A young woman in Somaliland.
Photo: Johan Bergqvist

A young woman in Somaliland Photo: Johan Bergqvist

About us

Our fields of work

Published: Thursday, June 18, 2009

Changed: Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Sida’s efforts are concentrated on issues where Sweden has specialist knowledge and experience and where there is the greatest demand for Swedish support.

Sida is also collaborating with many other players in Swedish society. Sweden’s development assistance is not the only area that should contribute towards fair and sustainable development in accordance with Sweden’s policy for global development. All areas of Swedish policy – from economics and the environment to culture and international cooperation – should play a part. Authorities, municipalities, trade and industry and others all have an important role to play. The policy takes the perspective of the poor with the conviction that they can take themselves out of poverty given the right conditions.

Five important fields to reduce poverty

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, it encompasses all areas of society. Our main efforts are presented in five areas:

All of these areas are important in reducing world poverty and in creating fair and sustainable development.

Democracy, equality and human rights

Equal treatment and the ability to affect your life and the society in which you live are basic democratic rights. And they are of great importance in combating poverty. However, these rights are far from being a foregone conclusion for millions of people. Democracy, human rights and equality are therefore overall targets for Sweden’s development co-operation, and the fields of work in which Sweden invests in most.

Economic development

Economic growth is needed to reduce world poverty. But growth in itself is not enough – it must also benefit those living in poverty.

Sida is contributing to a large number of efforts that are paving the way for economic growth in partner countries. These include infrastructure investments, support for small businesses, creating a good investment climate or helping to negotiate in climate discussions. It can also include creating stable financial markets with good trading opportunities, and support for institutions such as central banks, stock exchanges and financial inspections.

Agriculture – or farming including animal husbandry, forestry, aquaculture and fishing – makes up the principal source of income for a majority of the world’s poor. Agriculture therefore has the potential to be a poverty-focused growth engine and is extremely important in achieving increased food security. Agriculture can suffer from the effects of climate change, but it can also contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.  

Knowledge, health and social development 

There is a strong connection between reduced poverty and investments in education and health. Knowledge provides people with the tools that are needed to take themselves out of poverty and to build a democratic society. Good health is also a requirement to improve living conditions.

Sustainable development 

Many of the world’s poor suffer particularly as a result of environmental and climate change. Most live off what the forests, land and sea can provide. To reduce poverty, we must therefore protect natural resources and the environment that people depend on to support themselves.

Peace and security

Other major obstacles to development include the ongoing or recently ended armed conflicts in many of Sweden’s partner countries. Sweden is contributing towards greater dialogue and stability to improve democracy in conflict areas

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Abdallah Muhammed, Kenya
Photo: Linda Essner

People first

We are committed to enabling people to get a better life. The individual person is always the focus of our work. Here you will meet some people involved in Swedish development assistance. Let them explain how their situation has changed.


International Training Programmes

As part of Sida's work with capacity and institutional development Sida offers international training programmes (ITP) for participants from low-and middle-income countries in priority areas. ITP's methodology takes account of the desire to develop and reform that the participants' organization have expressed in their application to the program.


Questions and Answers

Q&A about procurement at Sida. What regulations apply? What if I submit after the deadline? How do I know what documents are required?

Camilita har utbildat sig till webdesigner på en skola för ungdomar från Nairobis slumområden. Sida arbetar i Kenya med urban utveckling, för att skapa bättre villkor för de fattiga i slummen.
Photo: Sven Torfinn/Panos

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