In comparison with the Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme for the years 2012-2015 actions of Polish development cooperation in the years 2016-2020 will be focused on a fewer number of geographic and thematic priorities. The expected effect of concentrating support is greater effectiveness and influence of Polish development coopertion within the available financial and organizational means.
New geographical priorities have been selected based on five criteria (development needs, implementation of development cooperation, bilateral cooperation, coherence with EU activities, and security). The process included an analysis of the situation and development needs in specific countries, and the evaluation and assessment of experiences and conclusions stemming from the implementation of the previous multiannual programme. Furthermore, attention was paid to ensuring that Polish aid is better coordinated and consistent with efforts of other donors, and the EU joint programming. In the context of bilateral cooperation, current political and economic relations, and prospects for their development during the Programme’s term were taken into account.
In the Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme 2016-2020 the priority countries of Polish aid include ten states, namely four Eastern Partnership countries (Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) and six countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East (Ethiopia, Kenya, Myanmar, Palestine, Senegal and Tanzania).
A transition mechanism will be applied to Afghanistan and Tunisia, which were priority countries in the Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme 2012–2015. The mechanism will aim at phasing out ongoing activities in the course of up to two years, i.e. until the end of 2017. This will allow Poland to honour its prior commitments.
As regards other ODA recipients from the OECD Development Assistance Committee’s list, including countries that no longer have priority status, Polish aid will be provided through Polish diplomatic missions (in the framework of the Small Grants System), Polish Aid Volunteering Programme, Solidarity Fund PL, as well as contributions to international organisations, United Nations specialised agencies, and international special funds.
Polish development cooperation is implemented in a form of bilateral programmes and projects (bilateral assistance), fees and voluntary multilateral contributions transferred to international institutions, funds and organisations (multilateral assistance). The bulk of financial means is allocated for priority countries of the Polish Development Cooperation Programme in cooperation with Polish non-governmental organisations and entities of public finances sector, Polish Academy of Sciences with its subordinate units and universities. Polish aid is carried out also in cooperation with Polish diplomatic missions.
According to the Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme 2016-2020 the current priority list includes:
Four Eastern Partnership countries:
Selected countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East:
Priority countries are important, but not exclusive beneficiaries of the Polish bilateral cooperation. Polish Development Cooperation also encompasses countries where the Polish Aid Volunteering Programme is carried out. This programme covers approximately 150 countries from the list of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) entitled to receiving official development aid. The projects are implemented in the following aid-reciepient countries: Bolivia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Myanmar, Palestine, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.
Projects in the framework of the Volunteering Programme contribute to the improvement of the social and economic condition in a given state, as well as to democratisation, respecting human rights and increasing the potential of societies the projects are carried out for.
The Small Grants System (SGS) allows to implement projects through Polish diplomatic missions. In 2016, the projects were implemented in the following countries:
Subsaharan Africa, South-Eastern Asia, the Middle East (selected countries):
- Kenya (including for Tanzania)
- Thailand (for Myanmar)
Other geographical areas:
- Australia (for countries of Southern Pacific)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Kazakhstan (for Kyrgyzstan)
- Macedonia (including for Kosovo)
- Republic of South Africa
Small Grants are mainly low-budget projects which are vital for local societies and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Projects cover i.a. activities such as building clean water wells, minor infrastructural renovations, purchasing equipment for hospitals, schools, exercising various training courses. The Embassies of the Republic of Poland are entitled to run projects in every state included in the OECD/DAC list of official development aid beneficiaries. However, practice shows that the projects are carried out in countries of accreditation.