Naam Simavi (B Oonk)
Plaats Amsterdam
Datum 14 april 2022


Development cooperation

Nederlandse inzet op Ontwikkelingssamenwerking

Nederland is op verschillende thema’s actief op gebied van ontwikkelingssamenwerking. Zo investeren we in het realiseren van de Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) en zetten we extra in op opvang in de regio, toegang tot vaccins, klimaatadaptatie en -mitigatie. Nederland gaat door met wat goed gaat en focust op waar Nederland goed in is, zoals verbinding tussen diplomatie en ontwikkelingssamenwerking. Meer informatie over het ontwikkelingssamenwerkingsbeleid van Nederland is te vinden op

7. Waar is Nederland op het gebied van ontwikkelingssamenwerking volgens u goed in? Op welke thema’s zou Nederland een aanjagende rol kunnen vervullen?

Dutch development cooperation activities

The Netherlands is actively pursuing a number of policy themes in the area of development cooperation. For example, we're investing in efforts to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reception in the region, access to vaccines, and climate adaptation and mitigation. The Netherlands will continue its efforts in areas where progress is being made and will focus on its strengths, such as linking diplomacy and development. For more information about Dutch development policy, go to

7. In your opinion, what are the Netherlands’ strengths when it comes to development cooperation? In which policy themes could the Netherlands play a leading role?
The Netherlands has been good in creating partnerships and coalitions in development cooperation. The Netherlands could use its cultural heritage of “polderen” in development cooperation. Global challenges such as the climate crisis and also the water crisis need a multi sectoral approach to find solutions. Solutions that require knowledge from local communities, governments, NGO’s and knowledge institutes to come together.
A larger role can be played by the Netherlands when it comes to strengthening the bottom-up approach and “shifting the power”. One way to work on this is by making it easier for Southern organisations to access funding, and involving them in the entire programme and policy cycle, from the drafting phase, to implementation, and evaluation. This will also help to realise a needs based agenda for development cooperation. Supporting (local) civil society will also strengthen their ability to hold their own governments accountable when human rights are not respected.
Furthermore, the Netherlands has always prioritised water as a policy priority. A devastating climate crisis will jeopardize the access to drinking water for billions of people globally. We know that this will severely affect women and girls, as they are traditionally care takers at home and responsible for food production. The Netherlands should maintain water as a broad policy priority, focusing on leaving no one behind and use the expertise and reach of civil society organisations in reaching those left behind. Furthermore it is important to increase coherence between the policy priorities because water, climate (resilience) and gender are intrinsically linked. All the financing allocated to water should therefore include a strong climate component, and include explicit gender targets.


Innoveren op OS

Nederlandse internationale samenwerking is flexibel en kennisintensief, we zijn vernieuwend. Zo ontwikkelt Nederland nieuwe manieren van werken en partnerschappen die daarna door bijv. de Europese Commissie en Wereldbank worden opgepakt of opgeschaald. De Nederlandse internationale samenwerking fungeert dus veelal als een creatieve en kennisintensieve incubator (een broedplaats voor nieuwe ideeën. Nederland is een relatief kleine donor, maar als lidstaat van de EU en via bilaterale hulp kan Nederland de zichtbaarheid van EU-hulp vergroten en additionele relevante kapitaalstromen generen.

8. Op welke manier en op welk vlak kan de Nederlandse ontwikkelingssamenwerking nog meer innoveren?

Innovative development cooperation

Dutch international cooperation is flexible and knowledge-intensive. We are also innovative, developing new ways of working and new types of partnership that are subsequently adopted or scaled up by others, like the European Commission and the World Bank. In this respect, Dutch international cooperation is like a creative and knowledge-intensive incubator. We are a relatively small donor, but as an EU member state and through bilateral aid we can make EU aid more visible and generate additional, relevant capital flows.

