Evaluation of WFP Policies on Humanitarian Principles and Access in Humanitarian Contexts


This evaluation assessed the policies’ quality, results achieved and the factors influencing these achievements, with a focus on the period 2012–2017. The evaluation found that WFP’s policies on humanitarian principles and access remain highly relevant, but WFP has not invested sufficiently in their dissemination and implementation, leading to a highly variable understanding of humanitarian principles. Despite facing significant restrictions to access, WFP performance on delivering food assistance is strong, particularly in difficult operating environments. Regarding humanitarian principles, WFP performs strongly on humanity, relatively strongly on impartiality and less strongly on neutrality, while operational independence is the least understood of the principles. Crucial factors affecting WFP’s performance on the humanitarian principles and access include its mandate, organizational culture, relationships with partners, host governments and armed non-state actors, institutional processes and capacities and security management. The evaluation recommended that WFP should pay more attention to humanitarian principles in its programming and operations and significantly increase its investment in the dissemination and implementation of the policies, including by strengthening staff competencies; designating responsibilities for humanitarian principles and access at the country level; prioritizing humanitarian principles when engaging with cooperating partners and commercial providers; investing in its use of needs assessment data and its security capacity; and strengthening dialogue and advocacy with donors.

Report Details


  • World Food Programme (WFP)

Report Type

  • Other


Completed Date

  • May 2018

Consultant Name

Agency Focal Person

  • Gaby Duffy

Agency Focal Person Email


  • 192

Joint Evaluation

  • No