The 2014 international evaluation of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH)

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The most recent evaluation of FIOH by an independent, international expert panel covered FIOH’s activities in the years 2009–2013. The evaluation focused especially on FIOH’s future goals, policy relevance and results, operational efficiency, relative position in the field of research institutes and universities, and international co-operation. The evaluation was connected to the Finnish government’s funding cuts in the fields of research, development and innovation. The Finnish government approved a resolution on the comprehensive reform of research institutes and research funding in 2013.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in Finland (MSAH) regularly conducts evaluations of its sectoral research institutes. FIOH was previously evaluated in 2009, after which it has undergone a massive reorganization of its activities and strategy. It was considered beneficial to conduct this most recent evaluation ahead of FIOH’s next strategic period, 2015–2020.

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Chair of the International Evaluation Group, Professor Mats Brommels holding the internal seminar for FIOH staff on the resultsof the evaluation on 19.5.2014.

 

 

The international evaluation was conducted by an expert panel of six professionals in the field of occupational safety and health:

Mats Brommels, Karolinska Institute, Sweden (Finland)

Stavroula Leka, University of Nottingham, UK

Frank Pot, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Paul Schulte, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, USA

Hannu Uusitalo, Finnish Centre for Pensions (former), Finland

Palle Ørbaek, Danish Working Environment Authority, Denmark

It was the view of the evaluation group that FIOH should retain its independent status, as this allows it to function effectively and to participate in networks both domestically and internationally. There is, however, room for improvement in terms of FIOH’s service provision for small enterprises. The group also observed that FIOH required more expertise in assessing the impact and effectiveness of legislation, operations, projects, and initiatives. In addition, the evaluation panel drew attention to the fiscal uncertainty surrounding training for physicians specialising in occupational health.

Finally, the evaluation suggested that FIOH must improve its expertise in relation to the increasing digitisation of work life and the demands this growth makes on occupational health care. The problems faced by immigrants and the challenges posed by flexible contracts and self-employment were also highlighted as areas in which FIOH should have more operational emphasis. To conclude, FIOH must become a recognised expert in new work-related phenomena.

For the evaluation, FIOH compiled an extensive self-evaluation report on its activities in 2009–2013. Four special reports were also written as background material for the evaluation. These documents can be found on FIOH’s website:

http://www.ttl.fi/en/fioh/international_evaluation_2009-2013/Pages/default.aspx

The evaluation report (first edition) can be found on the MSAH website:

http://www.stm.fi/c/document_library/get_file?folderId=9817041&name=DLFE-30121.pdf

See on video, what the evaluation group has to say about FIOH (3,5 min):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxZUekjNER8&list=UUYGbYVD5kXhJOXrq2_4JckA

 

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