Evaluation Report 2011:5: Junior Professional Officer Programme

Evaluation Report 2011:5: Junior Professional Officer Programme

Evaluation report 2011:5 (PDF, 4,6 Mb, 185 s.)

ISBN 978-951-724-966-9 (printed)
ISBN 978-951-724-967-6 (pdf)
ISSN 1235-7618

Authors: Pamela White, Maaria Seppänen, Päivi Ahonen 

The purpose of this evaluation was to provide decision-makers with information to improve the Finnish Junior Professional Officer (JPO) programme. The objectives were to assess the programme as a development instrument, to evaluate its success in achieving the goals set by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs Finland and to assess the administrative and management arrangements of the programme and provide recommendations.

The evaluation included interviews with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the multilateral recipient organisations, instances of outsourced recruitment and the JPOs. A questionnaire was sent to current and former JPOs, and relevant policy documentation was studied.

Finland is one of the more important providers of JPOs to the multilateral organisations and the largest among the Nordics. The JPO programme is efficiently and relatively effectively run, however, the long term impact is less, partly because the retention rate within the organisation after the assignment is low.

As individuals the JPOs are able to make an important contribution. Most think their tasks to be related to the Millennium Development Goals and the Finnish Development Policy. As a tool for producing experienced development practitioners, the programme is very effective. 83% of respondents to the questionnaire reported having continued to work in development/ international cooperation after their JPO assignment.

Clearer policy and relevant logical actions are required to achieve greater retention. The links, support, and information sharing with JPOs should be improved. Other recommendations focus on more quality than quantity. JPOs should be supported also in their later career.

Keywords: Junior professional officer, evaluation, multilateral, Finland, development