Monitoring and evaluation of operations within the Swedish Armed Forces

Authors:

  • Sara Bandstein

Publish date: 2011-12-16

Report number: FOI-R--3364--SE

Pages: 54

Written in: Swedish

Keywords:

  • Monitoring
  • evaluation
  • assessment
  • operational assessment

Abstract

The effects of traditional military operations are relatively easy to observe. Therefore, the effort of military staff has been focused on planning and designing objectives and strategies, rather than monitoring and evaluation. The effects of current operations are not as easy to assess. Contemporary operations are more complex, both in terms of the objectives to be achieved and the operational environment. This has brought on an increased interest and demand for monitoring and evaluation. This study describes and analyses the processes for monitoring and evaluation currently available within the Swedish Armed Forces. The analysis looks at the decision maker's need for information from evaluations. A comparison to the use of evaluations in other areas is also made. The study shows that current monitoring and evaluation processes fill the needs of the decision makers. An absence of demand is noted though. It is not uncommon that there is no request for information regarding the long-term effects of operations, the relevance of an operation, or if it leads to lasting effects. The processes for evaluating the effects of an operation or its relevance are to a certain extent missing. These questions are instead expected to be answered by the organisation under which the forces are deployed. One reason, why the Swedish Armed Forces does not conduct more monitoring and evaluation, is that it is not a task given to them when deployed under the lead of another organisation. Since the Swedish Armed Forces is tasked by the Ministry of Defence, this suggests that the political level is not interested in this kind of information. This is surprising, given the pressure from the public and media to show the value of military operations. In addition to these findings, the study has identified that there are differences in how terms regarding monitoring and evaluation are used. Within the Swedish Armed Forces the same term is used to refer to different types of activities and different terms are used to refer to the same type of activity. This might lead to confusion as it complicates communication and interaction between individuals and departments. The study also describes the need for qualified and trained personnel when conducting monitoring and evaluation in complex environments. It is suggested that external competences might be needed.