The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is a Swedish government organisation under the Swedish Foreign Ministry which administers approximately half of Sweden’s budget for development aid. The overall target of Sweden’s development assistance is to ensure that those in poverty have the ability to improve their living conditions. To carry out this assignment effectively and strategically, Sweden’s development assistance encompasses all areas of society and is focused in five areas: democracy, equality and human rights, economic development, knowledge, health and social development,sustainable development, and peace and security. Sida states that all of these areas are important in reducing world poverty and in creating fair and sustainable development.
Private sector development (PSD) policy and strategy
Sida recognises the crucial role of the private sector, seeing the private sector as driving innovation, investment and growth and thus it plays a crucial role in development. Private sector collaboration is therefore important for Sida in achieving its overarching goal of creating conditions that will enable people living in poverty to improve. Sida’s approach to PSD is strongly influenced by Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P). Within the agency’s PSD portfolio, business environment reform is the largest component. Sida has also recently extended its International Training Programmes, which aim to support and strengthen participants’ plans for change on organizational and sectoral levels, to offer training on Private Sector Growth Strategies.
Partnership mechanisms for the private sector
Sida forms partnerships with companies and private sector organisations that contribute to economic, social and environmentally sustainable development throughout their activities, production processes and value chains. Sida’s Public Private Development Partnerships (PPDPs) aim to engage the private sector in proactively committing to developing countries through investments, trade, technology transfer and problem-solving. The development partnerships focus on collaboration with large companies and cover initiatives in which private and public actors share a common interest in creating opportunities and achieving development goals; win-win situations where projects are commercially driven while generating significant improvements for people in poverty.
- OECD DAC Peer learning review on private sector engagement (2016): Sweden
- de Silva and Söderbäck (2013) Study on Existing Models for Productive Employment and Possible Models for Funding
Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE)
Women and girls face many constraints in accessing resources and opportunities, exercising choice, voice and power, and enjoying human security. Sida is committed to Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE), and defines WEE as transformative processes of change intended to bring about gender equality and economic justice. It is a strategic approach that aims to work with partners to eliminate the structural inequalities that produce uneven distribution of power, resources and opportunities between men and women in the economy. WEE is therefore central to Sida’s poverty alleviation efforts.
Transparency, effectiveness and results in PSD
Sida is committed to aid effectiveness and evaluation. Sida’s Unit for Monitoring and Evaluation plans for and commissions independent evaluations assessing the quality of Sida financed development co-operation. Sida uses these evaluations as a tool for decision making and learning. Transparency is achieved through the publication of all evaluations.