Pojke på språng i Etiopien.

A running boy in Ethiopia.

Photo: Johan Bergqvist

how we work

Approaches and methods

Updated: 7 April 2015

Swedish development cooperation is part of a global cooperation in which Sweden is one of many participants. In order to carry out its work, Sida cooperates with Swedish government agencies, organisations and international bodies like the UN, the EU and the World Bank.

According to the fundamental principles of Swedish aid, it is the responsibility of each recipient country to adopt its own strategy for economic development and for combating poverty. This strategy forms the basis for the cooperation strategy that Sweden and the respective countries or regions form together.

With which countries and within which areas we should focus our work all depends upon political decisions made by the Swedish government. Swedish development aid follows three thematic priorities; democracy and human rights, environment and climate change and gender equality and women's role. Together with efforts to promote economic development and humanitarian support, they encompass all our activities. 

Sida has three main assignments:

  • On behalf of the Swedish government, suggest strategies and policies for Swedish international development cooperation.
  • Implement the strategies and manage interventions, (including monitoring and evaluation of results)
  • Participate in Sweden’s advocacy work and in the dialogue with other countries, donors and recipient countries, as well as with international organisations and other actors.


In order to implement strategies and carry out its work Sida cooperates with a large number of organisations, associations, agencies, companies and cooperatives.

A total of 19 Swedish organisations currently have framework agreements with Sida, meaning they receive funding for carrying out part of the Swedish aid work in collaboration with civil society organisations in developing countries. These frame organisations contribute 10 percent of the costs in the joint projects.

In addition, Sida has agreements with a number of Swedish government agencies, as their expertise and experience can be of good use in partner countries. We also work with the private sector, in accordance with a specific business plan.

Sida also cooperates with other countries’ development aid agencies. In addition, Sida cooperates with international bodies like the UN, the EU and the World Bank. It is the comprehensive cooperation between Sida, other donors and the cooperation country that governs Sweden’s commitment, whether on a regional, national or global level. Discussions with the country’s representatives, its citizens, organisations working there and other donors all tells us what the needs are and how we best can cooperate in order to respond to them.

Combating corruption is an important issue in the cooperation work and in the dialogue between Sweden and our partner countries. Corruption is not only a significant threat to combating poverty and development cooperation. It is also a serious threat to all forms of economic, social and democratic development.

If money disappears from a project or if there are deficiencies in a project’s auditing, Sida demands that the funds are being returned. Further payments are suspended during the ongoing investigation until the deficiencies have been addressed.

Page owner: Communication Unit

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