About Swedish aid

Published : August 31, 2020

Updated : January 15, 2021

The overall objective of Swedish development cooperation is to ensure that people living in poverty and oppression have the ability to improve their living conditions.

Swedish development cooperation consists of several thousand programmes and projects. They are being conducted in different countries, with different themes and together with different partners.

Openaid shows data from agencies and ministries that control funds within the Expenditure area 7: International aid .

Governing principles

There is five central perspectives that must be integrated in all Swedish development cooperation: in decision-making, planning, implementation and in the follow-up of operations. The perspectives are determined by the Swedish Government and are described in the Policy Framework for Swedish Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid.

The five central perspectives

Poor people’s perspective on development

The objective of Swedish development cooperation is to create change for women and men, girls and boys living in poverty. This means that Swedish aid should be based on their situation, needs, conditions and priorities.

A human rights based perspective

Human rights and democracy are fundamental to development. The starting point for Swedish development cooperation is the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights from 1948 and the internationally binding agreements. The human rights perspective contributes to people living in poverty to know their rights and it gives them tools to defend these.

A conflict perspective

Violence and armed conflict lead to human suffering and material destruction, and have a devastating effect on development and the ability of people and countries to get out of poverty. Peace is a prerequisite for sustainable development.

Therefore, development cooperation must be based on a conflict perspective. Efforts in development cooperation and humanitarian aid must be shaped on the basis of an understanding of how they may affect tensions and conflicts in the surrounding society. On the basis of such an understanding, it must be ensured that all development cooperation supports peaceful development and can never inadvertently counteract its own purposes by exacerbating violence and conflict in any respect.

A gender perspective

More egalitarian societies create better prerequisites for sustainable development. Therefore, all Swedish aid should have a gender perspective. This means that all Swedish development projects should reflect and take into account the different needs and prerequisites of all people.

An environmental and climate perspective

Environmental degradation and climate change present the greatest threat to people living in poverty. Our surrounding environment with well-functioning ecosystems and a stable climate forms the basis for development and for all human life. Sustainable use of the earth’s resources is therefore a prerequisite for reducing poverty and sustainable societies for current and future generations. Therefore, an environmental and climate perspective must be integrated into all Swedish development cooperation

The framework

The Policy Framework for Swedish Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid also describes what Swedish aid should achieve. The framework shall ensure that Swedish development cooperation is at the forefront, and that it is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and equal. This document is the starting point for Swedish aid policy and the Government’s control of Swedish aid.

All Swedish aid is part of the Global Development Policy.