Press release 219/2013
14 October 2013
A news item published in the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat on 14 October raised a project carried out during the 30 years of development cooperation between Finland and Nicaragua. Evaluation of the Propemce project that was raised relates to one aspect of development cooperation focused on Nicaragua. Summaries of the evaluations of the bilateral projects coming to an end in Nicaragua are currently being prepared by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and will be translated into Finnish, Swedish and English. The summaries will be completed during November and the evaluation reports will be published as annexes to them.
The Ministry will issue information about development cooperation with Nicaragua as a whole when the bilateral projects have been completed and the diplomatic mission in Managua has closed at the end of 2013. The previous comprehensive evaluation of programmes with Nicaragua was completed in 2011 and is published on the website of the Ministry.
The decision to end development cooperation between the Governments of Finland and Nicaragua was taken in February 2012. The decision was one element in the comprehensive Development Policy Programme adopted by the Government. There were several reasons for this: concern over the narrowing of the country’s democratic space as well as broader efforts to reduce the fragmentation of assistance. In line with the present Development Policy Programme, Finland targets its assistance more to the poorest countries in Africa and Asia, and to countries where the most results can be achieved with our support.
The Development Policy Programme adopted in February 2012 emphasizes the effectiveness of assistance. Development cooperation programmes, projects and the use of funds channelled to them are monitored, any irregularities are addressed and, when necessary, funds are recovered. For example, issues concerning the use of funds in Mozambique that emerged last year came to light through the Ministry’s own monitoring and reporting. Information about these problems was also issued.
Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala has stressed that access to information and transparency constitute the base of a credible development cooperation. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is increasing the transparency of development cooperation this autumn by changing its systems so that funding decisions pertaining to development cooperation will automatically be available on the Ministry website. The publication of information has already begun, and all targets for development cooperation funding will gradually be incorporated.
Some 40–60 partial evaluation reports of the type mentioned in the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat are compiled every year. The Ministry is determining how these, too, could be published even before the completion of the overall evaluations for specific countries.
Additional information: Deputy Director General Riikka Laatu, Department for Development Policy, tel. +358 295 350 970, mobile tel. + 358 40 351 1703