Sustainability criteria

The UN’s Agenda 2030 encompasses 17 development goals, none of which can be achieved without inclusive development. In line with these objectives, Swisscontact is particularly committed to: 

Gender Equality and Social Inclusion

We promote gender equality, both in our project work and within our organisation. We strive for the social inclusion of all people.

Gender equality and social inclusion are important in eliminating poverty and promoting peace and economic growth. In its projects, Swisscontact promotes the creation of economic opportunities through business promotion and the strengthening of competencies. Gender equality and social inclusion are important for achieving these objectives.

Our policy of gender equality and social inclusion is based on a systemic view. It is compatible with the demands of the private sector and market development, drawing strength from both these elements. We make sure that our projects are gender-sensitive and we work on strengthening equal access to resources and opportunities of women and men. Partnerships are an important basis for implementing our approach in project activities.

Environmental Responsibility

We always consider the environment, actively exploring opportunities to enhance the resilience of individuals and communities to deal with climate change and promoting solutions for efficient and sustainable use of resources.

The consequences of over-exploiting and destroying natural resources mostly affect the poor. For this reason, we see environmental responsibility as an essential element when fostering inclusive and sustainable economic and social development. Swisscontact promotes skills and business practices that contribute to environmental protection and enhance the ability of people and economies to adapt to climate change.

In our project activities we make sure on a systemic level that our work does not unintentionally result in damage to the environment. By working with private and public partners, we support companies, institutions and entire sectors to become more environmentally conscious and increase environmental performance.  Additionally, we work on strengthening “green sectors” such as recycling, sustainable transport, and renewable energies by fostering the requisite know-how, supporting green businesses and anchoring environmental enhancements at system level.

Financial Inclusion

In our projects, we promote responsible finance and financial literacy.

With access to responsible, transparent, and affordable financial products, channels, and services, Swisscontact supports entrepreneurial people engage actively in economic life and supports enterprises to thrive.

We facilitate access to savings mechanisms, credit, micro-insurance, and other financial services. Additionally, we promote general education in finance in our projects. The availability of socially responsible financial services is one of Swisscontact’s core principles.

This means that partner financial institutions are offering affordable and appropriate products and services, treating their customers fairly and protecting them from over-indebtedness; they are transparent in pricing their products and ensure their customers’ data is safeguarded.

Good Governance

We promote transparent, accountable, participatory and effective decision-making processes. We support and strengthen governing institutions that foster economic growth, human development and social cohesion.

The framework for good governance defines individual futures. Swisscontact is committed to strengthening civil society organisations and effective state institutions, improving their ability to fight corruption, implement the rule of law, and decentralize.  All actors must be in a position to shape policy for the benefit of disadvantaged population groups.

In our projects, we strengthen government institutions on the national, regional, and local levels. We help them enact transparent reform and effective decision-making processes that abide by the rule of law and in participatory ways. We foster the development of effective civil society organisations and actively involve both public and private interest groups. Businesses must understand their social responsibility and abide by environmental and labour standards.

Our project approaches strive for equal conditions of competitiveness for all, along with responsible and efficient economic processes that foster investment, create jobs, and thereby enhance opportunities for inclusive development.