Ten years of SlovakAid
Slovakia became a member of the community of donors providing assistance to developing countries with its accession to the OECD (2000), European Union (2004) and OECD Development Assistance Committee – DAC (2013). Preparatory process and the Membership in these organizations have made a significant contribution to the creation of the mechanism for official Slovak development assistance. The present form of this mechanism originated in 2003.
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic (MFEA SR) became the national coordinator for providing Slovak development assistance. In those first years the mechanism of Slovak development assistance was built with major support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the UN Development Program (UNDP).
Legislatively the policy of development assistance is governed by Act No. 617/2007 Coll. on Official Development Assistance and amendment of Act No. 575/2001 Coll. on the Organisation of Activities of the Government and Central State Administration, as amended. In 2007 the Ministry established a budgetary organization, the Slovak Agency for International Development Cooperation (SAIDC).
Official development assistance has become an integral component of the foreign policy of the Slovak Republic. More than 400 projects in nearly twenty countries in Africa, Asia and Europe have been implemented over the past decade under the SlovakAid logo. 2013 became a major milestone for Slovak official development assistance as the Slovak Republic became a member of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (DAC OECD). This step represented culmination of ten years of efforts to build a quality and efficient mechanism for development cooperation of the Slovak Republic.
Why Slovakia assists developing countries
Development cooperation of the Slovak Republic has to be seen as Slovakia's contribution towards more prosperous, stable and secure world. Poverty, terrorism, illegal immigration, climate change and other issues are not problems that are exclusive to developing countries; they are also problems of advanced countries in today´s globalized world. Cooperation with the developing world indirectly helps Slovakia.
Development assistance is an efficient tool of Slovak foreign policy and last but not least it enables Slovakia to meet obligations and duties arising from its membership in the EU, the UN and the OECD. In addition, EU membership and multilateral contributions to EuropeAid give Slovakia ability to influence international development agenda thanks to full voting membership compensating for its geopolitical weight respective to the size of the country.
Goals of Slovak development cooperation
Slovakia offers development cooperation to partner countries with the aim of contributing to sustainable development, mainly via reducing poverty, strengthening democracy and good governance. SR is building on its historical experience and a specific story of the country which has gone through a difficult and successful transformation process.
- Human development of partner countries, primarily by supporting education and employment;
- Support of democracy and good governance including dialogue between civil society and state institutions.
In fulfilling its vision and the goals, the SR relies on:
- Its transformation experience in building independent state institutions, development of a market economy and meeting the principles of democracy;
- Successful integration in international organisations and groups;
- Recent experience as an aid recipient.
In 2013 the Ministry completed its third consecutive conceptual document – Medium-Term Strategy for Development Cooperation of the Slovak Republic for 2014 - 2018) (pdf; 4,97 MB). This strategy is the primary tool used for planning development assistance pursuant to Act No 617/2007 Coll.
Other legal regulations regarding development cooperation of the Slovak Republic and its implementation:
- Act No. 617/2007 Coll. on Official Development Assistance and amendment of Act No. 575/2001 Coll. on the Organisation of Activities of the Government and Central State Administration, as amended.
- Act No. 545/2010 Coll. on Granting Subsidies by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic and on amendment to Act No. 617/2007 Coll. on Official Development Assistance and amendment of Act No. 575/2001 Coll. on the Organisation of Activities of the Government and Central State Administration, as amended.
- Regulation No. 134/2011 Coll. of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic of 20 April 2011 on the Details of Applications for Subsidies, the Details of Contracts to provide Subsidies and the Details of Calls, including Procedures when Submitting Official Development Assistance Programs and Projects
- Regulation No. 135/2011 Coll. of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic of 20 April 2011 on the Composition of the Committee, Decisions by the Committee, the Organization of Work and the Procedures used by the Committee when Evaluating Applications and Criteria for Evaluating Applications to Provide Subsidies for Official Development Assistance.
Other documents formulating the strategic and legislative framework of development cooperation of the Slovak Republic:
- National Strategy for Global Education for 2012 - 2016 (pdf; 232,2 kB) approved on 18.1.2012 by the Slovak Government
- Directive No. 92/2009 defining the rules for implementing the program of micro-grants for Embassies of the Slovak Republic approved on 17.9.2009 by the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic Program for Sending Volunteers to Developing Countries within Official Development Assistance (pdf; 234,66 kB) approved on 23.2.2012 by the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic
- Concept for Involving Business Entities in Development Cooperation of the Slovak Republic (pdf; 234,33 kB) approved on 4.10.2012 by the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic
- Strategy for Development Cooperation with the Republic of Kenya for 2014 - 2018
Strategy for Development Cooperation with the Republic of Kenya for 2014 - 2018 This program document contains an overview of past development activities and initiatives of the Slovak Republic in Kenya and defines the basic principles, priority areas and goals of development cooperation of the Slovak Republic with Kenya for 2014 - 2018. The strategy applies a systematic approach to development cooperation by defining objectives and results towards which the individual interventions within its implementation shall contribute. The strategy also includes a mechanism for regular monitoring and assessment with the goal of ensuring efficient implementation and transparent control over the use of public funds.
Strategy for Development Cooperation with the Republic of Kenya for 2014 - 2018) (pdf; 4,76 MB)
10 territorial priorities of the Slovak official development assistance have been set for 2014 - 2018. Within two main SlovakAid programmes - the Development Interventions Programme and the Transformation Experience Sharing Programme - the SR will cooperate with the following partner countries:
1. Programme countries: Afghanistan, Kenya, Moldova.
2. Project countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Ukraine.
3. A country with exceptional humanitarian and development needs: South Sudan.
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Community forest nursery in Molo in which a group of women grow tree seedlings used in the reforestation of the Mau Forest.
