Springfield Centre: Plotting a pathway through pandemic and Brexit politics  

This has been an unpredictable year for Springfield Centre. Its operations and service delivery were severely disrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The turmoil around Brexit, including the absorption of DFID into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (to form the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office FCDO) added to this uncertainty.

The UK remains a significant international development actor but post-pandemic, post-Brexit priorities are only beginning to emerge and it is expected that UKAid’s strategy will take several years to take shape. Springfield continues to work closely with FCDO on programmes in Nigeria, East Africa and South Asia. Springfield’s diversification strategy has paid off, generating growing opportunities with bi-lateral partners in Europe and Australia, international NGOs like Mercy Corps and aid partners like Lien AID and the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI), part of Accion.

Advising from a distance

Throughout the year, Springfield has been supporting various clients as they respond to COVID-19 and adapt to the realities of remote management and support. Its team has worked successfully with clients such as Sida in Uganda and Zambia, DFAT in the Pacific and Indonesia, ILO in Lebanon, and Lien AID in Myanmar to shift face-to-face advisory support online. As a result, and despite international travel constraints, advisory activity levels for the year have recovered close to pre-COVID levels.

The team is leveraging this experience to offer services in new, remote ways to clients, such as guiding project inception and team onboarding in Georgia; undertaking programme reviews and audit in Zambia and Myanmar; providing intervention strategy and tactical guidance and quality assurance across the Indo-Pacific region; and supporting a strategic reorientation process within CFI.

Turning adversity into opportunity in training and coaching

The COVID-19 pandemic interfered with all but one face-to-face training event in 2020. It did, however, provide the Springfield team with the necessary space to review and reinvigorate its training content and offers. Springfield works with several programmes and organisations on knowledge harvesting, to develop new case studies, examples and guidance on good development practice from around the world.

Training was not a high priority for many of Springfield’s clients as they initially grappled with the implications of COVID-19, but it saw demand return as the year progressed. Springfield is currently supporting several clients with ‘hybrid’ training, which incorporates online training, follow-on guidance for putting learning into practice, and on-going coaching using in-house mentors and champions. 2020 also saw Springfield escalate its online presence through 6 webinars and 15 blog posts, including 4 video blogs.

The Springfield Centre has been a subsidiary of Swisscontact since 2019.

Annual Report Homepage
In the year of crisis that was 2020, Swisscontact was able to build on its many years of experience building stable structures, networks, and partnerships at the local level. This helps people, businesses, and the economy as a whole to find their way out of crises more quickly. 
Results and Impact
Swisscontact is implementing 117 projects in 39 countries. This is what we achieved in 2020.
Swisscontact focuses on four primary sustainability criteria. The following examples provide a glimpse into how these criteria make their way into daily project activities.
Financial Statement 2020
on 31.12.2020
We thank all our partners (in alphabetical order).