Ushahidi Haiti Evaluation Approach - Purpose and criteria

The team understands that the aim of the evaluation is to produce a product that will inform future crisis mapping efforts. The general approach is to therefore identify the critical points andcrucial steps in the implementation of Ushahidi Haiti.  Where these steps were completed easily or included innovation, it will be noted by the evaluation team.  Where there were complications or bottlenecks in the information flow, findings and recommendations will be made.  Because of the nature of the requested product, it will be necessary to document successful and challenging critical points of a crisis mapping implementation.

Currently,the evidence that maps and messages from the Ushahidi Haiti Project were used inactual humanitarian responses is anecdotal and not consistently documented.  Therefore, a key function of this evaluation is to substantiate specific cases where the information wasused.

Haitians and the volunteers from the Haitian Diaspora translators appear to have had diverse understanding of the purpose and use of the Ushahidi Haiti Project.  Engaging a representative number of members of these communities to contribute to the evaluation may prove to be too difficult within the current time and resource constraints.  Nonetheless, every effort will be made with new media and direct outreach to include as many Haitians in the evaluation as possible.

In a broader sense, this evaluation is not about the details and specifics of a single Ushahidi instance, its technology, or economics.  This evaluation will document to the extent possible the innovations and the learning from the Ushahidi Haiti project for use in future responses. The importance of this evaluation is what several of the interviews with primary users referred to as the 'first time this has been done'.  In that sense, this evaluation will attempt to speak to crowdsourcing of information and mapping it in the context of a sudden onset disaster.  The purpose of the evaluation is to provide evidence and to articulate the higher level changes of spontaneous groups of volunteers in communication with crisis-affectedpeople. It is also important to look at how crowdsourcing and crisis mapping are changing the standard dynamics of humanitarian response and the relationship of responders to affected populations. 

Recommendations following on the findings of the evaluation will speak directly to issues related to networks and essential functions of a crisis mapping project.

The evaluation will be structured in accordance with the OECD criteria specified inthe ToR. The evaluation criteria have also been adopted by most donor andhumanitarian response organizations. The evaluation will attempt to determine: the relevance, achievement of objectives, developmental efficiency, effectiveness, impact, and sustainability.