Improving Program Quality in International Development: Lessons from Oxfam's Program Standards Self-Assessment Year 1 main report

Publication date

14 Jul 2014

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Oxfam’s Program Standards are a mandatory benchmark for its rights-based work.

To be accountable for adherence to these standards, and to ensure improved practice over time, Oxfam has developed a learning process which helps staff critically to assess their practice against these program standards, and to improve delivery.

Between April 2012 and December 2013, 62 per cent of Oxfam’s country programs had completed the first round of Program Standards Self Assessments (PSSA), and developed action plans to improve practice.

This report is a global review of the exercise and presents an overview of findings on performance (and priorities for improvement) on each of the eleven Program Standards. A final chapter describes how Oxfam uses the self-assessment exercise to support better programming.

A Technical Annex provides the evaluation data and is available as a separate document.

The PSSA exercise offers a clear picture of the current state of program quality. It also identifies challenges for improved or increased program support. There will be ongoing monitoring of the improvement plans developed by program teams as a result of the exercise.