Developing human resources capacities at Polytechnical University of Kabul.
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Development education - the goals are to increase the knowledge of primary school students on the realities of the developing world.
Slovak development cooperation will generally focus on the following seven areas:
- Education – vocational training focusing on access to the labour market and self-employment, teacher education, equipment of educational facilities;
- Healthcare - basic healthcare, nutrition programmes, education of the population and public awareness of prevention and healthcare, education of healthcare personnel;
- Good governance and building of civil society - public finance management, public sector reform, enhancement of rule of law and public participation in democratic processes, security sector reform, activities of civil experts within international crisis management;
- Agriculture and forestry - implementation of new techniques and methods, processing of agricultural products with focus on their marketing and sales, food security, soil protection;
- Water and sanitation - drinking water supply, water and waste management;
- Energy – with focus on energy security and alternative resources;
- Support of market environment development and small and medium enterprises.
Management structure of development cooperation of the Slovak Republic
A number of domestic entities are involved in the formation and implementation of Slovak development assistance:
- The coordinator of Slovak development assistance is the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic through the Department of Development Assistance and Humanitarian Aid of the Division for International Organisations, Development Assistance and Humanitarian Aid.
- The Ministry's basic instrument for the coordination of Slovak development assistance is the Coordination Committee for Development Cooperation of the Slovak Republic. The Coordination Committee is an advisory body to the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Its members are representatives of the central bodies of state administration and other partners involved in development cooperation of the Slovak Republic.
- The implementation organization for the largest portion of bilateral Slovak development assistance is the Slovak Agency for International Development Cooperation (SAIDC). SAIDC was established by the Ministry via Act No. 617/2007 Coll., which stipulates the standing and activities of the agency. SAIDC offers national entities the opportunity to implement projects in target countries through specialized programs or call for proposals.
- The Project Committee for Slovak Development Assistance was established in order to evaluate submitted development assistance projects.
- The CETIR (Centre for Experience Transfer in Integration and Reforms) management committee manages and implements the MFEA SR program designed to transfer Slovak transformation and integration experience to partnering countries through a contact point within the SAIDC development agency.
- Other government entities are also involved in development cooperation of the Slovak Republic including for example the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic (MI SR) and the Migration Office of the MI SR, Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of the Slovak Republic and others. They are involved in providing official bilateral and multilateral development assistance. Non-governmental organizations, the private sector and academic institutions also engaged in the implementation of official activities of the Slovak Republic or undertake their own activities in developing countries.
Programs and instruments of bilateral development cooperation of the Slovak Republic
Development cooperation of the Slovak Republic in 2014 - 2018 is based on eight main programmes:
- Development Interventions Programme
- Transformation Experience Sharing Programme
- Business Partnership Programme
- Humanitarian Aid Programme
- Governmental Scholarships Programme
- Programme for Sending Development Workers and Civil Experts to Developing Countries
- Development Education and Public Awareness Programme
- Capacity Building Programme
- Block grants
- Small grant scheme
- Financial contributions (micro-grants)
- Supply of goods and services
- Start Up
- Trilateral cooperation
- Earmarked contributions to international organisations
- Slovak Republic - UNDP cooperation
- Slovak Republic - EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund
- Loans with a grant element
- Financial contributions
- Financing scholarships
More information about the individual programs and instruments are available in the Medium -Term Strategy for Development Cooperation of the Slovak Republic for 2014 - 2018 (see the link in the text above).
Multilateral development cooperation
The SR also participates in development activities of the international community through the EU and international organisations and institutions. Multilateral development cooperation can be perceived as an instrument for support of those developing countries and sectors in which it is not effective for the Slovak Republic to act on a bilateral basis. Assistance in the form of multilateral contributions has made up approximately 75 % of the total Slovak ODA. Priority of the Slovak Republic in multilateral development assistance is to increase the engagement of Slovak entities in the programmes and projects of the EU, UN and other international organisations and international financial institutions. The goal of the Slovak Republic is to actively participate in the decision-making process of the EU, multilateral organisations and institutions to which the Slovak Republic contributes, and thus reflect Slovak attitudes, values and priorities of foreign policy and development cooperation in specific activities of these international organisations.
Humanitarian aid of the Slovak Republic
Humanitarian aid is defined pursuant to Act No. 617/2007 Coll. on Official Development Assistance of the Slovak Republic as an expression of solidarity with people in need, the essence of which is assistance, support, saving lives, human dignity and alleviating the suffering of people in natural catastrophes, man-made crises, conditions of hunger and malnutrition or in comparable emergencies as well as preventative and emergency programs, in particular in high risk areas.
The primary document covering humanitarian aid is the Mechanism for Providing Slovak Humanitarian Aid Abroad, which was approved on 12.4.2006 by the Government of the Slovak Republic. Slovakia provides humanitarian aid in compliance with the fundamental principles of EU humanitarian aid and the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) initiative. Humanitarian aid is provided in the form of financial contributions and material aid. Material humanitarian aid is provided by the Division of the Integrated Rescue System and Civil Protection of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic. At the EU level humanitarian aid is provided by the European Commission's Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO - European Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection), which supports projects focused on prevention and assistance to at-risk areas.
When providing financial humanitarian aid Slovakia uses international humanitarian organizations of the UN, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and others. The world's largest provider of food aid, the World Food Program (WFP), technically supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and others are also recipients of annual contributions from Slovakia.
Department of Development Assistance and Humanitarian Aid
Division for International Organisations, Development Assistance and Humanitarian Aid
Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic
Tel.: +421 2 5978 3641
Slovak Agency for International Development Cooperation (SAIDC)
Drotárska cesta 46
811 02 Bratislava
tel.: +412 2 6820 5011