Switzerland's international cooperation pursues a variety of objectives, from fighting growing global poverty and alleviating hardship to promoting prosperity. At the same time, Switzerland is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals set out in the 2030 Agenda. These ambitious goals can only be achieved if all actors – the private sector, civil society, the academic community and governments – work together. Swiss NGOs are key partners of the SDC in international cooperation.
Efficient and effective use of funds
Programme contributions are allocated to ensure that federal funds benefit various categories of NGOs, including small aid organisations. The 27 partners for the period 2023–24 comprise 10 large Swiss aid organisations, 7 alliances with a total of 17 NGOs, 3 umbrella organisations with 22 member organisations, and 7 cantonal federations. The new procedure for allocating programme contributions, which was revised in 2019, also ensures that financial resources are allocated in a transparent and verifiable manner and are used efficiently and effectively in partner countries.
Individual NGOs can finance a maximum of 30% and alliances, umbrella organisations and federations a maximum of 40% of their international cooperation budgets through SDC programme contributions. The SDC's programme contribution funds may only be used in partner countries.
Switzerland supports the most vulnerable population groups
The environment in which the SDC and its partners operate is shaped by complex social, economic and political crises, increasing fragility, migration, climate change, famine and growing inequality. The poorest and most disadvantaged people are the hardest hit by these trends. The war in Ukraine and its global ramifications have exacerbated these developments, with hunger becoming an increasingly serious problem in many parts of the world.
Swiss NGOs are committed to supporting the most vulnerable communities and are active in emergency relief, crisis prevention and development cooperation. They play a critical role in strengthening local organisations and systems that ensure access to basic services (healthcare, education, jobs, justice, land, water, information), transparent governance and civic participation. NGOs are thus instrumental in promoting democratisation and protecting human rights as a basis for peace and stability. In cooperation with their local partners, Swiss NGOs, with the support of the SDC, which is part of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), create decent jobs, work for the sustainable use of natural resources and transfer Swiss expertise and innovative approaches to local actors. Swiss NGOs' results-oriented programmes are thus fully in line with the implementation of Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24. A report published by the Swiss Federal Audit Office in June 2002 confirmed the continued value of the SDC's programme contributions to Switzerland's international cooperation.
Programme contribution and eligibility clearance
Video: SDC programme contributions to Swiss NGOs (in French with English subtitles)
Address for enquiries:
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