Spanish cooperation

Spain's international development cooperation policy expresses the Spanish people's solidarity towards developing countries, based on broad, nationwide political and social consensus. Development cooperation encompasses all the resources and capacities that Spain places at the service of developing countries, with the aim of facilitating and promoting their economic and social progress, and contributing to the eradication of poverty in all of its forms. ​

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation is responsible for the policy direction of international development cooperation and coordination with central government bodies that carry out actions in this area according to their competences, observing the principle of unity of action abroad.

The basic element for planning development cooperation policy is the 4th Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2013-2016 (approved by the Council of Ministers meeting on 21 December 2012).

This Master Plan is characterised by its realistic focus; a determination to redesign our cooperation, results-orientation and accountability.

The Millennium Goals and the principles of the effectiveness and quality of aid are the main guiding elements of the 2013-2016 Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation, which establishes the general lines and guidelines of Spanish policy for international development cooperation. Spain concentrates its efforts on about 23  countries from three priority geographical areas: Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The priority in these areas will be to consolidate the democratic process and the rule of law; reducing inequalities and vulnerability to extreme poverty and crisis situations; fostering a system of social cohesion, emphasising basic social services; the promotion of women's rights and gender equality; improvement in the provision of global and regional public goods; a quality response to humanitarian crises; and the construction of a global citizenship commitment to development.

- Executive Summary of the 4th Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2013-2016, in Spanish.
- Executive Summary of the Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2013-2016 in English.

Although other ministerial departments have their own competences assigned, the main body for promoting, managing and executing the Spanish policy of international development cooperation is the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), whose aim is to fight poverty and promote sustainable human development.

The Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation provides the basic framework for planning Spanish international development cooperation.

It is renewed every four years and contains the general lines for action and basic guidelines for Spanish international development cooperation, specifying the goals and priorities as well as indications of the budget resources that will guide Spanish cooperation during this period, and incorporating the strategy documents covering each cooperation sector, geographical zone and the countries that are the preferential goal for cooperation. The Council of Ministers meeting of 21 December 2012 approved the 4th Master Plan 2013-2016.

Planning Documents 

What are we going to do?
The guidelines for Spanish Cooperation for the four-year period 2013-2016 are as follows:
- Consolidate democratic processes and the rule of law.
- Reduce inequality and vulnerability to extreme poverty and crises.
- Stimulate economic opportunities for the poorest members of society.
- Promote systems of social cohesion, emphasising basic social services.
- Foster women's rights and gender equality.
- Improve the provision of global and regional public goods.
- Provide a quality response to humanitarian crises.
- Construct a global citizenship committed to development.

Where are we going to act?
Spanish cooperation is focused on 23 Associate Countries:
- Latin America and the Caribbean: Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and the Dominican Republic.
- North Africa and the Middle East: Mauritania, Morocco, the Sahrawi people and the Palestine Territories.
- West Africa: Mali, Niger and Senegal
- Central and East Africa: Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea and Mozambique
- Asia: The Philippines

Multiple actors participate in the management of cooperation policy. The diversity of actors is one of the policy's main assets.

The experience and specialist focus of the different central government ministries, regional governments and local authorities, development NGOs, all the private business sector, universities and trade unions, combine to constitute what is an important characteristic of Spanish cooperation. This diversity enriches sensitivities and working methods, but also requires a greater effort in terms of coordination and complementarity.

Within central government, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) is the main vehicle responsible for implementing cooperation policy

Monitoring and transparency
Being accountable means the duty to inform and justify, as well as ensuring quality aid, including the acceptance of the corresponding responsibilities. Responsibility includes three complementary inter-related aspects; a clear and appropriate definition of its mission and goals; ethical, transparent and efficient management of the resources available within the framework of current law; and the contribution of the work of development to real results.

Info@OD Módulo Analista

Transparency and accountability documents

What are we going to do?

With respect to accountability:
- The aim for this period is to guide accountability towards results. Initially, accountability will be mainly based on management results, incorporating over time the results of development in the countries where these have been defined in a joint planning process.
- Similarly, the process for monitoring the Country Association Frameworks (CAF) offers an opportunity to make progress in mutual accountability.
- The consulting bodies have a fundamental role in the process of accountability, maintaining a constant monitoring of the results achieved.

With relation to transparency:
- Consolidation of Info@OD will be a basic step towards the transparency of Spanish cooperation. It is a tool that makes it easier to coordinate actors for the collection of data on Spanish cooperation. It is also a portal that allows an analysis and personalised reports from the cooperation activities carried out by the system of Spanish cooperation and will shortly be available to everyone.
- Other actors in the area of Spanish cooperation are making major efforts in this regard, including the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces and the Observatory for University Cooperation for Development. Worth noting is the work of the Coordinator of Development NGOs for this goal, which is part of its Transparency and Good Governance Tool.

This function shares the ultimate goal of Spanish cooperation to contribute to human development, reduce poverty and ensure rights are fully exercised. The evaluation is therefore a means of generating learning experiences that can improve the effectiveness and quality of our system of cooperation. In addition, the evaluation helps transform reality and provides elements that contribute to transparency and accountability.

The Policy Evaluation Division for Knowledge Development and Management of the Secretariat General for International Development Cooperation is responsible for programming, coordinating and monitoring assessments, as well as enhancing the system of evaluation and the culture of participation in international evaluation networks.

Evaluation is a systematic and planned process for collecting information with the aim of analysing, interpreting and evaluating critically and objectively any cooperation intervention, policy or strategy for development, including its design, implementation, management structure and results.

In the specific case of Spanish cooperation, the evaluation function must be an activity that is relevant for gaining information about the operation, products, results and impacts of our official development aid, with the core aim of generating useful knowledge and incorporating learning experiences. In addition, evaluation may contribute towards the continuous improvement of management and accountability mechanisms, informed decision-making and a greater effectiveness and quality of our actions that have a positive impact on the achievement of development results. Increasing the number of evaluations is not enough for this purpose; we have to guarantee a more selective and strategic approach that optimises available resources and increases the practical impact of the conclusions and recommendations made.

Policy on Evaluation of Spanish cooperation

Evaluation reports and other publications


  • Inscríbete en el Registro de Viajeros
  • Recomendaciones de Viaje
  • Fichas por país
  • Instagram
  • Twitter SpainMFA
  • MAEC / Sede Palacio de Santa Cruz
    Plaza de la Provincia, 1
    28012 MADRID
    Tfno: 91 379 97 00
  • MAEC / Sede Palacio de Viana
    Duque de Rivas, 1
    28071 MADRID
    Tfno: 91 379 97 00
  • MAEC / Sede Torres Ágora
    Serrano Galvache, 26
    28033 MADRID
    Tfno: 91 379 97 00
    Avda. Reyes Católicos, 4
    28040 MADRID
    Tfno: 91 583 81 00 / 01
    Fax: 91 583 83 10 / 11
  • Dirección General de Españoles en el Exterior y de Asuntos Consulares y Migratorios
    C/ Pechuán, 1
    28002 MADRID
    Tfno: 91 379 17 00
Gobierno de España
©Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y Cooperación
Portal gestionado por la Dirección General de Comunicación e Información Diplomática
Premio Ciudadanía 2016
Premio Ciudadanía 2016