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Frequently Asked Questions

Polish development cooperation

What is the role of the MFA Department of Development Cooperation?

The Department of Development Cooperation (DDC) is engaged in planning, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of actions in the development cooperation and humanitarian aid fields. Its competences encompass in particular programming of Polish aid priorities, organising development projects competitions and leading discussions on these subjects on EU forums.

I am a Polish citizen in a financial hardship. What kind of assistance can I receive from the Polish aid programme?

The “Polish aid” programme is addressed to countries less developed and less affluent than Poland. Its aim is to grant those countries humanitarian and development aid. The first type of aid is granted in crises situations, such as armed conflicts, natural disasters or famine. Development aid aims at improving the living situation of the beneficiary countries’ population. Within its framework, public utility infrastructure (roads, bridges, hospitals) are constructed, equipment is transferred and trainings organised.

Specialised institutions, such as social services centres, crises intervention centres or specialised counselling centres assist Polish citizens, who are in a difficult living situation. More information on social assistance in Poland and social welfare institutions can be found on the website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.

Where is Poland directing it’s aid?

Polish aid is directed in the first place to priority countries of Polish development cooperation. According with the Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme 2012-2015, Polish development cooperation is concentrated in two areas. The first group includes Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The second group includes eight Eastern African countries (Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda), two North African countries (Libya, Tunisia), Afghanistan, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan and the Palestinian National Authority.

In other parts of the world, development cooperation is carried out through the Small Grants System and the Polish Aid Volunteering Programme.

What are the priority countries in the Polish aid system and how are they selected?

Geographic areas were divided into two groups. The first group includes six Eastern Partnership countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. These countries share common development needs – remains of planned economy and an agriculture system which is not competitive compared with EU economies. Every EP country has its own characteristics. Through financing activities in those countries, Poland aims at contributing to the building of a lasting and stable democratic system, observation of human rights and support for systemic transformation in order to bring Eastern European and Southern Caucasian countries closer to the EU.

The second group encompasses selected countries with a high poverty index and/or facing serious transformation challenges, which Poland is ready to support with development cooperation and expert advice. Among those are eight Eastern African countries (Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda), two North African countries (Libya, Tunisia), Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the National Palestinian Authority. The selection of priority countries in Eastern Africa, Asia and the Middle East was conducted on the basis of the high poverty index according to the OECD DAC classification; all those countries except the NPA are among the least developed countries or in the group of low level income countries. In addition, the liabilities of Poland in the EU were taken into account connected to the increase of aid sent to Africa and Sub-Saharan African countries. The limited interest in actions in selected countries (Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are on the OECD DAC list of countries receiving insufficient development aid) of other donor countries is worth noting; as well as special relations between Poland and Afghanistan (building security and support for the country’s reconstruction) and the Palestinian National Authority (multiannual partner of Poland in development cooperation). In the case of Northern Africa, those countries were selected which have undergone systemic transformation as a result of the Arab Spring.

What kind of humanitarian aid actions is Poland carrying out?

Poland is granting humanitarian aid in response to natural disasters and human-induced crises. International organisations (UN, ICRC) actively pursuing humanitarian aid and Polish NGOs are key partners of Poland in carrying aid humanitarian aid goals. Poland grants support through financial contributions and by taking increasingly active part in strategic dialogue between donors and those organisations. 

How are the “Polish aid” projects selected?

Development cooperation projects are selected as follows:

  • calls for proposals, e.g. Polish Development Aid, Global Education, Polish Aid Volunteering, carried out according to the procedure described in the Public Benefit and Volunteer Work Act. The project proposals are assessed by commissions of experts on the grounds of rules and criteria laid out for each call for proposals.
  • government administration projects aiming at supporting systemic transformation inscribed in annual development cooperation plans.
  • projects under the Small Grants System carried out by Polish diplomatic missions, which carry out development projects independently or in cooperation with local partners. These projects aim at creating better living conditions for underprivileged social groups and perspectives for a better future.   
I am working for an NGO – how can I receive funding for our project?

We invite you to regularly visit our website, where we publish announcements on opened calls for proposals.

Is it possible for a natural person to receive funding for an individual project from the MFA?

It's only possible for the MFA to provide funding of the assigned tasks (projects) in form of grants. Art. 126 of the Act on Public Finance of 27 August 2009 (Journal of Laws of 2013, item 885, as amended) stipulates that “donations are specific national, local government unit and national earmarked funds subject to specific rules of settlement, which are intended for financing or external funding of public sector tasks based on the present act, separate acts, or international agreements”. The aforementioned Act also lists types of subjects entitled to receive grants (art. 127). This list does not include natural persons.

What does “project implementation” refer to and what actions does it include?

Project implementation refers to the core phase of the project which encompasses actions aiming directly at reaching its envisaged goal.

What does “project evaluation” refer to and what actions does it include?

Project evaluation is an independent project assessment, analysing a variety of its aspects and consequences. In the context of development cooperation it is an analysis assessing the efficiency and an attempt to answer the question of whether the project has achieved the general aim, and if not – what were the reasons for that. Project evaluation allows for working out effective ways and methods supporting the programming and implementation phases in the future. In this way the project goals can be achieved and common errors avoided.

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Volunteering Programme

Do I need to be a Polish citizen to participate in the Polish Aid Volunteering Programme?

Yes, criteria which need to be met by all the participants of the Polish Aid Volunteering Programme include Polish citizenship.

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Internship, work, career

I would like to study in Poland – can I apply for a scholarship or receive support from the Department of Development Cooperation?

The Department of Development Cooperation is co-financing scholarship programmes through the Bureau For Academic Recognition And International Exchange under the Ministry of Science and Education. For example in 2012, within four scholarship programs 388 scholarships were co-financed from the MFA budgetary reserve. In 2014 the MFA will finance six scholarship programmes aimed towards nationals of developing countries. Information on applications and the possibility of receiving a scholarship are published on the website of the Bureau.

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Access to information

Where can I find more detailed information on “Polish aid” projects?

Detailed information on “Polish aid” projects and actions can be found in annual reports on the Polish development cooperation, strategic documents and publications available on websites, where electronic versions of our documents, competition announcements and interesting projects are published.

I am working on a research paper on Polish development cooperation – can I use documents and photographs from the DDC’s publications or from the http://www.polishaid.gov.pl/ website?

Unless copyrights are specified, information published on the websites of the Ministry is public and can be duplicated, published or used in another way for personal purpose or for further dissemination without the MFA’s agreement. We request that the Department of Development Cooperation is indicated as the source of information and that the information is used according to the purpose of the photographer/text author/MFA. If the copyright is indicated, the consent has to be obtained directly from the author.

Some of the MFA’s publications are released under the Creative Commons License BY 3.0 Poland, which means that the work may be copied, distributed, performed or reproduced, as well as adapted in any form which derives from the original. The distributions of the work under the Creative Commons BY 3.0 Poland consists in the use of one of the several public copyrights licenses. This information shall clearly define the title of the work, the owner of copyrights and the license under which the work is available. The work available under that license can be used provided that the abovementioned information is included. The full text of the license is available under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/pl/.

Can I share a link to the http://www.polishaid.gov.pl/ website on my web page, blog or social media site?

Yes, the website of the MFA Department of Development Cooperation is a public domain and all the information it contains can be published or shared.

I have noticed a mistake on the http://www.polishaid.gov.pl/ website!

We will be grateful if you provide us with information on mistakes or errors on our website at polskapomoc@msz.gov.pl.

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