Total aid in 2011: €4,032m
About Sweden's aid commitments:
Changes in 2011
In 2011, Sweden reached the 1% target, spending 1,02% of GNI on ODA. This is an increase from the 0, 98% of 2010. Sweden has committed to keep the 1% target in the future. There were no significant changes in relation to aid in 2011, although identified priorities within the aid effectiveness agenda may affect future aid allocation and modalities. In 2011, 9% of the ODA budget was spent on refugee costs, which is an increase from previous years. Despite a decreasing number of refugees, ODA allocated for this purpose has increased by more than 100% during the past five years.
For the period of 2010-2012, Sweden is allocating € 870 million to the fast start climate finance initiative that was announced at the Copenhagen Summit in 2009. This sum is financed by the development cooperation budget Sweden is arguing that it is legitimate as long as it is above the international ODA commitment of 0.7% of GNI. As a consequence, Sweden is not respecting the principle of new and additional money, and in practice not fulfilling the 1% target.
The government’s guidelines describe how Sida, the development agency, should perform its work and how it should assist the government, which organizations it should co-operate with and how to organize the work in partner countries. It also states how the money should be divided between the agency’s various activities, such as national co-operation, regional co-operation, specific sector issues and administration.
Countries and sectors
The top five partner countries (gross ODA) are Tanzania, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and West Bank & Gaza strip. The five priority areas for Sweden are democracy, gender equality and human rights; economic development; knowledge, health and social development; sustainable development and human security.
Challenges in 2012 and beyond
Sweden is actively involved in the aid effectiveness agenda, transparency is one of three priorities for the current government. In 2011, Sweden launched Open Aid, a transparency initiative, anti-corruption activities, and support for increased accountability in partner countries. Data is published according to the IATI registry. Swedish CSOs welcome the initiative and encourage their government to broaden the reporting in accordance with the IATI standard.
The other priorities are results, value for money and the role of the private sector. With regard to results, Swedish CSOs emphasize the need to base the selection of aid modalities/allocation on rigorous scientific research and evaluations. The rights perspective and local ownership are key in this regard, and the focus should be on long term results. Over a 3 year period (2010-2012) Sida will increase the budget for cooperation with the private sector from €5.5 million to €38 million. The government has also committed to increasing the resources of the Swedish DFI, Swedfund. Swedish CSOs recognize the private sector as an important actor in development, but stress the importance of the principle of transparency and to demonstrate how it contributes to development impact. This is especially important as official evaluations have shown that there is a lack of transparency and weak results measurement standards in private sector aid in terms of its impact on development. Sweden needs to clarify how it will use local procurement and how it will support the private sector in partner countries, avoiding the risk of informally tying Swedish aid. The government is in the process of developing a new platform for aid in 2012, which is expected to provide political direction for future aid priorities. It is vital to ensure a transparent process and broad based consultations with all actors involved in aid.
Ensure that all ODA expenditure is included in the Open Aid initiative and that the same transparency standards are applied to the private sector when engaging in aid processes. The private sector may not contribute to tax evasion and avoidance through the use of tax havens. Private sector aid should abide by responsible financing standards.
Stop counting refugee costs, debt cancellation as ODA and foreign service administration costs as ODA.
Make all climate financing additional to the 1% target, and channel climate finance through funds under the authority of the UNFCCC’s Conference of the Parties (COP)
Ensure that all stakeholders, including the private sector align with Sweden’s policy for global development, its objectives and priorities. In particular, the government should ensure that private sector aid contributes to poverty reduction, following clear, measurable targets. All actors engaged in aid processes should be subjected to the same monitoring, evaluation and reporting standards.