Report: Review of the use and utility of centralised evaluations
How strategic policy level evaluations are used – or are they used? The review assessed the use and utility of different types of evaluations, meta-evaluations and reviews carried out in 2015-2022.
The review found both strengths and weaknesses.
Strengths of the evaluation process
- Annual Evaluation Plans are prepared in a consultative manner
- Types of evaluations have become more diverse, e.g. reviews have been adopted for producing evaluative information
- Attention to coherence between development policy and foreign policy and/or trade policy has improved
- Outsourced Evaluation Management Service arrangement produces standard quality
- Opportunities for the MFA staff to participate in the evaluations exist
- Reports contain a lot of information and are of high technical quality
Weaknesses of the evaluation process
- The evaluations commissioned by the EVA-11 take approximately two years from the idea to results being available.
- Evaluation results have not always been available when needed.
- The reports are not appealing to potential users and sharing of evaluation results is not responding to stakeholder needs.
- Interested users of evaluations do not know where to find the evaluation reports and knowledge products.
- Past evaluations are forgotten too quickly
- The evaluations are not taken up in the Management Teams or by the Offices of the Ministers. Thus, the MFA leadership does not generate knowledge from evaluations.
- Management response is used for the uptake of evaluation results, but the process is not working well.
- Evaluation use and utility has focused on recommendations of evaluations with less emphasis on findings and conclusions.
- Evaluation culture is not fully developed across all departments in the Ministry.
- Focus on individual training and learning is not effective in fostering knowledge-based management in the Ministry
The review made six recommendations in order to enhance communication, information sharing, management response process and learning and to diversify evaluations.
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