Evaluation report: Finland’s Development Cooperation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

This independent evaluation assessed the development policy and cooperation implemented during 2009-2021 by the Department for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. It strategically examined development cooperation as a whole, the different impacts achieved as well as the sustainability of results through the various funding channels over the decade. The evaluation covered 11 countries under the Department, of which Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Ukraine were analyzed in more detail. The evaluation presents recommendations that can help improve development policy and cooperation in the region. The report also highlights broader lessons from this region for the Ministry in general.

Evaluointiraportin kansikuva

There has been strong coherence and complementarity between Finland’s development cooperation activities and foreign and security policy priorities in the region. Finland’s development policy objectives have been integrated well into its work in the region. Finland has a strong reputation as a donor committed to addressing core challenges that face partner countries.

The evaluation found that Finland has contributed to significant changes in all areas of support, especially in the socio-economic situation, environment, human rights and the rule of law. Finland’s long-term commitment to supporting interventions has facilitated tangible and sustainable results. Similarly, Finland’s commitment to addressing the needs of persons in disadvantaged positions had led to improvements in their rights. Sustainability is difficult to evaluate, however, and dependence on external funding is a challenge. Local capacity building and local ownership have strengthened the sustainability of results.

In terms of strategic recommendations, the report suggests that an overarching vision for development cooperation for the whole region is developed. Stakeholder participation in programming could be enhanced. Results-Based Management could be strengthened with sufficient human resources. Civil society could be involved in the programmatic cycle of Finland’s development cooperation. Monitoring and reporting practices could be improved in order for the ministry to be better able to function as a learning organisation.

The evaluation, started in Autumn 2020, used theories of change that were compiled based on the development policy objectives for the region. The findings draw on an extensive document review, 89 interviews and written responses.

The evaluation report consists of two volumes:

  • Volume 1, 2021/4a, ”Main Report” presents the main findings, conclusions and recommendations.
  • Volume 2, 2021/4b, ”Country Reviews” presents the results from the three country reviews: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Ukraine.

Evaluation reports

Evaluation on Development Cooperation carried out by the Department for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including the Wider Europe Initiative (WEI), Volume 1, Main Report (Opens New Window) (PDF, 190 sivua, 4,06 MB)

Evaluation on Development Cooperation carried out by the Department for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including the Wider Europe Initiative (WEI), Volume 2, Country Reviews (Opens New Window) (PDF, 116 sivua, 3,42 MB)

Selected highlights

A Decade’s Commitment to Addressing Core Development Challenges: Finland’s Development Policy and Cooperation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia – Selected Highlights from the Evaluation (Opens New Window) (PDF, 4 sivua, 286 KB)

Ministry's response to the evaluation

Management response (PDF, in Finnish, 2 pages, 2,41 MB)

Webinar recording and presentation of evaluation results

PowerPoint presentation of evaluation results - Webinar 27 May 2021 (Opens New Window) (PDF, 12 pages, 535 KB)

Please contact eva-11@formin.fi if you would like to have the webinar recording.