Evaluation report 2012:5 Finnish support to development of local governance
By: Hans Bjørn Olsen
Jens Peter Christensen
ISBN 978-952-281-002-1 (printed)
ISBN 978-952-281-003-8 (pdf)
The evaluation assessed Finnish support to local governance and decentralisation. It
examined the North-South Local Government Cooperation Programme (NSLGCP)
of the Association of Regional and Local Authorities of Finland and 10 other programmes.
Document analysis and interviews were conducted in Finland, Kenya, Namibia,
South-Africa, Swaziland and Tanzania.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MoFA) emphasizes ownership and harmonization
in development assistance. The current assessment confirmed the relevance
of the interventions to the policies of Finland and the cooperation countries.
However, the impact and sustainability of aspects of local governance were difficult
to ascertain for a number of reasons. One issue was that the NSLGCP had weak reporting at the indicator levels. A second issue was that the 10 other programmes did
not address local governance; instead they addressed national policy issues through
centrally implemented programmes. Five of the local governance programmes related
to aspects of policy support, good governance, decentralised service delivery, local
rural development and decentralised project cooperation in both design and implementation.
The evaluation recommends that MoFA develop a systematic approach to local governance support as part of Finnish development policy. This recommendation implies that a coherent policy statement on this topic should be developed. This means
enhancing, throughout the embassies, knowledge of local governance, both on a
headquarters and technical level. Furthermore, those working with local governance
issues should receive enhanced needs-based training to increase the organisational understanding of local governance issues. Targeted training could create better linkages
between sector programmes and projects and promote local capacities and ownership
of the development process.
Key words: local governance, decentralisation, service delivery, ownership