Evaluation report: Water as an Entry Point for Peace Mediation – Evaluation on Finnish Water Diplomacy

This independent evaluation studied the future ambition and possibilities of the Finnish water diplomacy. At the same time it looked at the past water sector cooperation to identify lessons that can be learned from processes where diplomatic objectives are intertwined with technical cooperation.

The forward looking track of the evaluation focused on identification of the Finnish ambition. The concrete actions recommended in the evaluation report are aimed at helping Finland fulfill its potential and achieve its ambition, also in terms of implementing the Finnish International Water Strategy Finn Water Way.

The backward looking evaluative track studied the Finnish cooperation in the Mekong region and in the Nile Basin.  The Finnish-Russian transboundary water agreements and Finland’s long standing cooperation within United Nations Economic Commission with Europe (UNECE) were also included in the scope of the evaluation. As an initiator of two important water conventions Finland has continued its technical and financial support to UNECE’s Water Convention Secretariat and numerous Working Groups since the beginning. 

Instead of focusing on the achievements at project level, the evaluation sought to identify strengths and weaknesses that could yield lessons for future initiatives combining diplomatic objectives with technical cooperation.

The evaluation concludes that Finland has potential to become one of the leading water diplomacy actors in the near future. However, there is a gap between the ambition and the current situation. Challenges identified by the evaluation are linked to resources and organizational issues. Moreover, the evaluation recommends that Finland should be less shy about its achievements and also actively seek international partners with complementary knowledge and skills. The key strength identified by the evaluation lies in the highly motivated water diplomacy network. Besides the committed sector ministries, its backbone is formed by Finnish research institutes, non-governmental organizations and other private actors.

Evaluation reports

Water as an Entry Point for Peace Mediation – Evaluation on Finnish Water Diplomacy, Volume 1, Main Report (PDF, 86 pages, 4.09 MB)

Water as an Entry Point for Peace Mediation – Evaluation on Finnish Water Diplomacy, Volume 2, Case Study Reports and Annexes (PDF, 255 pages, 5.73 MB)


Finland's Water Diplomacy: From Ambition to Action (PDF, 4 pages, 753 KB)

Ministry's response to the evaluation

Management response (PDF, in Finnish, 2 pages, 143 KB)

Presentation of evaluation results and recording

PowerPoint presentation of evaluation results - Webinar 28 October 2021 (PDF, 20 pages, 5 MB)

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