Monitoring, oversight and risk management of development cooperation

Development cooperation is closely monitored and preparations for risk management are made starting from the planning phase. Besides the oversight by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA), many external operators monitor the use of funding and the fulfilment of the set targets.

African children studying at school.
The class of five-year-olds at the ESACS School, Dar es Salaam. Photo: Tiina Kirkas / Kehityslehti

Identifying possible risks and risk management are essential elements of the implementation of development cooperation. Development cooperation is a means to improve the living conditions in poor countries where administrative structures are often weak. This generates risks that may complicate efforts to achieve the intended results. Risks are reduced through good planning and careful selection of partners. They are managed through active monitoring, inspections, evaluations and policy dialogue. Risk management is an important part of the management system of Finland’s development cooperation.

The general responsibilities concerning oversight and risk management are defined in the Foreign Ministry’s risk management policy and rules of procedure. All Foreign Service employees, units and departments are responsible for oversight and risk management. They follow the implementation of projects during field trips, monitor and report on the results and use of funds, and participate in the work of organisations’ boards of directors or steering committees with other donors. Besides the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, other authorities and partners’ oversight units also monitor the achievement of the set objectives and the use of funds.

The Foreign Ministry’s Internal Audit Unit supervises the activities of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and its missions abroad. It gives recommendations on how to improve the oversight and risk management responsibilities. The National Audit Office of Finland (NAOF)(Link to another website.) monitors and audits the legality and effectiveness of central government finances and compliance with state budget. The National Audit Office of Finland has extensive rights to obtain information, laid down in the Constitution.

Parliament (Link to another website.)monitors the activities of the Government and administration both politically and judicially. In addition, oversight is carried out by the Audit Committee(Link to another website.), the Office of the Chancellor of Justice(Link to another website.) and the Parliamentary Ombudsman(Link to another website.). The Development Policy Committee(Link to another website.) monitors and evaluates Finland’s activities in policy areas with an impact on developing countries. The Development Policy Committee is an advisory body appointed by the Government. Its members represent the parliamentary parties and various interest groups and civil society organisations (CSOs), as well as researchers.