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Danish development programmes achieved their goals in a satisfactorily manner in 84 per cent of the cases in 2014. Every goal that is achieved is a small step on the way to development in some of the poorest countries of the world.
School children in Bangladesh. Basic schooling for all is one of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and a key element in fighting illiteracy and creating growth and development. Photo: Jørgen Schytte

More girls are attending school. A generator provides a whole village with electricity. Organisations working for citizens’ democratic rights get more resources to keep an eye on those in power.

The results of development cooperation are very concrete. Development assistance makes a difference in the everyday lives of some of the world’s poor.

Most of the goals are achieved

In 2014, results were assessed for 217 targets for bilateral aid in Danida priority countries. The level of results in 2014 is overall satisfactory: 82.6 per cent of the set goals were fulfilled at either a very satisfactory or satisfactory level. 


Very satisfactorily

(min 96 % fulfilled)

61,5 % of target



(61-95 % fulfilled)

21,1 % of target


Less satisfactorily

(41-61 % fulfilled)

8,9 % of target



(0-40 % fulfilled)

8,5 % of target


The long-term significance of development cooperation

The long-term objective of all development cooperation is to reduce poverty and create development in some of the poorest countries in the world.

Development takes time. It is a result of many people’s work. Sustainable development requires, among other things:

  • Growth and jobs,
  • Peace and stability,
  • Equal opportunities for men and women,
  • Consideration for the environment and natural resources,
  • Freedom, gender equality, democracy and rights so that everyone can grow and contribute to the development of the country.

Every time a development assistance programme reaches its objective, a small step is taken on the way. Services and products are supplied and this leads to positive effects for local users.

However, it will often be impossible to read the effect of a small programme from the large-scale social figures for growth, unemployment and longevity in a whole country. When a country succeeds in taking a big step out of poverty, as has taken place within the past 20 years for countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, development cooperation can only take small part of the honour.

Results created jointly

Denmark is working more and more closely together with governments in the countries receiving development assistance in order to ensure local ownership. To an increasing degree, the governments of the countries are becoming development partners rather than simply recipients of development assistance.

There is also increasingly closer cooperation between the countries granting development assistance. Among other things, part of Danish development assistance goes to international organisations and funds. Denmark’s contribution is thus only one part of the overall effort.

Nevertheless, Denmark contributes to the overall development results in the sector we support in the individual country. Together with many other countries and organisations, Denmark works towards the common goal of reducing poverty. In the final analysis, this is how we get most for the money in development cooperation.

We learn from experience

Development cooperation develops continuously. We learn from our experience and become wiser. Denmark has set concrete goals for development cooperation since 2001, and this has served to make the success or lack of success of the individual project or programme very clear.

Denmark makes systematic use of evaluations to improve the work. Evaluations seek to illustrate the connection between Danish development assistance and the results that are created.

Danida has published all evaluations since 1987. You can find out more about the results of development cooperation here.