Institutional cooperation means collaboration between Finnish public sector institutions and their peer institutions in a developing country. Know-how and capacities of the Finnish public sector, together with the needs of the public sector in a developing country, form the basis for the cooperation. Interaction between institutions is also an important instrument contributing to the promotion of cultural relations and cooperation.
Institutional cooperation has to be demand-driven and arise from the needs of a developing country, from where the initiative for a project or programme also has to come from. The main objective for cooperation is capacity building. Other objectives may include service and product development, organisational and personnel development, internationalisation as well as network creation. Institutional cooperation may also support already existing forms of development cooperation.
The Institutional Cooperation Instrument (ICI) was launched in June 2008 to promote small-scale projects between government authorities and agencies. The cooperating institutions have the responsibility to outline the cooperation to suit their needs and capacities. The objective is to strengthen the skills and know-how of government actors, such as ministries, agencies and parastetals, in the developing countries. The action resembles twinning: a developing country actor cooperates with a Finnish government agency. Priority is given to the establishment of a trustful relationship and focusing cooperation on concrete topics. Programmes and projects of institutional cooperation last a minimum of one year. Funding for the institutional cooperation cannot be granted for a foundation or NGO.
Through the Institutional Cooperation Instrument (ICI), the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports capacity-building of government actors to strengthen their skills and know-how in the developing countries. There are several ongoing or institutional cooperation projects or projects in the pipe-line between Finnish and Namibian government institutions in areas such as geology, energy, marine research, education, health and policing. For more information about the Institutional Cooperation Instrument contact the Embassy of Finland in Windhoek or the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.