The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has released the Development Assistance Committee’s review of Finland’s newly adopted development policy. Within the assessment are recommendations to further improve the reach and impact of Finnish development aid.
Progress made since the last review in 2008 was recognized in the report. In particular, it noted how Finland’s official development assistance budget in 2010 and 2011 — 0.55 percent and 0.52 percent of gross national income, respectively — exceeded the European Union’s intermediate target of 0.51 percent of GNI.
The OECD, however, sees the need to address the following to boost aid budgets to 0.7 percent of GNI by 2015 and better support developing countries:
Focus, specify and “operationalize” development policy.
Identify strategic objectives for policy coherence and improve impact monitoring and analyzing capacity.
Develop a strategic path to sustain its official development assistance growth levels and continue to concentrate on long term partners and on least developed countries.
Take a more strategic approach to maximize cooperation with civil society organizations.
Build on and further cultivate its entire development staff, and boost decentralization.
Promote multiannual commitments and use new strategy papers to increase support for partner countries.
Take necessary steps to move away from supply-driven aid and contribute to private sector development in developing countries.
Finalize its new humanitarian assistance strategy, focusing on limited objectives with solid impact.
Resolve slow disbursement issues and improve rapid response functions.
Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala said Finland is committed to increasing the “otherwise frozen development cooperation funding” and that its new development policy action plan addresses many of the issues highlighted in the review.
The OECD Development Assistance Committee reviews development policy and cooperation systems of member states every four or five years with examiners from two other member states. This year, the Finnish development policy and cooperation assessment was done with examiners from Switzerland and Austria.
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