Evaluation on Knowledge Management: “How do we Learn, Manage and Make Decisions in Finland’s Development Policy and Cooperation”

This evaluation supports the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) in developing its management of results-related information and knowledge in order to strengthen evidence-informed learning and decision-making at all levels and in all channels of its development policy and cooperation. It explores management and decision-making processes from the learning perspective: How the MFA is able to collect, utilise, learn and inform decisions through documented and tacitly held results information and knowledge.

The evaluation followed a Theory of Change for evidence-informed learning and decision-making. Evidence was gathered through interviews, field missions, workshops, an online survey, and desk study.

The evaluation evidenced only a moderate level of influence of results information on both learning and decision-making at the MFA. While at least some results information and knowledge were used frequently by staff, this did not translate effectively into evidence-informed learning. Decision-making at the MFA was usually influenced more strongly by political priorities, available budget, and other factors than by results information and knowledge. In addition, the evaluation found the current information management systems to be inadequate for accessing relevant documents and for analysing the information they contained. However, MFA staff demonstrated a consistently high level of motivation for using results information, together with a firm belief that this could make a difference in terms of the results of the MFA’s development policy and cooperation.

Recommendations aim at ensuring the availability of relevant tacit and documented results information and knowledge, and enabling routine use of results information and knowledge for learning and decision-making.

Evaluation report

“How do we Learn, Manage and Make Deci­sions in Finland’s Development Policy and Cooperation” (in English, PDF, 224 sivua, 3 MB)

Ministry's response to evaluation

Management response (in Finnish, PDF, 2 pages, 1.45 MB)

Webinar recording on evaluation results

Please contact eva-11@formin.fi if you would like to have the webinar recording.