Finland's development policy to be reformed – Government policy paper under preparation
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is outlining a new development policy. The policy will be based on the development policy priorities recorded in the Government Programme and on the UN Sustainable Development Agenda, adopted in late September.
The aim of the policy paper is to crystallize the main goals and priorities of Finland's development policy and to steer the implementation of the activities. In the new policy, the importance of development policy for Finland will be accentuated more emphatically than before.
"Finland itself also benefits in many ways from shouldering its international responsibility, for instance, by means of carrying out an active development policy," Under-Secretary for Development Policy Elina Kalkku says.
"It is important to highlight that development policy is also in Finland's own interest."
Stakeholders' expertise is used in the preparative phase
Different actors in Finnish society participate extensively in the implementation of development policy. The views and knowledge of stakeholders will be drawn upon during the preparatory phase this autumn.
The draft policy paper will be sent for comments to the central stakeholders involved in development policy and development cooperation in mid-October. The draft will be discussed with the stakeholders and they can also send written comments.
The policy will be elaborated on the basis of the comments, and the final text is to be ready towards the end of the year.
Content and procedures will be reconsidered
The development policy will be outlined against the backdrop of the Government Programme and the general government fiscal plan, taking into account the cuts in development cooperation appropriations and the allocation of appropriations to equity investments in developing countries.
The following four key themes will be prioritised in Finland's development policy in the future:
- empowerment of women and girls;
- stable and well-functioning societies;
- capacity to generate and manage energy, water and food in a sustainable way; and
- strengthening of private sector, job creation and taxation capacity in developing countries.
The sustainable development goals and agenda, adopted in the UN in September 2015, will also influence the content of the policy. Recent external reviews of Finland's development policy and development cooperation and their recommendations will also be made use of in this work.
Cuts in the appropriations and lay-offs affecting personnel demand more accurate prioritisation and new sort of working methods. These changes will ensure the quality and continuing improvement of Finland's development cooperation also in the future.