Working principles

We implement our projects in adherence to four clearly defined working principles:

Inclusive Systems Development

We apply a systemic approach: this means acting as trainers, facilitators and enablers, seeking to address the underlying issues in a system and enable local organisations and partners to ensure they take direct ownership of systems change. This is how we achieve sustainable impact at scale.

The systemic approach examines the limits and opportunities of existing systems. The starting point of any intervention is to perform a detailed analysis of system actors and their roles and relationships, the overarching rules of the system, and how these factors all interrelate. These analyses reveal how the system works for poor segments of the population and which interventions would be necessary to address the deeply rooted problems they encounter and opening up new opportunities for them. Targeted improvements in the system allows people to take part in the economy, and in so doing they are able to improve their living conditions.

Project interventions are built on the principles of facilitation, sustainability and broad-based impact:

  • building personal responsibility and capacities in the systems within which we are working
  • working with system actors to spur positive and sustainable change for our target groups
  • using systems to replicate and spread innovations that will be of benefit to a large number of people

We apply understanding of systemic development in all phases of the project cycle, and it is rooted in all our organisational functions, operations, and activities.

Evidence based Adaptive Management

We apply a systemic approach: this means acting as trainers, facilitators and enablers, seeking to address the underlying issues in a system and enable local organisations and partners to ensure they take direct ownership of systems change. This is how we achieve sustainable impact at scale.

Swisscontact implements its projects with an evidence-based and adaptive management approach based on a standardized monitoring and results measurement system. This makes it possible for us to keep our projects impact-oriented and to apply timely corrective actions within our interventions. Systematic results monitoring in our projects is the key to quality assurance.

Our standardized monitoring and results measurement system delivers real-time information on our projects’ progress toward achieving objectives. Internal guidelines define management processes, tools, and resources that help our projects to build and sustain a highly performing adaptive management system. We use the insights gained from the monitoring system to regularly review and update project strategies. This ensures that our projects use resources effectively and achieve their intended impact.

The quality standard for Swisscontact’s monitoring and impact measurement system is aligned with internationally-recognized best practices such as the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) standard.

Learning Culture

We continuously develop and embed new learning methodologies, increasing knowledge, competence and performance within our organisation.

Our learning culture is an important element and prerequisite for Swisscontact’s success, and this is how we stay competitive.

Thus, creating a modern learning culture is crucial not only for Swisscontact’s partners and clients, but also for our organisation as a whole. One of the success factors is sharing knowledge both internally and beyond Swisscontact, implementing it in specific action.

Our learning culture encompasses the following:

  • important content management
  • knowledge transfer
  • process and guidance
  • intelligent application of IT and communications technologies

Our projects draw from our learning culture in all phases of the cycle. Throughout, direct interaction is just as important as the ability to integrate virtual spaces and rooms in the work environment. In so doing, we are able to create an inspiring learning culture that motivates our employees to learn and apply new skills.

Engaging the Private Sector

Private businesses are the engine of economic development, generating income and jobs. We cultivate and expand partnerships with local and international companies in order to strengthen their and their employees’ activities.

Swisscontact collaborates with the private sector on various levels:

  • as a partner in project implementation
  • as an actor within various value chains
  • as financing partner for our project activities

Swisscontact takes on the role of facilitator between actors in the private and public sectors. We promote new business models and level the playing field to facilitate access to information, resources, and finance. Our neutral role allows us to establish long-term relations between the public and private sectors. This in turn improves the economic environment and encourages both private and public investment.