Eight of the twelve projects have been completed by the end of 2016. All completed and ongoing projects have resulted in a high number of positive and concrete results. Below is an overview based on the five project goals.
Results in Latvia
More than 1,000 microcredits have been granted, which have been used to maintain and create around 2,500 jobs. The companies involved were only unable to pay back 2.4% of the credits.
Transparent financial reporting
Authorities and associations have acquired skills in international financial reporting and auditing standards by taking part in training courses. Around 100 seminars with over 600 participants were carried out. A newly-developed auditing software has also been making work easier for SMEs.
A total of 6,500 students attended guest lectures given by 92 Swiss lecturers. Twenty-seven Latvian doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers are taking part in a fixed-term research residency at a Swiss university thanks to a SCIEX fellowship. This is helping Swiss and Latvian universities to work together more closely.
26 youth centres have been renovated and offer a range of recreational activities for young people from remote and disadvantaged regions of Latvia. There are plans to set up three more such centres as part of this project. Around 4,500 young people and youth workers have received training, and a number of international and regional conferences have taken place, as well as 55 seminars.
In 59 municipalities, 110 school buses provide more than 7,000 children with safe transport to school on a daily basis. The project has already reached completion and the buses are now maintained and administered by the municipalities.
Rehabilitation of contaminated sites
Remediation work on three areas contaminated by oil in Riga's industrial port has almost been completed. To date around 1,600 tonnes of the liquid oil layers have been pumped out and 6,000 tonnes of contaminated soil from the riverbed have been removed, disposed of in line with national laws and EU guidelines by a licensed waste disposal company.
Modernising the judiciary
Thanks to a project aimed at modernising the judiciary, 47 courtrooms and 12 prisons have been equipped with over 94 modern videoconferencing units and 308 audio recording devices. There has been a significant increase in the use of these units with the monthly average of 250 in 2013 now at 370. Audio recording devices are used on average for 2,500 civil and 500 criminal cases every month.
Improving fire prevention
In 57 municipalities, fire prevention in kindergartens and schools has been improved by installing smoke alarms and other preventive measures. The schools involved in this project now offer a safer environment for more than 14,000 schoolchildren attending classes.
Support funding for NGOs
NGOs receive funds to promote and strengthen civil society's participation in the economic and social development of the country. Young people who are disadvantaged and elderly people are given priority. There are 191 NGOs that have implemented 62 small- and large-scale projects benefiting around 14,500 children and young people as well as around 6,200 elderly people. 59 projects were implemented in partnership between local NGOs, municipalities and local authorities. 20 of the projects were carried out together with Swiss organisations. This gave the Latvian organisations an insight into the Swiss set-up, which they could use to devise approaches for their own context.