Report praises Finnish CSOs: Finn Church Aid’s cost-effective work delivers results even in the most challenging contexts

In 2016, we assisted 50 136 children to school in the Central African Republic. Photo: Catianne Tijerina.
In 2016, Finn Church Aid assisted 50 136 children to school in the Central African Republic. Photo: Catianne Tijerina.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland evaluated the work of six civil society organisations. Results are considered well in line with Finnish development policies, and FCA’s results are valued highly.

Finn Church Aid’s (FCA) work is described as innovative, effective and efficient in a new independent evaluation on civil society organisations (CSO) in development cooperation.

The evaluation ordered by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) was published on Tuesday. FCAs genuine presence in its programme countries and ability to deliver results in challenging contexts were valued highly.

The report also found that the work of FCA and other organisations does well in reaching vulnerable, poor and marginalised people, especially in fragile contexts. That’s well in line with Finnish development policies.

”MFA’s evaluation shows that the support for CSOs clearly has an impact”, says Executive Director of Finn Church Aid Jouni Hemberg.

“The work of CSOs plays a key role in enhancing opportunities to livelihoods, quality education and dignified lives of the most vulnerable people. Finland should continue supporting this valuable work.”

FCA has expertise and a comparative advantage in its three closely interlinked themes: Right to Quality Education, Right to Livelihood and Right to Peace.

The strong emphasis on linking learning to earning received particular praise in the report. The lives of programme participants had improved in for instance the Democratic Republic of Congo and Jordan.

True partnership and strong trust

FCA’s strong presence in its countries of operation and emphasis on fragile contexts ensure an in-depth understanding of the local contexts. This supports good coordination and relevant programming, according to the report.

Results also point out that FCA’s Country Offices work cost-effectively even in the most challenging circumstances. FCA is also considered able to share relevant, up-to-date information to partners and stakeholders in Finland, and advocate effectively on both local and international levels.

FCA’s partners evaluate their relationship to FCA as true partnership. FCA’s insistence on transparency and accountability both from itself and its partners builds trust within communities as well – even in areas controlled or influenced by radical groups. Donors value FCA for its ability and willingness to undertake innovative interventions in contexts where other actors are less present.

Humanitarian funding needs more flexibility

CSO’s strive to strengthen linkages between relief, rehabilitation and development. This objective could be supported by the MFA through multi-year funding instead of only funding one year at a time.

”The protracted crises of today demand long-term presence in order to ensure continuity and efficiency. The funding of humanitarian assistance should be more flexible”, Hemberg says.

The MFA evaluates a total of 22 organisations receiving its Programme Based Support in three parts. The first part was published in September 2016. The second part that was published this week included FCA and five other CSOs and focused on the period of 2010–2016.

Both reports acknowledged the efficiency of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance performed by CSOs.

For more information: Jouni Hemberg, Executive Director, Finn Church Aid, tel. + 358 50 325 9579