In September of 2017, Hurricane Irma impacted several Caribbean islands, Sint Maarten being one of the worst-affected with damages estimated to be $2.5 billion. The Netherlands Red Cross (NLRC) launched a response called “The Netherlands helps St. Maarten” and, following the delivery of emergency aid, shifted to Recovery in the areas of roof repair, (re)construction of community spaces, psychosocial support for children and adults, vocational and entrepreneurship training, upcycling, disaster risk reduction (DRR), and re-greening projects. The program was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, which created additional needs and challenges.
NLRC commissioned IRMA to evaluate the Recovery program, for accountability to their donors and other stakeholders, and for internal learning. With a team of local data collectors, IRMA conducted key informant interviews (KIIs), recipient interviews (RIs), and visited project locations across the island to evaluate the relevance, effectiveness, impact, sustainability, and synergies of NLRC’s Recovery strategy and Program. The recommendations of the evaluation are being used by NLRC to develop a comprehensive preparedness strategy and strengthen partnerships for future responses in the Caribbean.