Cooperation Strategy in Bangladesh

Switzerland’s strategic priorities for development cooperation in Bangladesh are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals of the Agenda 2030 and the current Eighth Five-Year Plan of the Government of Bangladesh, with a strong focus on promoting inclusive and sustainable growth.

Inspired by the vision of Leaving-No-One-Behind, the Swiss cooperation programme has a strong focus on promoting inclusive and sustainable growth and contributes to the international humanitarian response to the Rohingya refugee crisis. Switzerland aims for sustainability and improved social wellbeing  and hence the Swiss support addresses governance and human rights aspects when working and engaging with partners in Bangladesh

Swiss Cooperation Programme for Bangladesh 2022-25 (currently under preparation)

Despite the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bangladesh strives to remain on the fast track to graduate from the least developed country (LDC) category. The impact of the pandemic has brought about additional hurdles, especially when addressing poverty alleviation, social and humanitarian development but the Government of Bangladesh remains fully committed to take on these challenges and progress ahead. In partnership with the Government of Bangladesh, the Swiss cooperation programme will complement the support for more trade and direct foreign investments with the promotion of the Swiss key values of good governance and respect of human rights to insure sustainability, including for economic growth. Democratic governance, human rights, quality basic services and targeted social protection of particularly vulnerable people (including the new poor, Rohingya refugees and migrant workers from Bangladesh) remain key pillars of Swiss cooperation. Working with drivers of change such as women and youth, and identifying incentives for positive change, the Swiss Cooperation Programme 2022-25 will keep its focus on strengthening civil society voices and participation to provide important political and societal checks and balances, which are key for sustainability.

Approach and partners

In Bangladesh, Switzerland works with a wide array of partners ranging from different government agencies to private sector partners. The type of partnerships vary according to the individual programmes and projects that are supported by Switzerland.

At the global level, Switzerland provides core contributions to multilateral banks, organisations and international NGOs. These contributions are channeled through global programmes, as well as time-bound thematic and/or strategic funding modalities. Switzerland also has capital investments in international financing institutions benefitting Bangladesh. Switzerland will continue applying the broad range of grants based aid modalities at its disposal, that includes  national implementation of projects through a wide array of partners, by co-financing and matching grants, as well as direct project implementation, material assistance and secondments in emergency contexts.

At the country level, Switzerland has two main modalities for funding: contribution agreements and fully Swiss supported interventions with national and international organisations.  Contribution agreements are on a cost and risk sharing basis, where the financial amount of contribution from implementing partners depends on the type of partners and the specific interventions. for selection of implementing partners.

Switzerland identifies champions from the diverse and broad range of potential partners in Bangladesh and showcases good practices to facilitate buy-in and leadership, take results to scale and ensure sustainability. The main partnerships are with:

  • Government of Bangladesh
  • Non-Government Organisations (international and local)
  • Civil Society Networks
  • Community Based Organisations
  • Think Tanks
  • Academia
  • Private sector actors (financial market actors, cottage, small and medium size enterprises including start-ups, different supply chain providers, service providers, business associations and chambers of commerce).

In addition, there are partnerships with the International Finance Corporation, World Custom’s Organisation, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the United Nations agencies.

Switzerland also engages actively with other bilateral donors such as Denmark, Sweden and the United Kingdom, by supporting contribution agreements for different programmes and projects.