The Swedish Government’s aid policy framework

On 13 March 2014, the Swedish Government adopted an aid policy framework. In the framework, the Government sets out the objectives of Swedish aid for people living in poverty and oppression. The framework was submitted to the Riksdag (Parliament) as a written communication, which was debated on 9 June.

The aid policy framework provides a general picture of the Government’s view of Swedish aid. The overall objective of Swedish aid, as established by the Riksdag, is to create opportunities for better living conditions for people living in poverty and oppression. This overall objective is then broken down in the framework into six sub-objectives for aid policy, which all Swedish aid is to contribute towards:

1. Strengthened democracy and gender equality, greater respect for human rights and freedom from oppression.

2. Better opportunities for people living in poverty to contribute to and benefit from economic growth and obtain a good education.

3. A better environment, reduced climate impact and enhanced resilience to environmental impact, climate change and natural disasters.

4. Improved basic health.

5. Safeguarding human security and freedom from violence.

6. Saving lives, alleviating suffering and maintaining human dignity.

The framework also emphasizes that Swedish aid must focus more sharply on the individual. Particularly important target groups for Swedish aid are women and girls in poor countries and people living under oppression in various parts of the world. The document also underlines the principles that Sweden has long advocated and worked to promote through both bilateral and multilateral aid, such as the importance of transparency, a focus on results and innovation.

The Government governs aid by translating the direction of the framework into steering instruments, such as results strategies, instructions and appropriation directions. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and other implementers of Swedish aid are required to report with reference to the governance provided in these steering instruments.