State and Economic Reforms

Medical personnel caring for newborns in a neonatal ward in Lithuania
Improving neonatal and perinatal services in Lithuania © SDC/Jolanta Normantienè

Poverty means more than having no income, food and education. Unfortunately, the majority of the poorest is also characterized by fear and helplessness, lack of security and rights, discrimination and arbitrary government. So efforts to promote rule of law, human rights and justice are crucial for sustainable poverty reduction and guaranteeing development.

The rights of the poorest

Protecting and promoting the rights of the very poor: Citizens must be able to play a full and active part in the political life of their country. This presupposes the existence of a democratic State that respects human rights and decentralizes its powers. Rule of law and democracy are therefore priority SDC themes.

Decentralization

Decentralization and combating power abuse is at the heart of the democratization process.

Human rights

Sustainable development is only possible if fundamental human rights principles such as non-discrimination, participation, and the rule of law are respected. These rights form the basis of international cooperation. This is why the promotion of human rights is a key issue for the SDC.

Extraction and trade of resources

Extensive known and suspected raw materials deposits and vast tracts of arable land are currently to be found in often politically unstable developing countries. The extraction and trade in raw materials have far-reaching effects on the economies, state institutions and societies of these countries. Many developing countries are highly dependent on their commodities exports. According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in 2012, commodities exports in 100 out of 151 developing countries accounted for at least 50% of their export revenues. In half of all African countries, commodities exports account for up to 80%.

Democratization

Active participation by citizens in the political life of their countries is a major Swiss development cooperation issue, and the democratization initiatives at the heart of the SDC's work.

Combating corruption

Decentralization and combating power abuse is at the heart of the democratization process.

Economic and fiscal development

For the SDC, local economic development is not just an economic matter but a cooperative approach which provides an excellent tool for bringing together different interest groups to agree on local cooperation that can help create jobs and income, in addition to improving governance.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have considerably transformed the way we learn and work. ICTs skilfully embedded in development programmes to promote access to knowledge and its exchange, and participation of the poorest and most marginalised population groups, can make a valuable contribution to achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 174

Better public services in fourteen of Benin’s communes

A woman and a man shake hands in front of a sign with Switzerland's logo and the names of the two towns involved in building the bridge.

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020

Efforts to decentralise public services in Benin are paying off. The SDC is focusing on two of the country’s departments. Since 2008, when the first support programme was launched, significant progress has been seen on the ground.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Benin
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020


CHF 6'800'000



Kakuma: Developing vocational skills in a refugee camp

a man repairing a computer in his workshop, watched by six visitors.

01.07.2016 - 30.06.2019

The SDC’s Skills for Life pilot project teaches vocational skills to refugees and residents of Kakuma, to enable them to work and earn a living. More than 580 young people were trained in phase one of this project, which was launched in 2013. Phase two began in summer 2016.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Kenya
Migration
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Forced migration (refugees, IDP, human trafficking)
Vocational training and skills development
Protection and access
HUMANITARIAN AID
EDUCATION
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Material relief assistance and services
Vocational training
Human rights

01.07.2016 - 30.06.2019


CHF 2'050'000



Confronting and combating gender-based violence in Mongolia

Two female Mongolian social workers.

01.05.2016 - 30.04.2020

Gender-based violence has been on the rise in Mongolia since the turn of the millennium. Yet because of a serious lack of data, the extent of the phenomenon is difficult to assess and a culture of impunity continues to hold sway.  The SDC plans to conduct a national survey to address this problem.  At the same time, it intends to strengthen institutions, put in place appropriate services and raise public awareness.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Mongolia
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Protection and access
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Human rights
Human rights

01.05.2016 - 30.04.2020


CHF 4'390'000



Combating corruption in Kosovo

Four young developers sitting at a table discussing IT solutions designed to help the municipality create more transparency.

01.05.2016 - 30.04.2020

Corruption is rampant among Kosovo’s public institutions and undermines citizens’ trust in the system. The SDC is supporting a project designed to address this problem by promoting transparency in institutions and encouraging citizens to report abuses.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Kosovo
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)

01.05.2016 - 30.04.2020


CHF 2'855'500



Contribution to the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2015-2017

Three specialists from a regional office supporting the decentralisation reform in Ukraine taking part in a training course in Kyiv in November 2015.

01.09.2015 - 31.12.2017

The «Decentralisation and Territorial Consolidation in Ukraine» project offers technical and practical support to the Ukrainian authorities in implementing the decentralisation reform which involves merging municipalities. The reform should eventually allow municipalities to operate more efficiently and to provide citizens with good-quality public services.  

