Evaluation report: Evaluation of Economic Development, Job Creation and Livelihoods

The evaluation examined how Finland's support has contributed to strengthening the economy, creating jobs and improving livelihoods in partner countries. It assessed how development policy objectives had been achieved, what were the strengths and weaknesses of the assistance provided, and proposed measures to strengthen development cooperation in this field.

The evaluation was strategic and forward-looking. The methodology followed a mixed-methods approach consisting of several components such as Country Case Studies for Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia; analysis of private sector instruments and analyses of specific thematic areas (energy, innovation, taxation and women's economic empowerment). In addition, good practices implemented by peer countries were mapped. The evaluation focused on the period 2016–2019.

Development policy priorities have strengthened the coherence

The evaluation confirms that the coherence of the actions funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) to strengthen Economic development, job creation and livelihoods portfolio in partner countries has moved in the right direction. Finland´s development cooperation has produced many success stories in supporting partner countries´ economic development, job creation, and livelihoods. The interventions evaluated in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia responded well to most of the development challenges faced by these countries. The MFA has strengthened the coherence of its development cooperation in recent years by defining specific priorities for development policy and linking to them the objectives of the country strategies. According the evaluation, the objectives of the individual projects were in line with these broader objectives. Support for the energy sector, innovation, taxation and the economic empowerment of women generally met both the objectives of Finland´s development policy and the needs of the partner countries.

However, a lack of strategic leadership undermined portfolio performance as well as internal and external coherence. The MFA has at its disposal a range of methods, aid modalities and projects that support appropriate and effective development cooperation. Yet, the MFA still has untapped potential for even better results. There are gaps in private sector funding mechanisms that limit their ability to create successful and development-oriented business models. When transitioning from developing cooperation to commercial (and other) relations, the process should be strategized well in advance and resourced sufficiently.

A holistic approach needed to strengthen the partner countries’ economies and cooperation with the private sector

An examination of global trends and the experience of other Nordic countries showed that strengthening the partner countries' economies and cooperating with the private sector requires a holistic approach. In Finland's development policy, the relevant aspects of economic development and private sector partnering have not been defined well enough, which in turn has led to a fragmentation of operations.

The evaluation encourages developing a comprehensive, coherent and actionable Policy for Economic Development and Private Sector Engagement. In addition, it recommends developing practical Private Sector Instrument Guidelines to accompany the Policy. It suggests making implementation of the Economic Development, Job Creation and Livelihoods portfolio more holistic by adopting an ecosystem approach to programming.

The evaluation “Economic Development, Job Creation and Livelihoods” consists of four parts:

Volume 1.1. Main Report (2021/ 1A), represents the findings, conclusions and recommendations

Volume 1.2. Annexes (2021/ 1B), includes methodological annexes, the thematic analysis (energy, innovation, taxation and women´s economic empowerment) and study on the Best Practices and Peer Review

Volume 2. Case Studies (2021/ 1C), includes the results of the Case country studies of Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania

Volume 3, Study on Private Sector Instruments (2021/ 1D), is an analytical review of Private Sector Instruments

Evaluation reports

Evaluation of Economic Development, Job Creation and Livelihoods, Volume 1, Main Report (PDF, 118 pages, 1,86 MB)

Evaluation of Economic Development, Job Creation and Livelihoods, Volume 1.2, Annexes (PDF, 118 pages, 2,56 MB)

Evaluation of Economic Development, Job Creation and Livelihoods, Volume 2, Case Studies (PDF, 294 pages, 4,46 MB)

Evaluation of Economic Development, Job Creation and Livelihoods, Volume, Volume 3, Study on Private Sector Instruments (PDF, 94 pages, 1,61 MB)


How Finland’s Development Policy and Cooperation Reinforces Economies, Job Creation and Livelihoods in Partner Countries (PDF, 4 pages, 428 KB)

Ministry's response to the evaluation

Management response (in Finnish, 4 pages, 133 KB)

Webinar recording and presentation of evaluation results

PowerPoint presentation of evaluation results - Webinar 27.1.2021 (Opens New Window) (PDF, 28 pages, 319 KB)

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