chapter  24
Evaluation and learning
Pages 10

Evaluation is a critical part of all we do. Literally, evaluation means assigning value and this follows a process of critical and comparative analysis in which the effectiveness of what we do is compared with ‘best practice’ or prior knowledge and experience. Therefore before, during and after a disaster there is a need to evaluate what happened, to address why things happened as they did and to identify what could be done in the future to minimise adverse impacts. The impacts may be evaluated within the framework of their effects on the community, health services, society and the economy. The key challenge for evaluation is identifying useful frameworks that will allow the identification of what should be evaluated, how it should be evaluated and what the benchmarks or best practices are. This is then compared against the performance, i.e. what actually happened.