Annex B. Perspectives from Kenya and Moldova on Slovak development co-operation

As part of the peer review of the Slovak Republic, a team of examiners from Finland and Iceland held a skype call with Nairobi which included governmental officials, Embassy Head of Mission and a development diplomat, representatives of the EU delegation, and implementing partners. A meeting with the development diplomat in Moldova and government, NGO and academic implementing partners was also held during the headquarters mission to Bratislava in March 2018.


B.1 Towards a comprehensive Slovak development effort

Slovak Republic – Kenya development co-operation

The Republic of Kenya received USD 2 189 million in net ODA in 2016, representing 3.1% of GNI and making it the 4th top recipient of ODA in Africa (OECD, 2018a).

The Slovak Republic has been co-operating with Kenya since the mid-1990s. The first activities of Slovak NGOs in Kenya date back to 1995. In 2004, Kenya became one of the territorial priorities of SlovakAid and was selected as a “programme country” in 2009. Three years later, the first Slovak Development Co-operation Forum took place in Nairobi to shape the country programme. In 2012, the Slovak Republic became a member of the Donor Co-ordination Group (DCG), which is composed of the major development partners in Kenya. A first inter-governmental agreement on development co-operation with Kenya was signed in 2013 for a three-year period; in 2017, a second agreement was signed with an automatic renewal clause.

At the political level, co-operation between the Slovak Republic and Kenya is mainly through the Slovak Embassy in Nairobi. During the 32nd session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, that took place on 19-21 December 2016 in Nairobi, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MFEA) of the Slovak Republic, Lukáš Parízek, represented the Council of the European Union. On 12-15 February 2017, the President of the Slovak Republic Andrej Kiska and State Secretary of MFEA made their first official visit to Kenya to discuss the development and economic co-operation between the two countries, resulting in plans to further strengthen their bilateral development co-operation.

Slovak Republic – Moldova development co-operation

The Republic of Moldova received USD 328.4 million in 2016 as net ODA, which represented 4.6% of GNI (OECD, 2018b). Its main donors are EU Institutions, followed by the United States and Romania. Diplomatic relations between Moldova and the Slovak Republic date back to 1993. Slovak support to Moldova was limited to a few ad hoc projects until 2009, after which Moldova became a key partner for the Slovak development co-operation. From 2009 to 2013, Moldova was supported as one of the Eastern Partnership project countries; in July 2013 the Slovak Republic opened its Embassy in Chisinau; and an inter-governmental agreement on development co-operation with Moldova was signed in October 2013. A year later, Moldova became a “programme country” of SlovakAid. So far, the Slovak Republic and Moldova signed 21 agreements in different areas (political, commercial, economic, financial, transport, social security, etc.) (MFEA, 2014b). In April 2018, a Slovak Development Forum was held in Chisinau in order to discuss the new development co-operation strategy for 2019-2023.

The Slovak Republic bases its political dialogue with Moldova on its own transformation experience in order to help the democratic transition and the EU integration of Moldova. The first official high-level visit took place in June 2007, when the Slovak Republic’s president, Ivan Gašparovič visited Moldova. Several ministerial level visits also took place since 2008.

B.2 Slovak Republic’s policies, strategies and aid allocation

Activities don’t fully align with Kenyan new national priorities

Kenya has been the second largest beneficiary of SlovakAid since 2013. The Slovak Republic disbursed on average USD 1.4 million annually to Kenya between 2010 and 2015, increasing to USD 2.1 million in 2016 (Figure C.1), which represents 8% of Slovak bilateral ODA in 2016. This is equivalent to about 0.10% of total net ODA to Kenya in 2016.

The Slovak Republic’s intervention in Kenya is built on its civil society’s work in the country, spread across several projects in different sectors: healthcare, agriculture, education, the rule of law, security, peace building and conflict management (MFEA, 2014). According to the DAC Creditor Reporting System, the Slovak Republic reported 20 bilateral activities in Kenya in 2016. The majority of those activities consisted of: (i) donor country personnel interventions;1 (ii) project-type interventions supported by the Slovak Agency for International Development Co-operation (SAIDC) and implemented by Slovak NGOs and civil society and the public sector; and, (iii) the Slovak governmental scholarship programme managed by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports (MSSVVS) of the Slovak Republic. The largest annual commitment in 2016 amounted to USD 276 460, provided to an agricultural development project. Three projects committed about USD 250 000, while the scholarship programme committed around USD 117 000. The remaining average commitment was below USD 10 000. The Government of Kenya has reviewed its national priorities outlined in the national development agenda for 2018-2022, known as the “Big Four”.2 Slovak Republic activities don’t fully align with Kenya’s new national priorities. This should be corrected to ensure the Slovak Republic keeps up with its commitments to development effectiveness.

Slovak support to Moldova is focussed and aligned with local priorities

Slovak bilateral co-operation with Moldova is much more focussed than with Kenya, through the prioritisation of two sectors: good governance, and water and sanitation (MFEA, 2014b), which are aligned with local priorities.

