The Usual Pattern of Tendering and Implementation of Evaluations Has Finally Been Broken

December 1, 2017

The Evaluation Unit of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) decided in 2016 to pilot a new approach to managing evaluations. Read along to learn more how we are supporting the MFA in increasing flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness in planning and commissioning evaluations.


Indufor is a service provider for complex evaluations in developing countries. Wood being sold in Loreto, Peruvian Amazonia, where Indufor has implemented evaluations for MFA. Photo: Cynan Thomas.

Two-step Process

MFA’s new approach to evaluations is based on the lesson learnt that quality is largely determined by the choices made in the initial stages of the assignment. To kick-start the individual evaluations, the process takes an unconventional path. The process is split into two steps; a preparatory phase, and the implementation of the evaluation.

The preparatory phase begins with a draft Terms of Reference (TOR) of the evaluation. Based on those initial indications on the objectives of the assignment, the consortium identifies the Team Leader. Once accepted by the Client and recruited, the Team Leader gives comments to the TOR and prepares a proposal on the methodology, as well as detailed requirements for the rest of the evaluation team. MFA’s Evaluation Unit then finalises the TOR and the consortium can identify the rest of the consultants. The evaluation itself is executed following the same steps as any other evaluation including a normal inception phase.


The ongoing evaluation on women’s and girls’ rights in Finland’s development cooperation will look, for example, at Finland’s work on influencing multilateral organisations with regards to gender mainstreaming. Among other destinations, the evaluation team will travel to UN Headquarters in New York and its regional offices in Nairobi to evaluate the outcomes of Finland’s work in these institutions.

The Evaluation Management Services contract is implemented by a consortium composed of Indufor Oy and the German Particip GmbH (as the lead partner).


External Coordinator Ensures Smooth Communication and Quality

To support the close collaboration between the Client and the consortium, the Consortium has recruited  a more permanent interlocutor between the consortium and the Evaluation Unit. The Coordinator is hired for the whole duration of the framework contract, which has been signed initially for one year and renewable for two additional years.

The first two evaluations under this new Evaluation Management Services contract are the Meta-evaluation of decentralized evaluations 2015-2017 and Women’s and girls’ rights in Finland’s development cooperation. The third evaluation, Displacement, refugees, and development policy, will be initiated in the first quarter of 2018.


Indufor is an International Evaluations Service Provider

Indufor is a long-term partner of the MFA for all types of development evaluations (e.g. project, programme, or thematic evaluations, as well as evaluability studies) covering a variety of sectors (e.g. natural resources, water, and sanitation). In-house experts are complemented with high-level evaluation experts from Indufor’s network of close associates and well-known external experts.

At the international level, Indufor is a one-stop shop for forestry, land-use, environment and climate change related evaluations. In one package, we provide robust methodological expertise, in-depth understanding on the substance matter, country experience from all parts of the world, language skills and ability to manage complex assignments in developing country contexts under time and budget constraints.

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Petra Mikkolainen

Senior Consultant, Indufor Evaluation Services

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