Development Cooperation of the Slovak Republic

By pursuing development cooperation, Slovakia contributes to the preservation of world stability, prosperity and freedom. In contributing to the efforts of the donor community on this front, it is also helping itself. In the globalized world, responsibility for solving problems such as terrorism, poverty, illegal migration or climatic changes are shared by developed and developing countries alike.

Development cooperation is an integral part of Slovakia‘s foreign policy. It primarily aims to contribute to the sustainable development goals by fighting poverty, promoting shared prosperity and strengthening democracy and good governance. Slovakia’s development policy draws on historical experience and the success story of the political and economic transformation process.

Slovakia’s development cooperation is legally rooted in Act No. 617/2007 Coll. on Official Development Assistance and Amendment to Act No. 575/2001 Coll. on the Organisation of Activities of the Government and Central Government. Stakeholding institutions that actively contribute to the development agenda include the Ministries of Foreign and European Affairs, Finance, Interior and Education, Science, Research and Sport, as well as other institutions of the central, regional and local government. In addition to the public sector, private and non-governmental actors are involved.

In 2013, Slovakia celebrated the tenth anniversary of pursuing development cooperation. In the past decade, the country funded over 400 projects, implemented under the SlovakAid logo across Europe, Africa and Asia. 2013 also marked an important milestone for Slovakia in terms of official recognition of its development-related efforts: it became a fully-fledged member of the OECD DAC.

In line with the OECD DAC definition, development activities financed from the state budget are defined as Official Development Assistance (ODA), or Other Official Flows. Aid funded from non-state resources, e.g. foundations, charities, non-governmental organisations and the private sector, is deemed as “private flows“. They all qualify as “development cooperation“.

Slovakia uses both bilateral and multilateral channels to extend aid. Bilateral development cooperation involves projects and programmes targeted at specific countries, while multilateral cooperation represents voluntary or obligatory financial contributions to selected international organisations. In Slovakia’s case, the ratio of bilateral to multilateral ODA is 19% to 81% (as of 2013).

The overaching strategic framework for Slovakia’s development policy arises from the five-year „Medium-Term Strategy for Development Cooperation of the Slovak Republic in 2014 – 2018“. Implementation is guided by annual plans with designated budgets for bilateral cooperation.

Slovakia’s development cooperation is focused on ten priority countries. Three of them are programme countries (Afghanistan, Kenya, Moldova) and six project countries (Albania, Belarus, Bosna and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo , Ukraine). South Sudan is classified as a country with extra humanitarian and development aid needs.

Slovakia’s development cooperation focuses on seven sectors:

  1. Education – vocational training focusing on access to the labour market and self-employment, teacher education, equipment of educational facilities;
  2. Healthcare – basic healthcare, nutrition programmes, education of the population and public awareness of healthcare and prevention, education of healthcare personnel;
  3. Good governance and building of civil society – public finance management, public sector reform, enhancement of the rule of law, public participation in democratic processes, security sector reform, activities of civil experts in international crisis management;
  4. Agriculture and forestry – implementation of new techniques and methods, processing of agricultural products with a focus on marketing and sales, food security, soil protection;
  5. Water and sanitation – drinking water supply, water and waste management;
  6. Energy – focus on energy security and alternative resources;
  7. Support for market development and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Slovakia’s development cooperation is also based on eight main programmes:

  1. Development Interventions;
  2. Transformation Experience Sharing;
  3. Business Partnerships;
  4. Humanitarian Aid;
  5. Government Scholarships;
  6. Sending Development Workers and Civil Experts to Developing Countries;
  7. Development Education and Public Awareness;
  8. Capacity Building.

Find more information on Slovakia’s development cooperation on the web page of the MFEA SR (