvements after significant investments. Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL), Gender, Human Resources, and Budget Management are all categories that show improvements over the three rounds of learning from failures analysis. This reflects CARE’s core investments in those areas over the last 4 years, partly based on the findings and recommendations from previous Learning From Failure reports. Specifically, this round of data demonstrates that the organization is addressing gender-related issues. Not only are there fewer failures related to gender overall, the difference between midterm and final evaluations in gender displays how effective these methods are in decreasing the incidence of “failures” related to engaging women and girls and looking at structural factors that limit participation in activities.
Another key finding from this year’s analysis is that projects are improving over time. For the first time, this analysis reviewed mid-term reports in an effort to understand failures early enough in the process to adjust projects. Projects report much higher rates of failure at midterm than they do at final evaluation. In the projects where we compared midline to endline results within the same project, a significant number of failures that appeared in the mid-term evaluation were resolved by the end of the project. On average, mid-term evaluations reflect failures in 50% of possible categories, and final evaluations show failures in 38% of possible options. Partnerships (especially around engaging communities themselves), key inputs, scale planning and MEAL are all areas that show marked improvement over the life of the project.

CARE Guatemala Food Security Rapid Assessment 2022


Rural families in Guatemala face one of the most severe food shortage seasons, mainly due to the high cost of meeting their basic needs, the effects of international conflicts and COVID-19 prevention measures, low hiring of temporary labor, the slow recovery of the impact of storms Eta and Iota, and the rainy season 2022 that has started with rains above normal, causing water saturation in the soil, which affects subsistence agriculture. This is worst for families who live in the dry corridor.

In this context, the Municipal Coordinator for the Disaster Reduction –COMRED- and the Municipal Directorate of Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management -IMGIRD of the municipality of San Bartolomé Jocotenango, department of Quiché, with the technical support of CARE Guatemala and TECHO, surveyed 163 households in 33 rural communities to know the availability and access to food, the economic situation, gender roles and strategies of survival that families are implementing. This report shares the results of the analysis of the data collected in July 2022

• 42% of households do not have any remaining grain from the previous harvest, and a further 33% only have remaining grain reserves for further 3 months or less.
• Women earn 56% less than men. On average, men earn $143 per month, and women earn $62.
• 21% have gone into debt to be able to buy food
• 38% are reducing the size of their meals; 22% of people are eating less (or have stopped eating) to make sure their children can eat
• 31% are now skipping at least one meal per day
• 3.7% have spent entire days without eating
• 2% have sold their land to buy food
• In 45% if the households, at least one member has migrated outside the community to find jobs elsewhere.
• Women and young girls are doing 94% of the work preparing food, cleaning, and taking care of family members. Read More...

The crisis we can still avert

By September of 2022, the global food crisis had gotten so extreme that 205.1 million people urgently need humanitarian food assistance just to survive. Tragically, if we do nothing, the crisis could grow by another 620.9 million people in the next 6 months. That is the crisis we can still avert. Investing in food production, increasing resilience, and functioning markets can stave off this crisis if we act fast.

A recent report from Gro Intelligence and CRU Group estimates that the impacts from the Ukraine crisis on nitrogen fertilizer availability in the global agriculture system will lead to a total loss of 72 trillion calories of food produced in 2022 alone. That loss would cause 620.9 million MORE people who are already struggling to meet their basic food needs to lose at least one more meal a day for the next 6 months. This is the crisis that is coming—growing the current crisis by more than three times higher the 205.1 million people already experiencing food crisis.

Gender inequality will play a significant role in this crisis. Based on current trends in gender equality and food security, 332.8 million of these people will be women. That means 44.7 million more women than men could miss one meal a day for the next 6 months. Women could miss 8.5 billion more meals than men.

This is not a foregone conclusion. We can still act to prevent the worst of the crisis. The number of calories lost is only part of the story. Food insecurity is as much as story of inequality as it is of food production. Read More...


Sri Lanka is struggling to pay import bills for food, fuel, gas, and other essential goods necessary for the daily life of its citizens, and prices keep increasing (the food inflation rate is ~94%). Read More...

