Bilateral development cooperation
The aim of Finland’s bilateral development cooperation activities is to achieve sustainable, long-term effects by supporting developing countries to implement their own development. Development policy and development cooperation should be transparent and consistent. Partner countries should be the owners of their own development and everything related to it, and all methods and approaches should be democratic and participatory.
It is important that the targets and goals set for development cooperation are agreed upon together with the partner country. Development policy and development cooperation should be carried out and planned for the long term. Activities and projects should be monitored, and lessons learned from work done in the past should be applied to future planning.
So that poverty can be reduced as effectively as possible, the decisions made at the different political levels must be consistent. Simply having a development policy cannot in and of itself achieve the desired goals. When making decisions which touch on the partner country in other areas, such as international trade and environmental policy, the effects of these decisions on development cooperation should also be considered.
Finland’s longterm development partner countries are Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zambia. Cooperation with these countries is based primarily on individual, goal-oriented country programmes, the starting point for which is the development plan each country has made for itself. In addition, the main operational guidelines of Finland’s development policy apply.
In the practical implementation of development cooperation, and in political dialogue with decision-makers in the partner country, the primary goal is to support the objectives of the individual country programme.
Forms of Bilateral Development Cooperation
- Budget Support
- Sectoral Budget Support
- Local Cooperation Funds (LCF)
- Institutional Cooperation Instruments (ICI)
- Higher Education Institutions Institutional Cooperation Instrument (HEI ICI)
- Finnfund Financial Instrument
- FinnPartnership Business Partner Programme
- Cooperation with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
- Cultural programmes
- Social Advocacy Programmes
Finland provides each partner country with budget support to achieve the goals of the individual country plan (National Implementation Plan NIP). This budget support is directed to the country’s state budget, enabling funds to be used to achieve the main goals of the poverty reduction programme.
In addition to general budget support, Finland also provides specially earmarked sector budget supportfor specific activities in, for example, the education sector. Budget support is based on an agreement between the partner country and the donor, emphasising good governance, human rights, the reduction of inequalities, and democratic values. Stronger, more open and transparent governance, and the strengthening of civil society, are encouraged and supported through the use of budget support in the partner countries. The effects of budget support are monitored and evaluated annually, and the results are used as the basis for an annual dialogue between the partner country and the donor community.
Other support that takes the form of programme support are: balance of payments support, import support, food and other commodity assistance, and debt relief. Support in the form of special programmes is provided only to longterm partner countries.
Projects are an important and traditional form of development cooperation. Projects are supported by the donor country for a specific purpose and for a specified duration. Projects can be aimed at, for example, the strengthening of the forest administration of a specific province in a partner country, or the development of water and sanitation systems. Specific projects can be used to promote the key objectives of the partner country’s NIP, particularly in countries where conditions do not allow implementation of programme support due to weak public institutions or a need for capacity building, for example.
Local Cooperation Funds (LCF) are financial channels used by Finnish embassies abroad, particularly to promote the development of civil society in a partner country by supporting local actors. The size of the LCF differs from embassy to embassy.
Instruments for development cooperation between institutions, or Institutional Cooperation Instruments (ICI), are used for cooperation between state actors in the partner country and in Finland. These can be ministries, departments or research facilities, for example. The aim of these instruments is to build the capacity of officials in the partner country. The Higher Education Institutions ICI (HEI ICI) supports bilateral development cooperation projects between Finnish universities and those in the partner country.
The objectives of FinnFund projectsis to strengthen the production capacity of partner countries. FinnFund finances projects to create and strengthen responsible private enterprise in developing countries and countries with transition economies. The Fund is self-sustaining and targets credit worthy projects in challenging markets where commercial financing is not easily available.
The FinnPartnership business partner programmeis a joint financial channel between Finnish business and industry and that in the partner country. The aim is to strengthen the participation of Finnish companies in development cooperation in their own particular field.
Cooperation among non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is very wide and varied in a number of Finnish bilateral development cooperation partner countries. NGOs are encouraged to complement Finland’s other activities to attain the goals of the individual partner country’s national implementation plan (NIP), especially in regard to poverty reduction. The great strength of NGOs is the direct contacts they have between Finland and the partner countries.
Development cooperation is also carried out on a small scale in cultural arenasand through social advocacy programmes. To strengthen the understanding of development issues, and to aid in the development of a pluralistic culture in both Finland and the partner countries, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland provides grants for groups and individuals, for example to journalists and cultural affairs reporters who write about development cooperation.
With the aim of creating a better understanding of development issues, and to aid in developing a pluralistic culture, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland provides grants to, for example, journalists and cultural affairs reporters in both Finland and the partner countries, for work related to developing countries. Grants are also provided for studies of development policy and development cooperation.