"They come from above": exploring Finnish development cooperation in the field of meteorology, 1968-2015

Minna Kristiina Mayer

Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandlingMonografi

Sammanfattning

Finnish development cooperation in the field of meteorology has continued for nearly 50 years and over 100 countries have been beneficiaries of this aid. Cooperation in this field is complex, it brings together public and private sector actors and experts from different backgrounds. Projects have succeeded in capacity development, but have struggled with sustainability. Local capacity often lowers after projects ends. Data includes interviews (n=56) with experts from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Vaisala, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and 8 recipient countries. Archive material and policy documents are also included in analysis. Exploratory case study method applying conventional content analysis is used. The objective of the study is to explore the underlying issues influencing the challenge of sustainability. Theoretical framework includes a combination of concepts and theories: governmentality (Foucault) and analytics of government (Dean), power theories (Lukes, Clegg and French & Raven) and approaches regarding patterns of aid behavior (Hydén and Mease, Gibson et al., Burnell and Mosse). Historical analysis shows the various phases of these projects, and reflects them to the history of Finnish aid from the late 1960s to the 2010s. Experts’ experiences from the grass-roots level form an important basis for the analysis. Policy analysis shows that projects have been well-fitting with development policies up until the 2000s, after which the gap between policy and practice has widened. Cooperation is focused more on technology and less to the societal aspects of meteorology. The Ministry is not involved in practice, allowing projects to be driven towards more technology-oriented goals by the experts of meteorology, many of which who have adopted an “apolitical” strategy. This weakens connections between projects and local people. Private sector experts have adopted an opposing strategy, and engage actively with politicians, who are able to make decisions regarding purchasing of meteorological equipment. Analysis shows that all important decisions within the aid system "come from above", bureaucracy is heavy and control is tight. Lack of flexibility and trust within the system lowers the influence of the projects. Differences between the donor stakeholders are found in general approaches to key issues. Power analysis shows that the Ministry holds the most influential forms of power, while FMI and Vaisala hold mainly dispositional power. Recipients of aid lack access to important forms of power, yet they are expected to sustain capacity after projects ends. Several “donor traps” are also found to actualize, which influence outcomes of aid. In order to make projects truly sustainable for the aid recipients, the donor would have to give up some power and through that, also some accountability. This is nearly an impossible choice, since both are highly important for the donor. This study finds that within the current system, there is no one actor who has both motive and power to change aid. For the sake of the future, this is a significant challenge to overcome regarding the role of the developing nations, as well as the renewal of the aid system.
Originalspråkengelska
Tilldelande institution
  • Helsingfors universitet
Handledare
  • Koponen, Juhani, Handledare
  • Laakso, Liisa, Handledare
Tilldelningsdatum26 aug 2017
UtgivningsortHelsinki
Förlag
Tryckta ISBN978-951-51-3265-9
Elektroniska ISBN978-951-51-3266-6
StatusPublicerad - 26 aug 2017
MoE-publikationstypG4 Doktorsavhandling (monografi)

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  • 5203 U-landsforskning

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