Development policy

Photo of the Federal Palace in Berne, north façade
Symbol of Swiss politics: the Federal Palace, north façade. © Parliamentary Services 3003 Bern

The SDC encourages discussion on development issues, and shapes the debate and decision-making processes in the field of development policy. It monitors new topics and trends, incorporating its findings into the strategic approach of Switzerland's international cooperation.

Development policy encompasses all political, economic and social measures to help improve living conditions in developing countries in a sustainable way.

The SDC is active in development policy, monitoring and analysing new issues and trends, and evaluating the global context of international cooperation. It does so by taking into account the work and position of national bodies and international stakeholders (the United Nations, World Bank, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, European Union), selected partner countries, academic institutions, civil society and the private sector. The SDC also examines how various Swiss policies impact the field of development, particularly in terms of a possible conflict of objectives. It offers a development policy perspective in existing mechanisms – federal office consultations, joint reporting procedures, interdepartmental working groups – which is taken into consideration as far as possible when shaping policy.

Debates and dialogue

The SDC uses these insights as the basis for its strategic approach, its policy positions and policy documents, which it uses to shape the debate and decision-making processes. The SDC organises conferences and panel discussions on current issues to promote debate on development-related topics, focusing in particular on how policy and the field of international cooperation are to be shaped. In order to increase its impact, the SDC maintains dialogue with development agencies of selected partner countries as well as international organisations.