Towards Evaluation for Everyday Use! Report on the pilot phase

Evaluation has been a hot topic in Finnish civil society organisations in recent years. There has been a feeling that the requirements have increased from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the main funder for development cooperation, and there is more pressure on the organisations to increase monitoring and evaluation activities. The planning and implementation of evaluation has often been felt to be difficult and even distressing. Evaluation has been seen as something that requires specialist knowledge and substantial resources. Can evaluation become an everyday activity?

The Finnish Service Centre for Development Cooperation KEPA took on this challenge and implemented the pilot phase of the "Evaluation for everyday use" project with ten organisations in 2009-2010. The objective of the project was to make evaluation more of an everyday process and to start a collective learning journey with Finnish organisations working in the field of development cooperation. The purpose was to analyse together what is the current state of evaluation in the civil society organisations, what kind of challenges it involves and how it could be improved.

The purpose of this report is to bring out, based on the developmental projects, the common challenges related to evaluation and the solutions developed in the projects for more general use. The report also describes the method of the "Evaluation for everyday use" project which can also be used by organisations to develop themselves.