8. In what other ways and areas could Dutch development cooperation innovate more?

The Netherlands could be more innovative in its subsidiary models and aim to finance southern organisations more directly. The power of voices is a very innovative financing mechanism to really strengthens civic space. The framework is innovative and very important to continue because civic space and human rights remain globally under pressure. The Power of Voices framework could be enhanced by focussing stronger on southern organisations and create space for fully southern driven alliances. We also believe that the Dutch incubation approach and knowledge broker could serve the most marginalised groups much more. How can the Netherlands contribute to knowledge exchange on successful approaches that reach those left behind? It is very important to also invest in scaling locally driven solutions and create access to those solutions and knowledge for hard to reach communities and marginalised groups. The Netherlands can play a key role in this.

Innovation can also mean the scaling up of proven concepts. The Netherlands already has some successful programmes, that have created impact and networks over the years. We can leverage this experience and knowledge towards creating sustainable and lasting impact. Instead of creating new things, it is also important to look into those learnings and use those beyond the four-year policy cycle of projects.


Een donor met durf

De Nederlandse internationale inzet is gedurfd, omdat we financiële investeringen koppelen aan onze diplomatieke inzet en expertise. We continueren thema’s waar we traditionele meerwaarde hebben: seksuele en reproductieve rechten en gezondheid (SRGR), water, voedselzekerheid en veiligheid & rechtsorde. Daarbij kunnen we nog meer gebruik maken van het diplomatieke gewicht van o.a. de EU. We investeren in systeemverandering om te zorgen dat we de SDG’s in 2030 realiseren. Met systeemverandering bedoelen we dat we de systemen die armoede en ongelijkheid in stand houden aanpakken.

9. Op welke manier/welk vlak kan Nederland als donor nog meer durf te tonen?

A bold donor

Dutch international efforts can be characterised as bold, because we link financial investment to diplomatic efforts and expertise. We will continue our work on themes where we have always added value: sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), water, food security, and security and the rule of law. We will also make better use of the diplomatic weight of the EU. To ensure we achieve the SDGs by 2030, we will invest in systemic change, i.e. tackling the structures that maintain poverty and inequality.

9. In what ways or areas could the Netherlands, as a donor, be even bolder?
If we are truly focussing on systemic change, the Netherlands should address the root causes of poverty and those that have an aggravating effect on poverty, such as climate change and social inequalities. This also means acknowledging that trade and aid have the possibility to strengthen each other, but that we often also see that private sector interests create challenges for local people and sometimes even violate human rights. All Dutch trade and development cooperation efforts, therefore need to ensure that social inclusion is addressed adequately and that trade leads to more gender equality. We can do this by creating partnerships that include private sector, public sector, knowledge institutes and civil society actors. Moreover, adhering to the commitments of the Paris Agreement and Glasgow Pact are essential, as climate change is jeopardising the results we have booked over the years, especially for those most left behind. This means also creating policies that adhere to the 60% reduction of CO2 emission by 2030, as described in the coalition agreement. Only by prioritising the most vulnerable, we can reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The Netherlands should embrace SDG6 and SDG 13 and become an even stronger advocate to realise its targets. The latest IPCC reports are very clear about what is lying ahead of us. Already, 3.5 billion people are highly vulnerable to climate impacts and half the world’s population suffers severe water shortages at some point each year. The IPCC-report warns that climate losses and damages are “strongly concentrated among the poorest vulnerable populations”, who have done least to cause the problem. This requires a very string a multisectoral approach that not only focuses on technological innovations but accessible, scalable solutions driven on indigenous knowledge. According to the IPCC report adapting to the climate crisis is as much a social problem as a scientific one. Unfortunately, adaptation is heavily underfunded but investment now is far cheaper than acting later. Can the Netherlands be bold and increase its efforts and funding for climate adaptation and advocate for more local and community voices in multilateral meetings such as the COP.


Afrondende algemene vraag

10. Heeft u nog andere punten van aandacht die u vindt dat meegenomen dienen te worden in de nieuwe beleidsnota?

General closing question

10. Are there any other points that you believe should be included in the new policy document?

As part of Partos and WO=MEN, we would like to also direct you to their submissions about the role of development aid and the focus on women which we both believe are essential in the BHOS policy note.