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).

Additional information

Documents

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 222

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

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)
Legal and judicial development
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Protection and access
Access to information incl. support to media and ICT

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)

01.05.2016 - 30.04.2020


CHF 525'000



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)

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

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 - 31.07.2017

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
Environment
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Economy and Employment
Culture
Disaster Risk Reduction – Preparedness
Education policy
Environment protection
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
Mitigation of the effects of climate change
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Migration generally (development aspects and partnerships)

01.05.2015 - 31.07.2017


CHF 750'000



For citizen-oriented public services

© SDC

01.05.2015 - 31.12.2017

The SDC has been supporting the Cambodian authorities in an ambitious process of decentralisation that started in 2001. The aim is to provide local and provincial authorities with enough resources and competences to enable them to deliver quality public services to the Cambodian population. The process also encourages citizens to have their say on these matters.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Cambodia
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Protection and access

01.05.2015 - 31.12.2017


CHF 7'610'000



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)

01.02.2015 - 31.05.2020


CHF 4'070'000



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)

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)

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 - 30.09.2017

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

01.10.2013 - 30.09.2017


CHF 5'300'000



Development of Citizenship Competences in Ukraine

Women holding a discussion around a table covered in notebooks and brochures.

01.07.2013 - 31.12.2018

The DOCCU Project aims at supporting Ukraine in implementation of the Council of Europe’s Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship/Human Rights Education (EDC/HRE) through dissemination of knowledge on EDC/HRE in Ukraine. This will be achieved via in-service practical trainings on EDC/HRE for civil servants and officials of local governments as well as for teachers and school principals.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ukraine
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)

01.07.2013 - 31.12.2018


CHF 1'640'000


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