Press release 165/2017
26 September 2017
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has commissioned an independent evaluation of the development cooperation of 22 Finnish civil society organisations. The evaluation praises the organisations for their cost-effective work at grassroots level, but urges them to further improve their long-term effectiveness and the work to strengthen civil societies in their target countries.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs ordered an independent evaluation of the development cooperation programmes of 22 civil society organisations (CSOs) receiving programme-based support. Due to the scope of the work, the evaluation is published in three parts in 2016–2017. The third and last part of the evaluation has now been published. It summarises the observations on the development cooperation programmes of the CSOs and the programme-based support as a financing channel.
Programme-based support is the most important aid the Ministry grants to development cooperation programmes of CSOs. It accounts for some 75 per cent of the aid the Unit for Civil Society at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs grants to CSOs. Individual CSOs have received aid for EUR 1–53 million in 2010–2016.
The Finnish CSOs have delivered good results especially in providing services to people out of reach of other support, according to the evaluation. They are able to work in very difficult environments, including fragile states. However, there is only a little information on longer term outcomes. The CSOs are urged to pay more attention to efforts to strengthen local civil society. They should also be further improving the sustainability of their work.
The evaluation also assesses the efficiency of the programme-based support as a financing channel, and gives recommendations to both CSOs and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Programme-based support has made it easier to integrate the development cooperation by CSOs into the Finnish development policy. In future, the links between the CSOs and other Finnish development cooperation should be improved, according to the evaluation. It further recommends that CSOs collaborate with companies, for example.
Programme-based support is a flexible and predictable means of financing for CSOs. The evaluation recommends that programme-based support be granted for at least four years.
“The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has already addressed some of the evaluation’s recommendations. For example, it has extended the term of the programme-based support from three years to four. Both CSOs and the Ministry will improve their effectiveness. We will discuss the recommendations for CSOs together with each organisation,” says Jyrki Nissilä, Director of the Unit for Civil Society.
Sanna Pulkkinen, Desk Officer, Development Evaluation Unit, tel. + 358 29 535 1346, and Jyrki Nissilä, Director of the Unit for Civil Society, tel. + 358 29 535 1205