On June 21st, 2016 the results of the Evaluation of Finland’s Development Cooperation Country Strategies and the Country Strategy Modality for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland were presented in Helsinki. Finland introduced results-based country strategies in 2012 to manage its development cooperation in the long-term partner countries. The evaluation was implemented by Mokoro Ltd in partnership with Indufor Oy. This is the biggest and most complex evaluation ever carried out on the Finnish development cooperation. It covered all sectors and aid mechanisms, as well as aid planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting from results-based management perspective during the period 2008-2016. For Indufor, this programme evaluation represents its commitment to provide high quality evaluation services beyond the forestry and natural resource sectors. The performance of forestry sector cooperation and sustainable land use was assessed in Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Nepal and Vietnam.
UPDATE: The overall evaluation synthesis report and the six country reports are now available for download.
The evaluation reveals that Finland’s bilateral development cooperation is targeted to matters that are relevant from the perspective of the partner countries and their citizens. The effectiveness of the programs and projects was mainly good and results were achieved in many interventions in the six countries included in the study (Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nepal, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zambia). The good impact was aided by the influence Finland had on decisions and actions made in the target countries and by dialogue with local governments and other development partners and donors.
However, some challenges were identified and the evaluation team recommended improvements to the country strategy modality. Challenges include the operating environment of development cooperation and the risks involved, the capacities in the country teams and low disbursement rate of funds.
Further development of the country strategy modality is recommended. The scope of the bilateral country strategies for development cooperation should be broader, and the modality should be expanded to cover other development policy instruments. This is particularly important in countries, where development cooperation will be gradually replaced by commercial and economic cooperation.
There will be a webinar on the subject on June 30th and the complete evaluation report will be made publicly available by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. More information is provided on the evaluation website.