define development policy
The aim of development policy is to support developing countries’ efforts to eradicate poverty and inequality and promote sustainable development. Development policy is an integral part of Finland's foreign and security policy, development cooperation being one of the means of implementing it.
Development policy and development cooperation – what are they?
Development policy refers to activities that aim to reduce poverty, implement fundamental rights and promote sustainable development globally. It involves, for example, the policy dialogue conducted by Finland within international organisations and our dialogue with representatives of developing countries. The main responsibility for Finland’s development policy rests with the Foreign Ministry.
Many other government ministries also have a role in development policy, because developing countries are affected by many decisions made at national, EU and international level in other fields, e.g. safety and security, trade, agriculture, environment and migration policies. Coherence between the various policy sectors is a key principle in development policy.
Development cooperation is one way of implementing development policy. It involves practical cooperation with developing countries and other cooperation partners, including international organisations and NGOs, in order to achieve development goals.
The implementation of Finnish development policy is guided by the 2016 Government Report on Development Policy.
Our activities are based on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted within the UN in September 2015.
Striving to eradicate poverty and inequality and promote sustainable development
While the world on the whole has become more prosperous in recent years, inequality has increased both within and between countries. Extreme poverty is globally the greatest single human rights issue.
The goal of Finland’s development policy is the eradication of poverty and inequality and the promotion of sustainable development. Development policy also facilitates finding solutions to other global challenges, such as climate change.
The aim of all our activities is to strengthen developing countries’ own resources to allow them to be less dependent on development aid. Achieving sustainable results is only possible through economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development.
Finland’s action draws upon the inherent values and underlying principles of Nordic societies, the implementation of human rights being a key goal. Finnish development policy strives to strengthen the rights of the most vulnerable, promote gender equality and improve climate change preparedness and mitigation.
Four specific priorities
Finland focusses its action on four priority areas.
1. The rights and status of women and girls: Gender inequality is one of the greatest problems in developing countries. Experience has shown that enhancing the rights and the position of women and girls and their opportunities to participate strengthens the society as a whole, thus promoting attainment of the other development goals. Finland possesses the credibility and know-how to foster gender equality internationally.
Rights of women and girls (pdf, 2 pages, 1, 6 MB)
2. The growth of developing countries' economies to generate more jobs, livelihoods and well-being: Without a solid economic base, poverty and inequality cannot be eliminated, societies won't have income to cover their spending and they cannot develop to be eventually able to support themselves. Decent jobs and livelihood opportunities are the cornerstones of human well-being and well-functioning societies. Finland possesses know-how as a promoter of resource-wise and accountable business and economic activity.