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ukraine
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)

01.09.2015 - 31.12.2017


CHF 2'400'000



Appui aux économies locales des collectivités de Youwarou et de Niafunké (PACY) Programme de Soutien aux Economies Locales du Delta intérieur du Niger (PSEL-DELTA)

01.07.2015 - 30.06.2019

Dans les régions du delta intérieur du Niger, au centre et au Nord du Mali, les populations rurales sont confrontées à des crises structurelles multiformes dont l’insécurité alimentaire. La DDC appuie les autorités locales avec des projets économiques dans les filières agricoles porteuses pour assurer la sécurité alimentaire et réduire la pauvreté d’au moins 150'000 personnes. En plus, elle accompagne les municipalités de cette zone dans la maitrise d’ouvrage du développement territorial et la gestion pacifique des ressources naturelles.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Mali
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Agriculture and Food Security
Agriculture value-chain development
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
Adaptation to the effects of climate change
MULTISECTOR or CROSS-CUTTING
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Rural development
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)
Environmental policy and administrative management

01.07.2015 - 30.06.2019


CHF 9'445'000



Forging a common «Nile culture» through music and academic training

Nile Project musicians on a boat.

01.05.2015 - 31.01.2018

To make the Nile Basin a common ground and shared ecosystem for the inhabitants of the eleven countries through which the Nile River flows, the SDC supports the innovative musical and educational Nile Project. The project brings together artists, students and concerned citizens. A series of acclaimed concerts has taken place since 2013; at the same time, students are developing initiatives to foster a better use of water resources.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Egypt
Economy and Employment
Education
Migration
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Education
Environment
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Economy and Employment
Culture
Disaster Risk Reduction – Preparedness
Education policy
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
Environment protection
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
Vocational training and skills development
Access to information incl. support to media and ICT
Mitigation of the effects of climate change
Culture
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Migration generally (development aspects and partnerships)
Protection and access
EDUCATION
OTHER SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
INDUSTRY
HUMANITARIAN AID
EDUCATION
INDUSTRY
GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
OTHER SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
COMMUNICATIONS
GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
HUMANITARIAN AID
Education policy and administrative management
Culture and recreation
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
Disaster prevention and preparedness
Vocational training
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
Environmental policy and administrative management
Human rights
Culture and recreation
Information and communication technology (ICT)
Biosphere protection
Material relief assistance and services

01.05.2015 - 31.01.2018


CHF 751'000



Life without violence, from dream to reality

The face of a woman who has been abused.

01.02.2015 - 31.05.2020

The SDC hopes that by backing a newly-adopted law in Bolivia on ending violence against women, it can contribute to more systematic and targeted care for female victims. Local and national authorities and the people are working together on a comprehensive approach to prevent assaults on women. Too often, attitudes are tinged with a male chauvinism that sanctions violence.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bolivia
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Human rights

01.02.2015 - 31.05.2020


CHF 4'070'000



Improving municipal management and citizen participation in Armenia

Portrait photo of Srbuhy Grigoryan, an Armenian journalist who was able to take part in her town’s mayoral elections.

19.05.2014 - 30.06.2019

Switzerland has been supporting the Armenian government in its plans for territorial and administrative reform, particularly its plans to merge municipalities, which often raises concerns for local people. To this end, central approaches include one-stop shops, an electronic management system and strengthening women’s participation in politics.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Armenia
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)

19.05.2014 - 30.06.2019


CHF 8'025'000



SDC supports municipal autonomy and political participation in Kosovo

A young man holding a microphone in his hand, listening intently to the discussion.

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017

Since independence in 2008, Kosovo has been moving to reform and decentralise its administration. Local self-administration in the 38 municipalities is to be expanded. The SDC project "Decentralisation and Municipal Support" (DEMOS) supports 17 municipalities in improving their public services.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Kosovo
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017


CHF 12'820'000



Supporting Decentralisation and Local Government

Albanian women visiting the Bushat municipal office.

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2018


Switzerland supports Albania's transition to a democratic society. The decentralisation and local development programme (dldp) strengthens local government in North Albania and disseminates best practices at national level. It has introduced new models for local government functioning in areas such as waste management, public finance management, and e-governance.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Albania
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2018


CHF 9'620'000



Contribution aux programmes d’investissement des collectivités territoriales pour le développement régional et local au Mali

01.10.2013 - 31.12.2018

Région la plus arrosée du Mali, Sikasso peine à assurer son rôle de grenier du pays. Le Conseil régional de Sikasso (CRS), avec l’aide de la DDC, veut surmonter ce paradoxe par un programme de coordination du développement local et de valorisation des potentialités agropastorales. Pour ce faire, elle entend renforcer le CRS dans la mise-en-œuvre du volet agro-pastoral de son plan stratégique de développement économique régional.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Mali
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Agriculture value-chain development
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
Rural infrastructure
MULTISECTOR or CROSS-CUTTING
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
TRANSPORT AND STORAGE
Rural development
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)
Transport policy and administrative management

01.10.2013 - 31.12.2018


CHF 5'300'000


Object 1 – 12 of 174