Evaluation: Finland’s Development Cooperation with Kenya in 2007-2013

Kenya is one of Finland’s long-term partner countries in development cooperation.The purpose of this evaluation is to analyse this relationship as it unfolded in 2007–2013, and to offer recommendations for its future in ways that reflect the evolution of Kenya’s and Finland’s development cooperation circumstances and policies. Findings and recommendations are based on extensive document review and interviews in both countries.

Kenya is now a lower-middle income country and not very dependent on development
cooperation. The 2010 Constitution, and devolution to the 47 counties that began in 2013, offer Kenya a new opportunity to address its persistent development challenges. Finland’s Development Cooperation Strategy (2013–2016) aims at supporting implementation of the constitution and devolution. The evaluation team found this focus to be highly appropriate.

Finnish cooperation has been channelled to three main sectors: governance, rural development/agriculture, and natural resources management, with total annual disbursements of approximately € 10 million. Finland has managed to ‘punch above its
weight’ in the selected sectors and also in donor coordination. The evaluation
recommends that Finland stays engaged in the same sectors, but also starts preparing a new strategy for 2017–2020 to pave the way for transition away from aid dominated cooperation.

Finland supports central government agencies with large projects that include
sizeable technical assistance components. This approach and the selected partners
are not necessarily best suited to support devolution and capacity building in counties. The evaluation team recommends that all existing and future projects contribute specifically to capacity building at the county level. Finland should also actively seek opportunities to facilitate cooperation and coordination among Kenyan actors, while also striving to increase economic cooperation between Finland and Kenya.

As a new project to strengthen counties, the evaluation team recommends preparation
of on-line county-level atlases of ecosystems and the goods and services linked to them, thus providing access to knowledge that will help county governments plan for sustainable management and investment affecting these resources. To complement this, there should be a study on governance, investment incentives and benefit sharing in relation to renewable natural resources.