EmPower II: Women for Climate Resilient Societies

With EmPower II, SDC contributes to a SIDA-funded project of UN-Women and UNEP promoting  climate-resilient development for women and other marginalized groups. SDC’s support enables disaggregated data products for gender-responsive DRR and climate strategies and enhances capacities on the subnational level among policy-makers and CSOs. SDC’s support also facilitates financial access and literacy on renewable energy in Cambodia, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Climate change and environment
Disaster risk reduction DRR
Women’s equality organisations and institutions
Environmental policy
01.12.2023 - 31.12.2025
CHF  285’000
Background Across Asia and the Pacific, environmental degradation, the cumulative impact of  frequent disasters, climate-induced hazards and changing annual weather patterns increasingly jeopardize development gains. Since 2018, EmPower has worked on enhancing climate-resilient development of marginalized people. Phase I took place from 2018-2022 in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Viet Nam and at the regional level of Asia-Pacific, with funding from the SIDA. 
Objectives Through EmPower project phase II, women and other marginalized groups in the Asia-Pacific region will be less vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and experience greater gender equality and enjoyment of their rights, including equal access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
Target groups Women entrepreneurs and women-led small and medium-sized enterprises, Youth, ethnic minorities or Indigenous groups, LGBTQ, refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants, people living with disabilities and people living with HIV, Women’s rights organizations and CSOs, National and subnational government agencies, Private sector and financial institutions, Intergovernmental organizations.
Medium-term outcomes

The contribution of the SDC focuses on two outcomes and two outputs:

Outcome 1: Increased action on gender responsive climate change adaptation and mitigation

Outcome 3: Women and other marginalized groups in the Asia-Pacific region secure climate-resilient livelihoods


Expected results:  

Under output 1.1 of EmPower II, the Swiss contribution focuses on enabling the production and use of disaggregated gender and climate data to improve gender-responsive, human rights-based climate change, renewable energy and DRR policies and plans.

Through output 3.1, technical and financial training will support women and other marginalized groups on climate-resilient technologies and renewable energy-based businesses.

Results from previous phases:   While most targets were exceeded, a learning was to improve exchanges between the involved UN-agencies and systematically integrating a leave no-one behind approach.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
  • EmPower phase II is a UN-joint programme and follows a pass-through fund management modality, administered and convened by UN Women, and directly implemented by both UN Women and UNEP

Coordination with other projects and actors
  • In Cambodia with projects RECOFTC (supporting the development of National Gender Strategic Plan for Cambodian Ministry of Women Affairs), as well as Nurture, CASFor and 3EIs where skill building for entrepreneurs with climate-resilient livelihood
  • In Bangladesh, the SDC is in the process of starting the project “Access to Finance for Enterprises”
  • In Indonesia with the ongoing Swiss Humanitarian Aid Direct Action with the Indonesia Disaster Management Authority (BNPB)
  • In the Pacific region, UN-Women implements the “Global Gender Equality Accelerator” for women leadership and gender-responsiveness in global disaster risk reduction and climate change processes and frameworks
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    285’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    142’500 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    7’700’000 Total project since first phase Budget inclusive project partner CHF   285’000
Project phases Phase 1 01.12.2023 - 31.12.2025   (Current phase)