Programme Quality

Cross-Cutting Agendas

A rights-based approach (RBA), gender justice, and conflict sensitivity are among the commitments that inform NCA’s programming. Key approaches, successes, and challenges documented during 2016-2018 in relation to NCA’s cross-cutting agenda are presented below.

Gender Sensitivity, Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

As previously reported to Norad, the period was marked by the strengthening of organisational policies to support gender mainstreaming and mandatory gender analysis across programmes through a new NCA Gender Justice Policy, a revised ACT Alliance Gender Justice Policy, and the development of a NCA Gender ToolBox to support a variety of different types of gender assessments and analyses which combine standards set by ECHO, IASC, and Sida.

Conflict sensitivity

The aforementioned revision of the planning, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting (PMER) chapter of the Operations Manual in 2018 also resulted in clearer guidelines and practical resources on conflict sensitivity based on NCA’s own framework31. By the end of 2018, a total of 13 programme countries have conducted at least one conflict analysis.


All partners sign the NCA Code of Conduct and partners are regularly informed about the requirements held within NCA’s Anti-Corruption policy. Annual joint monitoring visits by country-level programme and finance staff to partners is mandatory in NCA. In addition to supporting partner capacity building, these visits strengthen accountability in relation to expenditure and procurement practices.

Environment and vulnerability to climate change

NCA systematically uses climate vulnerability assessments or Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) in the Climate Resilience programme, with larger WASH infrastructural interventions assessments, and in contexts where such assessments are a legal requirement. These assist NCA in designing programmes and interventions in a manner that mitigate risk. NCA also uses vulnerability assessments in country office emergency planning, allowing for the identification of the risk of natural disasters and to plan responses accordingly.

Human rights, including the rights of people living with a disability (PlWD)

NCA’s programmes and results frameworks are based on a rights-based approach (RBA), which empowers men, women and youth to demand accountability from duty bearers. NCA’s theory of change places people in the centre of its interventions, as actors contributing to changes in their own life and the life of their community.

UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325)

UNSCR 1235 emphasises prevention of conflict and violence against women and girls, participation of women in peace and security decision-making process at local and national levels, protection of women and girls, and mainstreaming women and girls’ specific needs in relief and recovery interventions.


NCA has made significant progress in strengthening accountability systems and practices and embedding a culture of accountability across the organisation. A key priority during the period has been on developing and rolling-out formal complaints response mechanisms (CRMs) at country-level.

Results Based Management

The period 2016-2018 has been marked by significant progress in developing and strengthening robust and effective results based management (RBM) systems and practices in NCA, including: on-going reflections on theories of change (ToCs) supporting programme adaptation at country level; the successful roll-out of digital data collection (DDC); completion of high-quality Mid Term Review (MTRs); development of a utility-based and learning focused organisational evaluation approach; research on sectorial M&E best practice to feed into the design of NCA’s new Global Programme Framework (2020-2030); and the development of innovative approaches to monitoring across programme countries.