Democratization in support of integrated, sustainable development

A young woman places a folded ballot paper in the ballot box.
The objectives of the SDC include supporting fair and transparent elections, for example in Tunisia. © SDC

Promoting democratic values is essential to inclusive governance. The equal participation of all population groups increases the likelihood of fair and balanced development that benefits everyone. Efforts are made to curb corruption and the abuse of power, minimising the risk of frustration and political confrontation. Promoting democracy is one of Switzerland's foreign policy priorities. 

Democratisation is a key concern for the SDC, which aims to promote community involvement and responsible government action. By enabling different population groups to have an equal say in political life and determine issues that affect their daily lives, diverse interests can be represented, supporting broad-based decision-making. This lends greater legitimacy to political processes and creates a climate of shared responsibility for implementation. Other key democratic principles include power-sharing, checks on power, accountability, the rule of law and equality before the law.

Switzerland supports both democratic institutions and democratic processes, promoting interaction between the mutually reinforcing democratic forces that shape the political system. Promoting gender equality and equal participation and protecting disadvantaged communities are key priorities for Switzerland. In meeting its commitments, Switzerland works from a politically informed perspective, supports solutions that are appropriate in the context and builds on existing structures. It works on the basis of democratic values rather than any specific model.

Democratisation is crucial to inclusive, sustainable development, but it is also an end in itself, ensuring that civil and political rights are upheld and other fundamental social, economic and cultural rights are respected. Democratisation can also contribute to the de-escalation of violent conflicts.

Current projects

Object 13 – 24 of 275

Gender Mainstreaming 2022-2025 Phase 7

01.03.2022 - 28.02.2025

In collaboration with selected strategic partners, the SDC will promote gender equality and women’s rights in 3 priority areas that correspond to the SDC’s strategic interests and where it can promote innovative approaches: Peace building and crisis response, data driven advocacy and policy influence, and mobilising quality investments for gender transformative change. This will contribute to accelerate the implementation of the SDG 5 and to reduce its current funding gap.


Civil society resilience strengthening

18.02.2022 - 17.02.2027

This project, in delegated cooperation with USAID, supports democratic development in Serbia by fostering an enabling environment for civil society and strengthening its resilience. It improves capacities of civil society to perform its monitoring and advocacy roles, to facilitate citizen’s engagement and to engage in constructive dialogue with the government. Ultimately, this leads towards a more resilient, inclusive and pluralistic society.


FfD Financing for Development 2022-2024

01.02.2022 - 31.12.2024

The United Nations (UN) estimate the financing gap for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at $2.5 trillion per year with an additional shortfall for 2020 of $1.7 trillion due to Covid-19. Financing for Development (FfD) is therefore a core issue for the UN. This credit proposal contributes to make the intergovernmental process of FfD more evidence-based, inclusive and participatory, with a focus on Switzerland’s priority themes: private sector engagement and multi-stakeholder partnerships.


Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine

01.02.2022 - 31.03.2024

With a contribution to the Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine (PFRU), Switzerland aims at strengthening communities and at enhancing government legitimacy in Eastern Ukraine through improved services, economic recovery and empowered civil society. The PFRU is an innovative multi-donor financing tool which focuses on supporting the implementation of reforms in the conflict-affected areas of the country through an integrated approach (humanitarian-development-peace nexus). The PFRU unites five development partners (UK, US, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland) and it is co-owned by the Government of Ukraine.


Support to Village Councils – Area C Infrastructure

01.02.2022 - 31.12.2024

Switzerland fosters the resilience of marginalised communities in Area C of the West Bank by enhancing planning capacities of local authorities and improving the access to basic infrastructure in partnership with UNHABITAT and the Municipal Development and Lending Fund MDLF. SDC’s contribution is part of a wider donor engagement in Area C to Leave No One Behind. A stronger accent is put in this third and final phase on active participation of women and youth in the selection and social auditing of infrastructure projects.


City-to-City Partnership Hawassa – Lugano

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2026

This contribution supports an innovative Swiss-Ethiopian municipal twinning partnership to enhance capacity at the sub-national level to manage access to drinking water in good quantity and quality according to the Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 and 6.3 in underserved communities. The partnership will be accompanied by a research and education component, involving local and Swiss innovative university partnerships.


Contribution to the country office of UN Human Rights in Honduras (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights)

01.01.2022 - 30.06.2024

UN Human Rights has established itself as the principal point of reference for critically positioning human rights in the public and political agenda of Honduras. It will continue to strive to provide protection of individuals and communities whose rights are at risk or denied, while also working to further develop institutions, laws and policies that effectively protect human rights. This will contribute to rule of law and providing the necessary framework for equitable and sustainable development.


GVCD - Gaza Vulnerable Communities Development Programme

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2024

Through the Gaza Vulnerable Communities Development Programme, Switzerland contributes to covering basic needs and fostering social cohesion in the Gaza Strip. The successful intervention model applied in the 1st Phase is extended and scaled up under this 2nd Phase. Small infrastructure projects addressing basic needs of vulnerable communities serve as an entry point for a local dialogue on development priorities, enabled through building the capacities of both duty bearers and right holders, including youth and women.


PACTA - Participatory Action Against Corruption: Towards Transparency and Accountability

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2026

In Bangladesh, Switzerland was instrumental in engaging likeminded development partners to support prominent local actors to curb corruption and establish transparent and accountable governance systems. This project, co-funded by Switzerland with the UK and Sweden, will continue the work on reducing corruption by engaging citizens, adding the use of an innovative digital tool for community monitoring. Based on the evidence collected on corruption incidences, the project will reinforce policy advocacy and engagement at different levels. 


Support to Safe Spaces for Women, Youth and Children in Gaza Strip

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2024

Switzerland promotes social cohesion and civic peace through creating safe spaces for women, youth, and persons with disabilities in the Gaza Strip. By fostering local capacities and promoting community-led initiatives Safe Spaces strengthens the resilience of vulnerable groups. This second phase puts a stronger accent on skills and economic empowerment for youth in line with the Cooperation Programme 2021-24. By advocating for inclusive societies it contributes to mitigate the spread of extremism and radicalization.


OHCHR - Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the oPt

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2024

This support to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the oPt aims to contribute to promoting and protecting human rights in the oPt and enhancing prospects for Palestinians to live in dignity, prosperity and peace with the State of Israel. 


Decentralization and Municipal Support (DEMOS III)

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2025

DEMOS III will consolidate achievements of decentralised governance in the areas of policy framework and municipal performance. A grant mechanism rewarding municipalities for their good governance practices will be institutionalised with the aim to offer better quality services to citizens. The Association of Kosovo Municipalities (AKM) will strengthen its advocacy role and citizens will be engaged in the oversight. Funds will be pooled by Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, the EU and the Government of Kosovo.  

Object 13 – 24 of 275