Evaluation of development cooperation

Evaluations produce independent and impartial information on the achievement of development cooperation goals. The purpose of conducting evaluations is to learn from successes and setbacks and to use these lessons when planning future cooperation.

What is evaluation?

Evaluations assess the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and impact of development cooperation. The purpose is to determine what has been achieved with the development cooperation appropriations used.

The evaluation practices of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) are based on the principles agreed internationally within the OECD and the EU. The implementation of evaluation in Finland’s development cooperation is steered by MFA evaluation guidelines.

The Evaluation Manual introduces the concepts of development evaluation and helps to understand why and how evaluations are carried out. It also gives guidance in support of the evaluation process.

Who evaluates and what is evaluated?

The Development Evaluation Unit (EVA-11) of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for commissioning large-scale evaluations of strategic relevance, which may cover country programmes, specific sectors, or development policy as a whole. Reporting directly to the Under-Secretary of State for Development Policy, EVA-11 is independent of the departments in charge of implementing development cooperation and making policy decisions.

Individual MFA departments and Finnish missions abroad commission evaluations of their own development projects.

The evaluations are assigned to independent experts.

How are evaluation results used?

The results of all evaluations are examined within the Ministry or in the groups that make decision on the projects in order to determine how the recommendations given therein will be implemented.

Evaluation reports are public. Large-scale evaluations of strategic relevance are presented by the experts themselves in an event open to the general public, and the results are also discussed in webinars.

Click here for evaluation reports:

Forthcoming evaluations

Evaluation planning ensures that evaluation results will be available on time for decision-making and planning. Each year, EVA-11 draws up an overall evaluation plan for the MFA and reports on finalised evaluations.

International networking

The Unit for Development Evaluation participates actively in international and domestic networks that promote the quality of evaluation. The collaboration partners include OECD DAC EvalNet, Nordic Evaluators network, EvalPartnersLink to another website.(Opens New Window) and IOCELink to another website.(Opens New Window) with its numerous partner entities. In Finland, the unit collaborates with government evaluation network and the Finnish Evaluation Society (SAYFES).

Support to strengthening of evaluation capacity in partner countries

In order to promote evaluation function globally, the unit for development evaluation grants discretionary subsidies to internationally active organisations that focus on enhancing evaluation capacities in partner countries. There are no specific deadlines for applications and subsidies can be granted throughout the year within the limits of the available official development assistance appropriations.

Applications are assessed and funding is granted on the basis of Finland’s development policy objectives and related principles, detailed information on which is available through the following link (see chapter “Principles for support and minimum requirements”). For more details, please contact the Unit for Development Evaluation EVA-11@formin.fi.

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