Development Programme
Report 2017 - 2020

Our Development Programme is the centrepiece of Swisscontact
The programme allows us to test new ideas and further develop existing innovations that have been proven effective over time.

We link Swiss and international actors from the public and private sector as well as academia. In this way the programme supports cross-sectoral approaches and cooperation. Our Development Programme is co-financed by several donors and receives a contribution of the Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation (SDC) under the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) covering up to 40% of the costs of the entire programme. 


"Since the beginning of the City of Zurich's involvement in international cooperation, Swisscontact has been a reliable partner. Especially in the areas of vocational training for young people and adult education, Swisscontact offers sound programmes that enable numerous people to shape their own lives independently thanks to better job prospects. The foundation thus embodies the credo of vocational training in the city of Zurich in the best possible way. "
Anna Schindler, Director of Urban Development Zurich
"The Medicor Foundation has supported Swisscontact for many years in several countries and accompanies the projects it implements with a critical eye. We appreciate Swisscontact as a professional, reliable partner that communicates openly and transparently. It applies tried and tested approaches and incorporates experience in the further development of its projects."
Fortunat Walther, Executive Director Medicor Foundation 
35 projects in over 20 countries
It encompasses about 35 projects in over 20 countries
Milestones 2017 - 2020
In the Development Programme we test new ideas and further develop existing innovations that have been proven effective over time.  

Overall results

The overall goal of the Development Programme is to achieve sustained and improved livelihood for our target groups. This is measured through the increase of income and the creation of new jobs. Despite the challenging last year of this phase due to the Corona pandemic, we met and even exceeded our targets. 

  • 435 624 people (56% women) benefitted from programme activities
  • CHF 94 million additional net income generated
  • 4 104 new jobs (full-time equivalent) created
Working Areas
The Development Programme worked in four key topics in 2017-2020: Skills Development, Enterpreneurship, Financial Inclusion and Resource Efficiency:
Flagship Innovations
The Development Programme contributes directly to sustainable development by creating opportunities for people through job creation, income generation and productive employment. On a wider scale, this enables us to build sustainable and resilient livelihoods.
The sustainability of project interventions is of great importance to Swisscontact. The coordination of project activities is in line with national development plans. 
Lessons learnt
Learning from mistakes allows us to evolve. When working in a development context, not everything runs smoothly all the time. Adaptive project management is therefore the top priority for the projects in our development programme.
The Development Progamme is financed by several private and public donors. The programme received a financial contribution of SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA).
Voices from the field
Personal testimonials of some of the project participants, beneficiaries, and stakeholders. 

Opportunities and the way forward

We successfully completed and anchored several projects in the past four years. From 2021 onwards, some interesting new projects will be realised in new countries, including Honduras, Senegal and Morocco. In its new phase, the Development Programme 2021-2024 will deliver results in two areas: Skills & Employability and Enterprise & Productivity. Covid-19 and its implications are part of the new reality in the next four years. The empowerment and promotion of disadvantaged groups are more relevant than ever. Increasing incomes and creating new jobs will be an additional challenge in this context. Therefore, the focus is not only on income and growth, but also increasingly on securing existing jobs, with a focus on resilience. We will particularly promote an intensified exchange and peer learning between the projects of the Development Programme, as well as the content-related support of our content experts. In this way, we promote innovation and anchor best practices.  

Swisscontact's Development Programme also embraces Agenda 2030 of the United Nations in the new phase. In our projects, we will intensify our commitment to our sustainability criteria Gender Equality & Social Inclusion, Financial Capability, Environmental Responsibility and Good Governance. Our four Working Principles, Evidence-Based Adaptive Management, Inclusive System Development, Learning Culture, and Engaging the Private Sector will guide us to successful implementation of the reduction of poverty by leaving no one behind.


ZEWO-Seal of approval

ZEWO has awarded Swisscontact its mark of quality. The latter is awarded to non-profit organisations for the conscientious handling of money entrusted to them, proves appropriate, economical and effective allocation of donations and stands for transparent and trustworthy organisations with functioning control structures that uphold ethics in the procurement of funds and communication. Our financial accounting abides by the regulations of SWISS GAAP FER 21. Swisscontact is exempt from taxes. Donations are tax-deductible in Switzerland.