Evaluation report 2013:3 Complementarity in Finland’s Development Policy and Co-operation: Complementarity in the NGO instruments

Gunnar Olesen
Yoseph Endeshaw

ISBN 978-952-281-207-0 (printed)
ISBN 978-952-281-206-3 (pdf)
ISSN 1235-7618

Evaluation report 2013: 3 Complementarity in Finland’s Development: A Case Study on Complementarity in the NGO Instruments

This case study on Finnish-funded support to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) is part of a broader evaluation of complementarity in Finland’s development policy and co-operation. The case study involved an extensive review of documents, surveys and interviews in Finland and in seven partner countries.

Between 2004 and 2012 NGO support was very fragmented. There was limited complementarity between Finnish NGOs and bilateral co-operation. The situation was better for INGOs and local grantees, as complementarity with Finland’s regional and country strategies was a more prominent concern in their selection. However, complementarity was also very limited within and between the NGO instruments. Finnish policies encourage complementarity, but there were no mechanisms to ensure actual implementation. Information and managerial structures of Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) were counterproductive. Information about NGO activities was limited, not easily available, and not shared between units and Embassies or with external stakeholders. Complementarity was supported by the MFA and most NGOs – some of which feared, however, that the distinction between state and civil society might become blurred.

The evaluation recommends a number of measures to enhance complementarity: adequate information management; MFA co-operation procedures that encourage complementarity; updating the civil society strategy; incentives for NGO support favouring complementarity in bilateral co-operation; and participation by relevant NGOs in the elaboration of regional and country strategies.

Keywords: Complementarity, fragmentation, information management, Non-Governmental Organisations, civil society organisations