Inter-institutional development cooperation
- Twinning projects between Finnish and partner countries' public sector institutions
- Institutional Cooperation Instrument
- Manual for project management
- Project preparation takes place in two stages
- The ICI will be monitored and developed
- Higher Education Institutions Institutional Cooperation Instrument, HEI ICI
The Finnish public sector participates in development cooperation by cooperating with the partner countries' public sector. A financing instrument was launched in 2008 to promote small-scale projects between government authorities and agencies. The objective of the projects is to support capacity-building in the partner agency.
Finnish ministries and government agencies possess expertise, which they endeavour to make available to their counterparts in the partner countries. Interaction between institutions is also an important instrument contributing to the promotion of cultural relations and cooperation.
The instructions concerning project planning and implementation are fairly straightforward. The cooperating institutions have the responsibility to outline the cooperation to suit their needs and capacities. Priority is given to the establishment of a trustful relationship and focusing cooperation on concrete topics.
Thanks to the Institutional Cooperation Instrument (ICI), Finnish government agencies can take part in development cooperation. The objective is to strengthen the skills and know-how of government actors, such as ministries, in the developing countries. The action resembles twinning: a developing country actor cooperates with a Finnish government agency.
The Finnish agency and its employees take official liability for the implementation of the projects.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs issues an assignment, which in practice means direct procurement. The legal officers of the Department for Development Policy will advice, as required, in the determination of whether a potential Finnish actor is acceptable to serve as a government agency or not.
The key features of ICI are described in the presentation below.
The appended ICI - Manual and Best Practices provides further guidance on the management of the projects. The Manual includes the following sections:
Part A: Introduction. An overview of the institutional cooperation instrument project cycle.
Part B: Guiding documents
Part C. Finnish legislation and internal instructions
Part D: Best practices
The Manual is published only in English. The manual has been revised in June 2012.
The following regulations steer the use of ICI.
The cooperating agencies are expected to proceed in two stages. The agencies prepare a joint preliminary project proposal - or a partner country agency prepares it alone - to the MFA.
The proposals should be addressed to "MFA, KEO-kirjaamo, PO Box 403, 00023 Government, Finland" with the text "ICI application, country ___" on the cover.
The MFA makes a decision on each project proposal. If the project proposal is accepted, the MFA enters in a dialogue with the Finnish agency. The MFA may provide financial support for proper planning as well as the services of the facilitation consultant. The Finnish agency is solely responsible for the cooperation links with the partner agency during the planning and implementation stages.
The outcome of the planning project is a Project Document. It must fulfil certain technical requirements, and it will be assessed by the Quality Assurance Group of the MFA. The financing decision will be made by the minister.
The requirements for the project proposal and for the project document are described in the ICI Manual.
A pilot phase of the ICI has been carried out during 2008 and 2009. The Department for Development Cooperation will follow its use paying attention to, for example, complementarity in relation to other instruments, number and volume of projects, projects' effectiveness, projects' integration into the partner countries' administrative systems, and projects' sustainability.
ICI projects in general andthe impact of the Finnish administrative reforms on the utilisation of the instrument will be monitored closely.
The opportunities that ICI opens up are related to effective utilisation of Finnish know-how, senior and junior technical experts' recruitment to development cooperation, and the possibility to use new technical platforms for modern capacity-building. The risks involved in the use of ICI are linked with the common bottlenecks encountered in connection with capacity-building projects, problems arising from poor planning and the limited resources available for the implementing party.
The Higher Education Institutions Institutional Cooperation Instrument (HEI ICI) programme supports cooperation projects between Finnish and developing countries higher education institutions. The purpose is to strengthen developing country HEIs’ capacity.
- Further information about the HEI ICI programme on CIMO’s website
- See also HEI cooperation programmes