Annual Report on Evaluation 2022

What works well and what does not work in Finland’s development policy and cooperation? Why are evaluations and evaluation capacity important? It is described in the annual report on development evaluation, which sums up the key results of the evaluations completed in 2022.

Evaluations of humanitarian assistance and Finnish development policy influencing in the European Union (EU), as well as a meta-evaluation of the MFA’s project and programme evaluations, which evaluated the quality of both evaluations and Finland’s development cooperation, were completed in 2022. A review of the COVID-19 response in development policy was also completed.

So what worked? For example:

  • Finland’s EU influencing process is relevant, consistent, fluent and produces results.
  • In the EU, Finland has recognised its leading and effective role, especially in promoting gender equality, a human rights-based approach and social inclusion as well as support for Africa.
  • The humanitarian assistance provided by Finland complies with humanitarian principles, which is particularly valuable as the aid becomes politicised. Finland’s support for gender equality and the inclusion of persons with disabilities, for example, supported good reputation.
  • The strengths of Finland’s development cooperation include relevance, efficiency and effectiveness.
  • The MFA’s COVID-19 pandemic response was quick and flexible. The response owes a large debt to the highly motivated and devoted personnel.

Where, on the other hand, is room for improvement? For example:

  • In influencing EU policies, institutionalised Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning systems are almost non-existent.
  • Finland’s choice to channel the majority of humanitarian funding through multilateral organisations specialised in humanitarian aid is right, but the number of organisations should be reduced. The administrative practices for funding Finnish CSOs should also be lightened.
  • There is room for improvement in development cooperation, especially in sustainability, coherence and impact as well as in taking cross-cutting objectives and the human rights-based approach into account.
  • The majority of project and programme evaluations were considered useful, but the information remains at the individual level and does not benefit the organisation more extensively.
  • The pandemic combined with an increased workload burdened the staff of the MFA and the missions abroad, and the MFA was unable to fully safeguard the safety and wellbeing of its personnel.

The annual report also discusses the development of evaluation capacity in Finland and globally. Why is it so important and what kind of changes are needed? The Director of Development Evaluation points out that it is important to produce national independent information and strengthen capacity in this area so that our partner countries’ decisions in the future are based on publicly and openly available information. It will also strengthen the sustainability of our development cooperation.

Our guest writer draws attention to the importance of strengthening evaluation capacity and the drivers for change in evaluations at the country level. Evaluations should be recognised as tools for changing unequal and unfair realities. In addition, the paradigms, methodologies and practices of the evaluation of global south should be valued as alternative and equal approaches.

Annual Report

Selected Highlights (pdf, 5 pages, 180 KB)

Annual Report on Development Evaluation 2022 (in Finnish, link to the Institutional Repository of the Government(Link to another website.))