OECD’s Positive Review of Swiss International Cooperation

Press releases, 10.04.2019

The Development Assistance Committee presented the results of its review of Switzerland's international cooperation in Bern on 5 April 2019. Its findings are mainly positive: Switzerland is a strong and reliable development partner. The Committee has also made new recommendations to Switzerland to enable it to meet the challenges ahead.

Climate change threatens to push 100 million people into extreme poverty between now and 2030.
Climate change threatens to push 100 million people into extreme poverty between now and 2030. © A. Ishokon

Every five years, the 30 members of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC), including Switzerland, undergo a peer review of the effectiveness, financing and functioning of their international cooperation. The report on Switzerland's international cooperation notes first of all that since the previous review in 2013, Switzerland has fully or partially implemented 93% of the recommendations it received from the DAC. This excellent result exceeds the average of DAC member states. The DAC also noted a number of Swiss strengths in international cooperation, including its ability to pursue innovative projects, and its strong humanitarian tradition.

The DAC's latest report contains new recommendations – intended as best practice guidelines – for Switzerland to meet the challenges ahead. It recommends, for example, that Switzerland tighten its focus on its geographic and thematic commitments. The DAC also recommends that Switzerland ensure its development programs remain focused on the goals of poverty reduction and sustainable development. In light of the fact that Switzerland's official development assistance declined to 0.46% of gross national income (GNI) in 2017, the DAC considers that Switzerland should honor the commitment undertaken by the Swiss Parliament to allocate 0.5% of GNI to development assistance and to make every effort to further increase this amount.

This review of Switzerland's international cooperation was conducted by DAC peers Denmark and Portugal at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the Human Security Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

This review of Swiss practices and the recommendations it makes are particularly timely, given that the new Federal Council Dispatch on Switzerland's International Cooperation 2021–24 is currently being drafted.