Modern development cooperation was established to address the deepening inequalities in living standards between countries, as well as their consequences in the interconnected global world. The concept is maintained and lead by international organisations and financial institutions. The key global strategy for development cooperation is set by Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also plays an important role in shaping the development process as it sets the principles and standards for providing assistance, and monitors the activities of the donor countries and their expenditures on the so-called Official Development Assistance (ODA). One of the world's most important actors in the field of development is the European Union (EU), both in terms of the strategic direction and the volume of funding. The EU as a whole (i.e. the EU institutions together with the Member States) is the largest global donor. In addition to the organisations and countries, interventions in developing countries are also implemented by many international financial institutions (IFIs), such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Donors comprise of all developed, advanced countries, which are bound by the UN’s commitment to contribute to the financing of the development of less well-off countries.
THE ROLE OF SLOVAKIA AND THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE IN DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION
Slovakia has become one of the development assistance providers by joining the OECD and the EU. For the Slovak Republic as an advanced economy, the membership of these organisations implies foreign policy and financial commitments in the field of development. The Slovak Republic has committed itself to building and continuously improving the system of development assistance and gradually by 2030, increasing ODA expenditure to 0.33% of GNI.
Slovak development cooperation has been implemented since 2003 under the common SlovakAid logo. The responsibility for ODA in the Slovak Republic is conferred upon the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic (Act No 392/2015 on development cooperation), while any Ministry may contribute to these activities within its own scope. The mutual coordination of Slovak entities is managed by the ODA Coordination Committee (at the level of state secretaries,) and the core-planning document is the Medium-Term Development Cooperation Strategy of the Slovak Republic 2019 - 2023.
DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION OF THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE OF THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC
The Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic (“MF SR”) plays an important role in Slovakia's development cooperation. In addition to the tasks associated with mandatory contributions to international organisations (e.g. EU ODA,) the Ministry takes part in shaping the development activities through both mandatory and voluntary contributions to international financial institutions. At the same time, the MF SR cooperates with partner organisations such as the UN Development Programme/UNDP, the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Programme, and the Center of Excellence in Finance Ljubljana, etc. The cooperation includes implementing its own projects and programmes in the following areas: (i) improvement of public financial management, setting of global standards and experience sharing; (ii) creation of opportunities for Slovak companies to participate at the development cooperation projects and promotion of blending, i.e. the use of public and private resources to finance development; (iii) promotion of innovation in public finance and public administration.
The MF SR pursues its development priorities with due regard to the current needs of potential partners, the purpose and effectiveness of the assistance provided, the availability of expertise and added value of an innovative element, development of personnel capacities, and visibility of the MF SR. The activities are implemented primarily in the countries of the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership.
TRANSPARENCY AND REPORTING
The OECD membership implies the obligations of the monitoring and statistical reporting of development cooperation data. The aim of data collection and reporting to the OECD is to provide an overview of the funding extended to developing countries in order to ensure the effectiveness and predictability of development interventions and better coordination of donors. The MF SR is responsible for operating the Slovak ODA database as a part of the Budget Information System. Database data is available to the public by visiting www.slovakdev.sk.