Evaluation Report “Adapting for Change – Country Strategy Approach in Fragile Contexts”

Finland’s development cooperation with its long-term partner countries is planned and implemented under a Country Strategy approach, which in its present form was launched in 2012. The purpose of the country strategy evaluation launched in March 2019 was to assess the applicability and feasibility of the Country Strategy approach in fragile contexts, over the period 2012-current, given their specific challenges and requirements. The evaluation drew evidence from the experience of Country Strategies in four countries, namely Afghanistan, Myanmar, occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Somalia and in one region, i.e. the Strategy for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian aid in response to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq was included, to draw wider findings and conclusions. Findings are expected to inform the next generation of Country Strategies.

The evaluation report confirms that Finland is considered a highly principled and neutral actor in fragile countries and contexts and recommends using that reputational capital more systematically. According to the evaluators, policy dialogue priorities were appropriate and geared to statebuilding, while the development cooperation could be more closely linked to the medium term policy objectives, including peacebuilding. The report concludes that overall Finnish aid is relevant and well aligned with partner countries’ and institutions’ priorities, but the findings could not be linked to the Country Strategies themselves, since they provide limited guidance to programme partners on ensuring appropriate targeting. On the other hand, Finland’s programmatic assistance showed some adaptation to conditions over time, but that could be further improved if the financing procedures were more flexible. The report encourages the Ministry to continue and strengthen the Human Rights Based Approach and its practical implementation.  

The report consists of two parts:

  • Volume 1, Report 2020/2a, is a synthesis of findings, conclusions and recommendations based on the above mentioned five cases that were studied.
  • Volume 2, Report 2020/2b, Case Studies, includes findings from the field studies, as contributory evidence streams to the overarching evaluation.

Evaluation report:

Adapting to Change: Country Strategy Approach in Fragile Contexts, Volume 1, Synthesis report (Opens New Window) (PDF, 180 pages, 1,7 MB)

Adapting to Change: Country Strategy Approach in Fragile Contexts, Volume 2, Case Studies (Opens New Window) (PDF, 236 pages, 5,3 MB)


Adapting for Change: Country Strategy Approach in Fragile Contexts - selected highlights of the evaluation report (Opens New Window) (PDF, 4 pages, 229 KB)

Ministry's response to the evaluation

Management response (Opens New Window) (in Finnish, 4 pages, 161 KB)

Webinar presentation of evaluation results:

PowerPoint presentation of evaluation results - Webinar 7.5.2020 (Opens New Window)  (Opens New Window)(PDF, 15 pages, 1,63 MB)