Alleviating suffering and promoting sustainable development: SDC allocates programme contributions for 2021–22

Press releases, 03.03.2021

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has signed contracts with 27 partner organisations for programme contributions totalling around CHF 270 million for the 2021–22 period. The international programmes of Swiss NGOs contribute to the implementation of the objectives of Switzerland's new International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24.

Fighting global poverty, alleviating suffering and promoting prosperity – Switzerland's international cooperation objectives are wide-ranging. Switzerland has also committed itself to the 2030 Agenda and its ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which can only be achieved if all actors – the private sector, civil society, the academic community and government – work together. Swiss NGOs are important partners in Switzerland's international cooperation. Thanks to their long-standing engagement, specific expertise and close ties to the population, Swiss NGOs enjoy a high level of trust both at home and abroad. At the same time, there is a growing demand for greater transparency from the public and politicians.

CHF 270 million for 27 NGO partners

As part of the new SDC Guidance for Engagement with Swiss NGOs, the SDC has redesigned its system for allocating programme contributions. The new eligibility requirements, application and approval process for programme contributions ensure that the allocation system is accessible, transparent and comprehensible. At the end of February 2021, contracts amounting to CHF 270 million were signed with 27 Swiss NGO partners and two competence centers for the 2021–22 period. The 27 Swiss NGO partners comprise 10 large relief organisations, seven alliances with a total of 17 NGOs, three umbrella organisations with 21 member organisations and 7 cantonal federations.

Clear focus on Switzerland's international cooperation objectives

Together with their local partners and with the support of the SDC, Swiss NGOs create decent jobs, advocate for the sustainable use of natural resources and provide Swiss expertise and innovative approaches to local actors, in particular in the fields of climate change, food, water and education. Swiss NGOs are also important partners of the Swiss humanitarian aid. They support civilian population in reconstruction and disaster prevention, make an important contribution to Swiss peacebuilding efforts and strengthen the rule of law and gender equality on the ground.

SDC programme contributions not to be used for information campaigns in Switzerland

Swiss NGOs may finance a maximum of 30 percent and alliances, umbrella organisations and federations a maximum of 40 percent of their international cooperation budgets through programme contributions. In order to provide greater clarity and transparency regarding SDC funding, the new contracts explicitly exclude the use of SDC programme contributions for information and awareness-raising activities in Switzerland. Swiss NGOs may continue to carry out information campaigns but may not finance them with SDC programme contributions, which are exclusively intended for international cooperationin the partner countries. The total amount of the SDC programme contribution to each NGO remains unchanged and the independence of NGOs can be preserved also in financial terms.

Further information:

SDC and Swiss NGOs: trouble in paradise?
Programme contribution and eligibility verification
"This systemic change has altered the role of Swiss NGOs"

Comunicado de prensa (es)(pdf, 107kb)

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