Donor Report: Nepal Earthquake Response Report: Two Years and Beyond

Raised: No information found

Spending: US$52.5 million

Expertise: Christian development with humanitarian aid for disaster responses


Key Activities: Charity Intelligence assesses World Vision's disaster response in Nepal as best due to its spending mix and speed. World Vision spent 62% of its disaster relief funds in the three areas the people in Nepal said they need most - shelter, cash transfers and livelihoods. For comparison, Plan International spent 40% in Nepal's three highest-need areas.

World Vision's response was also fast with a clear plan to get disaster response done within 3 years. It clearly distinguishes disaster relief from long-term development. By December 2016, 20 months after the earthquake, World Vision had spent 69% of its funds. It spent 20% in Phase 1 Disaster (US$10.5m - April - September 2015), 49% in Phase 2 Recovery ($25.7m spent between October 2015-December 2016). It plans to spend the remaining 31% in the final phase ($16.3m) between January 2017 and April 2018. 

Of the ten charities evaluated, World Vision has the best financial transparency. It provides clear financial information on 1. how much was spent, 2. when it was spent, and 3. what it was spent on. World Vision provides detailed breakdowns of spending both by disaster phase and also by sectors[i]

World Vision has made one of the largest commitments to cash transfers in delivering humanitarian aid[ii]. It has raised cash transfers from 5% of aid programs to 30% in F2015. Cash transfers are one of the most significant recent innovations in humanitarian aid. Cash gives people hit by disaster greater dignity, choice and flexibility. Rather than receiving “stuff” charities think people need, cash gives people the flexibility to choose. Donors should also like cash: it is effective, fast, and cheap.

In Nepal, World Vision’s cash program had three tranches covering unconditional cash transfers, cash-for-work, and cash-for-training. World Vision spent US$15.8 million in cash to 36,538 families and other livelihood supports. World Vision’s cash transfers did have a glitch. Some families eligible for cash did not receive it. This was resolved.[iii]

In temporary shelter, World Vision distributed 345,664 sheets of corrugated galvanized iron to 21,604 families, with 19,204 toolkits, and trained 99 people in masonry. World Vision’s shelter program delivered good temporary shelter in corrugated galvanized iron sheets, rather than tarps and tents. It also had a low distribution of hygiene kits that likely have dubious effectiveness.

In providing permanent shelter, World Vision had the second highest commitment to building homes (second to Samaritan’s Purse). It built 307 homes with 50 homes to be built for vulnerable families. Shelter expertise is one area responding charities typically lack expertise. To fill this gap, World Vision partnered with Colorado-based Build Change for its expertise in resilient shelter repairs and construction[iv].



Additional Sources and Notes: 

World Vision’s financial transparency could improve. WVI reports spending as a share of “direct program costs only”, with no full explanation of what this excludes. Cash distributions are not reported separately but are embedded in sector information.

World Vision International “Cash First, but not always”, May 16, 2016

Sarah Holst, “Improving relief distribution in post-earthquake Nepal through citizen engagement, Winner of the 2016 Feedbacks Labs, June 3, 2016

Build Change


More Charity Intelligence reports on Nepal Earthquake 2015 disaster response:

Summary assessment of Nepal disaster response by 10 charities Canadians supported

Charity Intelligence's full report on Nepal Earthquake - 3 Years Later Assessment of How Giving Helped


About Charity Intelligence: Charity Intelligence’s mission is to help Canadian donors be informed and give intelligently. We do this through objective and independent research on Canadian charities.

Charity Intelligence’s total costs to report and evaluate Nepal’s earthquake disaster response since April 2015 are $11,900. This is entirely funded by Canadian donors. If you found this evaluation useful, please share it with your friends and join us on Facebook and Twitter @CharityIntel

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Charity Intelligence researches Canadian charities for donors to be informed and give intelligently. Charity Intelligence’s website posts free reports on more than 700 Canadian charities, as well as in-depth primers on philanthropic sectors like Canada’s environment, cancer, and homelessness. Today over 325,000 Canadians use Charity Intelligence’s website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities reading over 1.3 million charity reports. Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable and focused on results.

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