Development Programme

Our Development Programme is the centrepiece of Swisscontact. It encompasses 35 projects in more than 20 countries (with the number of projects and countries changing between 2017 and 2020). For me it is a great honour to be part of this exciting programme, where we test new ideas and further develop existing innovations that have been proven effective over time. 

Eliane Herrmann, Head of Development Programme

Despite the significant challenges caused by COVID-19 in the last year of the four-year period 2017-2020, the results of the Development Programme are highly satisfactory, and we have reached or even exceeded nearly all targets. I am very proud of our achievements and the great effort of our project teams. The programme's objective gained relevance considering the intensified challenges of the partners and target groups. The slogan "Leave No One Behind" is even more relevant now than ever before, due to the COVID- 19 pandemic. The pandemic is not only taking lives ruthlessly across the globe, but also hitting the economy hard, especially in developing countries, leaving the people jobless and without an income. Our approach is based on the conviction that, if provided with a conducive environment, people have the innate ability and willingness to free themselves from poverty. The objective is to improve their lives through their own initiative by inducing ownership interests. The Development Programme embraces the UN’s Agenda 2030. The 17 SDGs and, particularly, the goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030 underline the fact that global social and economic challenges, such as migration, fragility and security - to name a few - need to be addressed by tackling their root causes. Increasing consumerism, the (unequal) use and distribution of resources, pressure on the environment, climate change, growing economic disparities, social volatility, political fragility and (youth) unemployment are interrelated challenges of an increasingly unpredictable globalised world. Swisscontact supports developing and emerging countries in their efforts to implement Agenda 2030. Pro-poor growth requires the productive integration of all segments of society – be it as producers, workers and consumers –respecting decent and sustainable working and production conditions. The core of our work is the empowerment of people and local actors to develop capabilities and networks to overcome access barriers. Based on this approach, 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. 

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. I would like to thank all our donors for their continuous support in the past four years and I am looking forward to our collaboration in the future.”