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External evaluation of the Protection Standby Capacity Project

Research reports

This commissioned report assessed the Protection Standby Capacity Project (PROCAP) and its constituent elements against three main criteria: relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. It applied these criteria to the different project elements, including deployment of Senior Protection Officers (SPOs), support to stand-by rosters, training and website development, and the management of PROCAP.

In conducting the evaluation, the team drew on PROCAP and other documentation, and on interviews with a wide range of agency and donor staff at field and headquarters levels, including those met during visits to Northern Uganda, Sudan and DRC.

While the team concludes that PROCAP passes the overall test of relevance, considerable differences of emphasis were found amongst those interviewed as to the core purpose of the project. The UN mandated agencies tend to see PROCAP primarily as a mechanism for boosting their own operational capacity. Others – including OCHA and many of the donors – stress the strategic inter-agency dimension, and see PROCAP essentially as a means of assisting the UN Country Team design and implement a coherent inter-agency protection strategy. The stated purpose of the project allows for both interpretations, and tension over these differences of view is evident both at field and headquarters level. This is compounded by ambiguity as to how PROCAP relates to the role of the protection Cluster Lead and the global Protection Cluster Working Group. These various uncertainties, more than any other factor, are likely to limit the effectiveness of
PROCAP until they are resolved.

James Darcy, Sorcha O’Callaghan and Andrew Bonwick