Switzerland

Introduction

Switzerland is a strong multilateral player that makes its voice heard when setting international norms, especially on issues related to climate change, food security, water, migration, health, and finance and trade. Switzerland also has a strong humanitarian tradition, promoting humanitarian law and principles in the most difficult contexts.

According to the 2019 DAC Peer Review of Switzerland’s development co-operation, developing countries, civil society and multilateral organisations value the expertise, predictability and flexibility of Switzerland’s support. Switzerland has 16 broad thematic priorities and engages in 54 priority countries.

Official development assistance

Switzerland is the 8th largest DAC donor in volume and 11th as a share of official development assistance (ODA) to gross national income (GNI). After continued increases between 2013 and 2016, Switzerland’s ratio of ODA to GNI declined from 0.53% in 2016 to 0.44% in 2018. Providing 0.13% of its GNI to least developed countries (LDCs), Switzerland is close to meeting the United Nations target of 0.15-0.20% of GNI.

In 2018, Switzerland provided USD 3.1 billion in total ODA (preliminary data, current prices), using the new “grant-equivalent” methodology (see the methodological notes for further details) adopted by DAC members on their reporting of 2018 data as a more accurate way to count the donor effort in development loans. This represented 0.44% of GNI. Under the “cash-flow basis” methodology used in the past, 2018 net ODA was USD 3.1 billion, which represented a fall of 2.9% in real terms from 2017, due to lower levels of reported in-donor refugee costs and budget cuts approved by the parliament.

In 2017, in-donor refugee costs were USD 330 million, a decrease of 52% in real terms over 2016, and represented 10.5% of Switzerland’s total net ODA.

Switzerland’s share of untied bilateral ODA (excluding administrative costs and in-donor refugee costs) was 96.5% in 2017 (up from 94.3% in 2016), while the DAC country average was 82.1%. The grant element of total ODA was 100% in 2017.

Share
        
Share
        

In 2017, 75% of gross ODA was provided bilaterally, of which 25% was channelled through multilateral organisations (multi-bi/non-core contributions). Switzerland allocated 25% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations. Learn more about multilateral development finance

Share
        
Share
        

In 2017, country programmable aid was 44% of Switzerland’s bilateral ODA, compared to a DAC country average of 48% (see the methodological notes for further details on country programmable aid). Project-type interventions accounted for 75% of this aid.

Share
        
Share
        

In 2017, Switzerland channelled 34% of gross bilateral ODA through civil society organisations (CSOs), 32.9% through the public sector and 25% through multilateral organisations. See the methodological notes for further details on channels of delivery.

Share
        

In 2017, USD 798 million of bilateral ODA was channelled to and through CSOs. Between 2016 and 2017, ODA channelled to and through CSOs increased as a share of bilateral aid (from 29% to 34%). Learn more about ODA allocations to and through CSOs and the Civil Society Days.

Share
        

In 2017, bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Africa and Asia. USD 497 million was allocated to sub-Saharan Africa and USD 276 million to South and Central Asia.

Share
        

In 2017, only 15.1% of gross bilateral ODA went to Switzerland’s top 10 recipients, all of them being one of Switzerland’s 54 priority countries. Support to fragile contexts reached USD 738 million in 2017 (31.2% of gross bilateral ODA). Learn more about support to fragile contexts.

Share
        
Share
        

In 2017, 25% of Switzerland’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 591 million) was allocated to the LDCs, compared to the DAC country average of 23.5%. This is up from 20.6% in 2016. Lower middle-income countries received the second highest share of bilateral ODA in 2017 (20%), noting that 43.5% was unallocated by income group.

At 0.13% of GNI in 2017, total ODA to the LDCs (including imputed multilateral flows) was lower than the UN target of 0.15-0.20% of GNI.

Share
        

In 2017, 29.8% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 873 million) was allocated to social infrastructure and services, with almost half focusing on support to government and civil society (USD 409 million). Humanitarian aid amounted to USD 365 million. In 2017, Switzerland committed USD 13.9 million of ODA to support developing countries to raise domestic revenue, amounting to 0.59% of bilateral allocable aid. Switzerland also committed USD 678 million (28.8% of bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy in 2017.

Share
        

USD 1 billion of gross bilateral allocable ODA supported gender equality. In 2017, 51% of Switzerland’s bilateral sector-allocable aid had gender equality and women’s empowerment as a principal or significant objective (up from 26% in 2016), compared with the DAC country average of 36%. Switzerland’s aid to population and reproductive health, production, and education focuses on gender. Learn more about ODA focused on gender equality and the DAC Network on Gender Equality.

Share
        

USD 590 million of bilateral ODA commitments supported the environment. In 2017, 25% of Switzerland’s gross bilateral allocable aid supported the environment and 19% (USD 458 million) focused on climate change, compared with the respective DAC country averages of 33% and 25%. Allocations supporting the environment remained stable compared to 2016, while those focused on climate change fell from 21% in 2016 due to a decrease of the share of bilateral allocable ODA focusing on mitigation from 12% to 10%. Switzerland remains strongly committed to multilateral climate finance. In 2017, Switzerland made its third disbursement to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), completing its USD 100 million contribution to the GCF’s Initial Resource Mobilization. Learn more about climate-related development finance.

Share
        

Other financial flows and amounts mobilised from the private sector

Share
        

In 2017, Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco), the development finance institution – the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM), and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) mobilised USD 123 million from the private sector through shares in collective investment vehicles (CIVs), simple co-financing arrangements with the private sector (e.g. business partnerships), syndicated loans and direct investment in companies.

Share
        

Almost all country-allocable private finance mobilised in 2012-17 targeted middle-income countries (99.9%).

Share
        

Switzerland’s private finance mobilised in 2012-17 mainly related to activities in the the industry, mining and construction (44%); other multisector (17%); banking and financial services (16%); and other social infrastructure and services (8%) sectors. Learn more about the amounts mobilised from private sector for development.

Institutional set-up

Every four years, the Swiss parliament adopts its Dispatch on International Co-operation, which sets strategic objectives for the country’s development and humanitarian assistance. The latest dispatch was approved in 2017 and the Dispatch 2021-24 is being drafted. Three institutions share responsibility for the dispatch: the SDC and the Human Security Division (HSD), within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Economic Co-operation and Development Division of SECO, within the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. The SDC and SECO manage the bulk of the programme, with the SDC implementing 67%, SECO 11% and the HSD 3% of the budget in 2017.

Share
        

Evaluation system

Switzerland’s development co-operation evaluation system is made up of two units, one located in the SDC, the other located in the Department of Economic Cooperation and Development (WE), at SECO. Both evaluation units are independent from implementation and report directly to their respective directors, as well as to an independent evaluation committee for SECO. SECO’s and the SDC’s evaluation policies aim for accountability, learning and support to decision making. Both evaluation units have the mandate to commission and disseminate independent/external evaluations with dedicated budgets and multi-year evaluation plans focusing on thematic and strategic issues. Learn more about evaluation in Switzerland.

Visit the DAC Evaluation Resource Centre website for evaluations of Swiss development co-operation.

Performance against the commitments for effective development co-operation

Share
        

Explore the Monitoring Dashboard of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate for Development and Cooperation: https://www.eda.admin.ch/sdc

State Secretary for Economic Affairs: https://www.seco.admin.ch/seco/en/home/Aussenwirtschaftspolitik_Wirtschaftliche_Zusammenarbeit/Wirtschaftliche_Zusammenarbeit_Entwicklung.html

Member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) since 1968.

End of the section – Back to iLibrary publication page