Provision of life-saving WASH services to the Rohingya refugee population in Ukhiya and Teknaf Upazila, Cox’s Bazar District.

Applying both quantitative and qualitative tools and approaches, the KAPB was conducted. It covers 777 respondents' households from camps 15 and 16. After quality checking, 757 household response was finalized. Among them, 242 household survey was for Camp 16. All data collection was done with mobile in KoBo. The samples were drawn stratified random sample process. First, the sample size was determined following the most common statistical formula, then stratified. The objectives
of the study are as follows: 1) To know the present situation context on WASH; 2) To identify the targeted respondent's current Knowledge, Attitude, Practice, and Behavior (KAPB). Read More...

The Impact of Integrating Cash Assistance into Gender-Based Violence Response in Northwest Syria

Traditionally, refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) have received aid in the form of in-kind assistance. Increasingly, however, cash and voucher assistance (CVA) is being used in humanitarian response to meet the diverse needs of those displaced by crisis and conflict. Preliminary findings by the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) indicate that CVA supports gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response activities, yet humanitarian GBV programming does not comprehensively or consistently consider using CVA. This is a critical gap, as a refugee, internally displaced, and migrant women and girls face multiple risks and incidents of GBV before, during, and after crises. Read More...

Integrated Cash and Gender-Based Violence Programming for IPV Survivors in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Migrant and refugee women and girls are vulnerable to a range of risks before, during, and after humanitarian crises. Intimate partner violence (IPV), a type of gender-based violence (GBV), is among the many protection-specific risks
they face. Traditionally, refugees and internally displaced persons have received aid in the form of in-kind assistance, such as food and blankets. Increasingly, cash and voucher assistance (CVA) is being used in humanitarian response to meet the diverse needs of those displaced by crisis and conflict, enhancing recipients’ autonomy over what they use the funds for. Read More...

The Effectiveness of Cash Assistance Integrated into Gender-Based Violence Case Management for Forced Migrants, Refugees, and Host Nationals in Norte de Santander, Colombia: A Quasi-Experimental Mixed-Methods Evaluation

As a complement to core aspects of GBV case management, preliminary evidence finds that cash and voucher assistance (CVA) may strengthen survivors’ capacities to recover from GBV and enable access to services. For example, CVA can help a GBV survivor to pay the costs associated with fleeing an abusive relationship, such as temporary accommodation and transportation, and to access legal assistance. There may also be indirect pathways in which CVA could be used by survivors and individuals at risk to reduce their exposure to GBV, such as decreasing their financial dependence on abusive partners or family members and shifting power dynamics in intimate relationships. Read More...

Women’s Voice and Leadership Program Formative Evaluation

The formative evaluation of the Women’s Voice Leadership (WVL) Program covered the period from its announcement in June 2017 to March 2021. The evaluation had three objectives: to determine if and to what extent Global Affairs Canada was “fit for purpose” to support WVL as a feminist program; to determine if WVL’s design features and implementation modalities were relevant and appropriate to address the needs of women’s rights organizations (WROs), and to determine WVL’s progress toward results. Read More...

Rapid Assessment on Inclusion Environment of Persons with Disabilities in Selected Garment Factories in Cambodia

Persons with disabilities are among the most vulnerable in Cambodia and have been particularly disadvantaged by the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 and the response to the pandemic. As part of the GIZ funded project “Strengthening the Economic Resilience of Garment Workers with disabilities during COVID19 and beyond”, implemented by CARE International in Cambodia in partnership with ADD International Cambodia, a rapid assessment was conducted from March to May 2022. The purpose of the assessment was to assess garment factories’ current practice related to Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion and to identify supportive aspects as well as access and inclusion issues related to employment situation of garment factory workers with disabilities. The assessment used participatory multi-stakeholder rights-based approaches to gather qualitative information from 30 different stakeholders, including 16 garment workers with disabilities, 5 garment factory human resource managers as well as 9 representatives from government institutions, NGOs/CSOs, UN agencies and the private sector, supplemented by a literature review and dissemination workshop. Read More...

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