Evaluation: Sitra’s impact is in co-operation – and more is needed

Sitra’s outputs are of high quality and its strategic choices successful. By focusing more resources on co-operation, Sitra’s impact could be even higher, according to the external evaluation carried out for Sitra’s Supervisory Board.
Picture: Topias Dean, Sitra


Jenni Sarolahti

Leading Specialist, Communication and Public Affairs, Sitra


The recently compiled evaluation summarises the findings of seven separate impact assessments completed between 2017 and 2019 and provides further in-depth analyses of the operating environment and Sitra’s organisation. Finally, the new evaluation gives ten recommendations for future development.

“The series of assessments and evaluations on Sitra forms one of the most extensive and comprehensive organisational evaluations ever carried out in Finland. The process included almost 500 interviews,” says Kimmo Halme, Managing Director of 4Front Oy and a co-author of the recently published summary evaluation.

The title of the publication, Thinktank, futures workshop and co-operative platform, sums up the multiple dimensions of Sitra’s activities.

“According to our evaluation, Sitra has an important and special role in renewing Finnish society and strengthening preparedness for the future. Ultimately, Sitra has a position, structure and organisation that are well suited for this task. In addition, at its disposal it has diverse resources and procedures and a competent organisation,” says Kimmo Halme.

Sitra’s impact on systemic change mainly stems from increasing partners’ engagement and commitment. In this area, Sitra has still room for development in its operating methods,” says Olli Oosi, Senior Partner at Owal Group Oy and a co-author of the evaluation.

The goal of the evaluation team, formed by 4Front Oy, Owal Group Oy and Technopolis Group Ltd, was to support the reflections of Sitra’s future development options by providing independent information about Sitra’s role as a future-oriented organisation and driver of social change.

The evaluations show that Sitra has succeeded well in its strategic choices and the quality of its work is high. The evaluation team suggests that Sitra further strengthen the international dimension of its operations and utilise international co-operation more actively.

Sitra has recently entered a completely new stage in its history: the amended legislation on its activities was enacted in early 2019, the parliamentary working group reviewing Sitra’s role, tasks and resources handed in their report in March, and Sitra is also in the process of appointing a new President as Mikko Kosonen’s term ends next January.

“The summary evaluation gives valuable recommendations and supports the decision-making regarding Sitra’s future development. It also provides a panoramic view of Sitra’s activities and their societal impact,” says Antti Lindtman, Chair of Sitra’s Supervisory Board, on receiving the evaluation.

Results of the evaluation

10 Recommendations

Recommendation 1

Sitra should further strengthen the international dimension of its operations and utilise international co-operation more actively.

Recommendation 2

Sitra should have a more extensive contact interface and co-operation with the Finnish Parliament. Sitra should have a jointly agreed annual action plan for Parliament-related activities.

Recommendation 3

Sitra’s financial and content-related independence should be maintained. Independence is a critical factor for Sitra’s ability to act as a promoter of social changes. For its own part, Sitra should ensure that the basic prerequisites of independence (factuality, openness, objectivity, equality, etc.) are fulfilled and maintained.

Recommendation 4

With regard to its themes, Sitra should pay more attention also to value aspects, such as social fairness, equality, social integrity and democracy.

Recommendation 5

Also in the future, Sitra should try to promote its impact objectives in a versatile and concrete manner over the long term (think-connect-do); for instance, by bringing various parties together and by identifying, developing and spreading new operating models.

Recommendation 6

Sitra should place more emphasis on efficiency and cost consciousness in its own operations.

Recommendation 7

Sitra should better ensure the continuity of its projects and their compatibility with different stakeholders by engaging key partners more openly and at an earlier stage in project preparations and by developing complementary models to support disengagement. Disengagements should be monitored and, if necessary, supported for a longer time.

Recommendation 8

Sitra should more systematically implement its impact objectives in its own focus areas and projects. Sitra should also communicate its objectives and related choices and effects more clearly.

Recommendation 9

To ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness and the accumulation of competence, Sitra should improve internal co-ordination and exchange of information and strengthen the spreading of competence among its focus areas.

Recommendation 10

“In the spirit of open innovation”, Sitra should ensure the best possible competence for its themes by utilising competence outside its own organisation in a more versatile manner.


Ajatushautomo, kokeilupaja ja yhteistyöalusta. Sitran kokoava arviointi
Kimmo Halme (4Front Oy), Olli Oosi (Owal Group Oy), Katharina Warta (Technopolis Group Ltd.)
Sitran selvityksiä 157
ISBN 978-952-347-123-8 (nid.)
ISBN 978-952-347-124-5 (PDF) www.sitra.fi
ISSN 1796-7104 (nid.)
ISSN 1796-7112 (PDF) www.sitra.fi


Kimmo Halme, 4Front Oy, kimmo.halme@4front.fi, +358 40 1250 350
Olli Oosi, Owal Group Oy, olli.oosi@owalgroup.com, +358 50 530 4737
Tapio Anttila, Vice President, Sitra, tapio.anttila@sitra.fi, +358 294 618 283
Katri Vataja, Foresight, Insight & Strategy Director, Sitra, katri.vataja@sitra.fi, +358 294 618 230


Jenni Sarolahti

Leading Specialist, Communication and Public Affairs, Sitra


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