Development cooperation produces results

Finland’s development cooperation improves the lives of millions of people and contributes to more stable and fair societies.

Development cooperation produces many different kinds of results. Some of the results are very concrete and easy to measure, such as clean drinking water, more and better educated teachers, and protection for people suffering from conflicts.

Others are to do with attitudes and social structures, such as well-functioning legal services, sustainable forestry, or ending discrimination. Usually it takes longer to achieve these changes.

Positive results enhance societies, wellbeing and global stability. They help Finland to achieve its foreign policy goals and fulfil its international commitments.  Through development cooperation, Finland plays a role in finding solutions to the major problems facing humankind. 

Finland’s Development Policy Results Report 2018 to be discussed in Parliament

Finland's Development Policy Results Report, which has been prepared by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, was submitted to Parliament on 1 November 2018. The report presents results of Finland's development policy and development cooperation reported in 2015–2018.

Finland's support has improved women's and girls' right to bodily integrity.  It has also helped people who are living amidst conflicts and trying to adapt to climate change.

A greater number of women have access to contraception. In 2015–2017, more than 1.5 million women and girls used sexual and reproductive health services made available to them through bilateral development cooperation between Finland and its partner countries. More than 56 million women used contraception with EU support between 2014 and 2016.

Food and clean water for millions. Finnish civil society organisations have supported 433,270 small farmers of whom 54 per cent have been women. The number of beneficiaries rises to 2,062,000, when their family members are included.  Finland’s bilateral support has helped 2,466,700 people get access to water supply and 5,940,500 to sanitation. In addition, 661,380 schools have been provided with water supply and sanitation services.

The report shows that Finland and its partners are achieving their goals quite well. The work is most impactful when the financial assistance provided by Finland is combined with a political dialogue, expertise and influencing efforts. Finland has reached particularly good results in areas where it promotes matters based on its core values: equality, inclusion and non-discrimination.

Achieving results has been most challenging in areas where partnerships have been weakened by different kinds of instability. More consideration should be given to these risks. In fragile environments, being able to sustain progress already made or avoiding a downward trend can be considered a good result as such.

Changes in society take time. Achieving results requires long-term commitment and an ability to adjust. Development policy can be successful only if it is able to continuously renew its approach and monitor new knowledge on results and effectiveness. In future, Finland should focus on a limited number of themes and activities.

Read a summary of Finland's Development Policy Results Report 2018 (PDF) 

Quiz and 100 results 

Finland's Development Policy Results Report inspired the Foreign Ministry to prepare a quiz, which anyone can play to test their knowledge of what results Finland has achieved through its development cooperation. Questions about the state of the world and about Finland as a player in world politics are also included.  Results of development cooperation quiz (in Finnish) on the website of Kehitys-Utveckling magazine.

On the same webpage there is a collection of 100 results that show how development cooperation has improved people's lives in different parts of the world.