KISA - A Framework for Assessing Local Government Communications

In the project for monitoring and evaluating local government communications, the current practices for monitoring and evaluating communication in municipalities were examined. The aim was to find out which aspects of local government communications should be monitored and evaluated, how monitoring and evaluation can be carried out and why it is important to evaluate certain aspects in local government communications.

The project explored local government communications management, planning and implementation; workplace communication; communication in different sectors and enterprises; media communication and media publicity; online communication; and the expectations and experiences of municipal residents, stakeholders and collaborative organs regarding local government communications. As a result, the system of monitoring and evaluating local government communications (KISA) was presented, developed to be applied extensively in the communication by local and regional authorities.

The monitoring and evaluation system is centered around a so-called KISA model used as a reference frame for the evaluation of communication. The KISA model includes seven objects of evaluation:
(1) strategic leadership,
(2) planning and implementation of communication activities,
(3) workplace communication,
(4) communication to municipal residents,
(5) media activity and public debate in the media,
(6) online communication and public debate on the Internet,
(7) stakeholders and collaborative organs and debates by stakeholder publics.

The local authorities examined in the project were the towns of Hämeenlinna, Jyväskylä and Salo, the city of Tampere and the municipality of Punkalaidun. The study also drew on communication research covering all Finnish local authorities. Furthermore, a sub-study was carried out among all communications officers working for Finnish local authorities.

The local government system for monitoring and evaluating communication is based on the system for monitoring and evaluating government communications, under the acronym VISA, developed by the Communication Research Centre CRC at the University of Helsinki (Hakala, Nieminen, Åberg, Tarkiainen, Slätis). At the request of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, the VISA system was developed into a communication monitoring and evaluation system suitable for local government communications.

The KISA system enables a systematic monitoring and evaluation of the different areas of local government communications. Based on cumulative evaluation information, local government communications and co-operation with residents, stakeholders and collaborative organs can be developed and the exchange of good practices between local authorities can be promoted.

Contact: Heidi Lavento, heidi.lavento(at)helsinki.fi
See also: www.kunnat.net/kisa

Heidi Lavento (2008)
KISA - A Framework for Assessing Local Government Communications. Acta 201. The Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities. Helsinki.
(in Finnish KISA - Kuntien viestinnän seuranta- ja arviointijärjestelmä)

VNK 3/2005
Hannu Nieminen, Salli Hakala et al. (2005)
VISA - A Framework for Assessing Finland's Governmental Communications. Part I
(in Finnish VISA - Valtionhallinnon viestinnän seuranta- ja arviointijärjestelmä)