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Publications, 4/1/2008

Evaluation of Finnish Aid to Afghanistan

pdfEvaluation: Finnish Aid to Afghanistan (PDF, 117 pages, 631 kB)

pdfSummary (PDF, 32 pages, 304 kB)

Evaluation Report of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland 2007:1
Evaluation of Finnish Aid to Afghanistan

ISBN -951-724-634-7 (printed)
ISBN 978- 724-635 4 (pdf)
ISSN 1235-7618

Anne Davies, Juha-Matti Seppänen, Hassina Sherjan, Kristiina Rintakoski ja Emery Brusset

Abstract

Afghanistan became an important beneficiary of international assistance in 2002 when the international community embarked on efforts to stabilize and reconstruct the country and to support its democratic development after years of conflict. Afghanistan is still one of the world’s poorest countries and a challenging operating environment for aid work. The threat to security is acute. Finland’s annual aid to Afghanistan is around 11.8-12.5 million euros.

The purpose of this evaluation was to critically review the relevance and results of Finnish development aid in Afghanistan.

The report states that Finland is a respected donor and that Finnish aid is coherent and relevant to the priorities in Afghanistan. However, more consideration of possible negative consequences is required, and the evaluation points out how part of the aid may have had adverse effects. For example, the impact of aid spent on weakening the narcotics industry in Afghanistan appears to have had the opposite effect of that intended, but the evaluation cautions that the complexities involved do not permit simple cause and effect calculations. Many programmes funded by Finland are having a positive impact, or have a high impact potential. The report takes note of the coordination shortcomings of the various donors in Afghanistan and suggests that this is an area where the EU, and Finland as a member state, could have a stronger role. Corruption is rampant, especially at high levels of the Afghan administration, contributing to growing popular disenchantment with the government. The report states that, despite the Afghanistan’s development potential and its population’s desire for peace and security, it could, due to its vast problems, plunge back into turmoil and conflict.

The report recommends that Finland should more firmly support international pressure to remove corrupt high-level Afghan officials from office. Finland should also more actively look for innovative solutions to the key problems in Afghanistan. Communication with Afghan society at all levels must be strengthened in order to dispel suspicions many Afghans have towards western aid organisations.

A number of Finnish NGOs operate in Afghanistan. The report suggests that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) should remind all NGOs supported by the MFA of the necessity to adhere to the NGO Code of Conduct, which prohibits proselytism. In order to ensure the proper use of Finnish funding to NGOs, the MFA should also commission an evaluation of those NGOs working in Afghanistan.

Key words: Afghanistan, evaluation, country programme  

This document

Updated 9/1/2008

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