Moldova has been among the top five recipients of Slovak bilateral aid since 2013. According to the most recent DAC data, the Slovak Republic disbursed USD 0.46 million to Moldova in 2016, a decrease from USD 0.85 million in 2015 (Figure C.1). 2016 disbursements were equivalent to about 2% of the 2016 Slovak bilateral ODA budget, and to about 0.14% of total net ODA to Moldova in 2016.

In Moldova, the Slovak Republic reported 17 bilateral activities in 2016: mostly project-type interventions (12) managed by the Agency and implemented by the public sector and Slovak NGOs and civil society organisations; a few donor country personnel projects (4), concerning experience exchange, travel of Slovak Experts and the promotion of civic activism of youth in Moldova, mainly implemented by the public sector and NGO and civil society; and the Slovak governmental scholarship programme. The largest commitment was about USD 110 600 (water and sanitation and waste management project), another project committed around USD 100 000, the scholarship programme committed around USD 68 000, but the majority of them, as for Kenya, were under USD 10 000.

Figure B.1. Slovak ODA disbursements to Kenya and Moldova, 2010-2016
Net disbursements, constant prices (USD 2016), USD million

Source: OECD (2018), “Geographical distribution of financial flows: Flows to developing countries”, OECD International Development Statistics (database), DOI:

B.3 Organisation and management

Embassies in Nairobi and Chisinau are core contact points for the Slovak government

The Slovak Republic has embassies in both countries, in Nairobi and in Chisinau, each hosting a Slovak development diplomat appointed from the agency staff. Although small, embassies are considered as the core contact points for the Slovak government. For instance, the Embassy in Chisinau participates in the Slovak-Moldovan Consulting Group for the EU, which is a working group composed of representatives of both Slovak and Moldovan ministries to discuss the EU agenda and identify areas of intervention for the Slovak Republic in order to support the partner country.

An overall programmatic approach is missing

There is a clear division of labour between embassy and agency staff: the embassies can provide small financial contributions which are in high demand and are mainly used for stand-alone ongoing projects. Embassy staff also collaborate with the SAIDC in managing the call for proposals as well as monitoring implemented projects. Ministries consult the embassies on their plans and exchange information on their work. However, an overall programmatic approach is missing: the projects are managed through Slovak-based entities with local partners, with no apparent links to each other. The teams managing calls for proposals in Bratislava have very limited travel budgets, and therefore may rely on embassies for first-hand knowledge of the local context.

B.4 Partnerships, results and accountability

The Slovak Republic works mainly with the EU in Kenya and with few other partners in Moldova

The Slovak Republic emphasises the importance of partnering with international, national and local actors. In Kenya, the Slovak Republic participates in EU joint programming, donor co-ordination meetings, such as the “Development Effectiveness Group” (previously called “Aid Effectiveness Group”). This group is formed by the Government of Kenya and its development partners and meets once a month, and supports and engages with the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The Slovak Republic also participates in the EU joint programming in Moldova, participates in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the Eastern Partnership programme, the Friends of Moldova (formally known as the European Action Group for the Republic of Moldova), and the Task Force on Moldova which was inaugurated in 2011. It also implements joint-activities with the V4 group, in particular with the Czech Republic in the field of water and sanitation and waste management, and co-operates with the UNDP through the programme for Strengthening Public Finance Capacities in the Western Balkans and Commonwealth of Independent States – Public Finance for Development, implemented by the UNDP Regional Centre for Europe and CIS.

In Kenya, the projects are led by the SAIDC, the MFEA and, for the scholarships programme, by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports (MŠVVŠ). In Moldova the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic is also a major partner through its collaboration with the UNDP on the Public Finance Management programme.


Government sources

MFEA (2014a), Strategy of the Slovak Republic for Development Co-operation with the Republic of Kenya for 2014-2018, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Bratislava, Slovak Republic,

MFEA (2014b), Strategy of the Slovak Republic for Development Co-operation with the Republic of Moldova for 2014-2018, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

Other sources

KMFAIT (2015), Kenya Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade website, consulted 5 May 2018

OECD (2018a), OECD Aid at a glance, OECD website, consulted 5 May 2018.

OECD (2018b), OECD Aid at a glance, OECD website, consulted 5 May 2018.

OECD (2017), OECD African Economic Outlook 2017, OECD publishing, Paris

WB (2017), World Bank IBRD-IDA country overview, World Bank website, consulted 5 may 2018


← 1. Donor country personal activity consisted of: Training of nurses (health sector), Travel of Slovak experts (government and civil society), Promotion of environmental protection in Kenya (general environment protection), Sustainable development and responsible agriculture in Kenya (agriculture), Volunteering activities in social work regarding social rehabilitation of street children through scouting and sports, Help former street children with basic education (basic education), Education project in St. Cecilia Orphanage (education), Sending volunteers in Malindi and Nairobi, ICT - Development of start-ups in Kenya (communication). Creditor Reporting System, consulted 5 may 2018,

← 2. The “Big Four” Agenda identifies four sectoral priorities: universal healthcare, food security, manufacturing, and housing.

End of the section – Back to iLibrary publication page