Sweden’s development cooperation and humanitarian aid are governed by strategies. A strategy sets out an overall purpose and a goal for what Swedish development cooperation will contribute to during a specified period. A strategy also controls how and for what the money will be spent. Strategies can be linked to a country, a region, or a thematic area. Strategies can also take on a global approach.

The agency responsible for implementing a strategy will also be responsible for how the work will be carried out.

Development, implementation and follow-up of a strategy

In 2017, new guidelines for strategies in Swedish development cooperation and humanitarian aid were presented. These set out a common model that all strategies should follow. The work follows five steps.

Step 1: Instructions

The Government decides and sets out the overall direction of development cooperation within the current context. In geographical development cooperation, the country’s own priorities should constitute an obvious starting point.

Step 2: Basis

The agency that has been assigned a task will draw up a basis for the strategy.

Step 3: Design of the strategy

Based on the instructions and the documentation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will draft a proposal for a strategy. The Government will then decide on the new development cooperation strategy.

Step 4: Implementing the strategy

In connection with the decision on a new strategy, the responsible agency will operationalize the activities. This involves the agency looking at how it should work to achieve objectives of the strategy. Then the responsible agency will create a plan for how the work should be carried out and followed up.

Step 5: Strategy follow-up

The results and implementation of the strategy are monitored at several levels.

If prerequisites for implementing the strategy change, the strategy itself may also be changed. The Government is the body that will decide on any change in a strategy.

Strategy reports

A report for each geographical and thematic strategy must be drawn up each year. The agency responsible for the strategy is also responsible for producing the report. The aim with this is to describe how the strategy is progressing.

There are three types of strategy reports:

  • Strategy report year 1
    This is written for the first year of the strategy period. The report will summarise conclusions and present the results of the implementation of the previous strategy (in cases where there is a previous strategy).
  • Annual strategy report
    This report should include an account, analysis and assessment of the results of the activities in relation to the stated objectives.
  • In-depth strategy report
    In the penultimate year of the strategy period, an in-depth strategy report will be written instead of the annual strategy report. The in-depth report should summarise the implementation of the strategy and provide clear recommendations for the next strategy period.

Aid budget

Each year, the Swedish Parliament decides on the size of the aid budget. Swedish aid amounts to one percent of Sweden’s gross national income (GNI).

In the budget proposal to Parliament, the government sets out how it would like to distribute aid under Expenditure Area 7 (International Aid).

The aid budget includes all costs classified as aid as defined by the OECD Aid Committee. The majority of Swedish aid goes via Sida, but not everything. Parts of the aid also go through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other agencies.