In the Western Balkans today, there is a clear objective to meet the requirements of a functioning public administration with a view to EU membership. Photo: Pixabay.


How can Swedish authorities make a greater difference to development assistance?

Swedish authorities have for many years been one of the major implementers of bilateral aid in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, but also in Africa and Asia. But the authorities often act in the shadows and there is a lack of studies and evaluations around their work, writes Númi Östlund, investigative secretary at the Expert Group for Development Aid Analysis.

In 2020, the government has allocated approximately SEK XNUMX billion of the development assistance budget directly to Swedish authorities. In addition, at least as much money is added, financed via Sida. Despite the fact that authorities are important actors in Swedish development cooperation, few major studies or evaluations have so far been produced that focus on their work.

The Expert Group for Development Aid (EBA) has now produced an evaluation of Swedish authorities' cooperation in the Western Balkans - more specifically how Swedish authorities assist their sister authorities in partner countries within the framework of their respective areas of expertise. In the Western Balkans today, there is a clear objective to meet the requirements of a functioning public administration with a view to EU membership. It is also a region where many Swedish authorities have been active for a long time.

Approximately SEK 600 million goes each year to this type of project, around the world. The promotion of a well-functioning administration is seen as an important part of the work for democracy, increased respect for human rights and the rule of law.

This is how Swedish authorities contribute to development

According to EBA's evaluation, Swedish authorities contribute to developing the capacity of other institutions and help them strengthen their operations. They assist with relevant expert knowledge in a number of areas, such as statistics, surveying, nature conservation and tax issues. Several collaborations have also contributed to improving management.

However, not all projects succeed in contributing to relevant improvements that benefit the countries' citizens. Some collaborations lack ambition, are too limited and do not focus enough on doing real good. Different authorities have different areas of expertise - Sida has an important role and needs to contribute its expertise and achieve the right ambition and relevance.

Webinar on the Western Balkans

The new EBA report:  Swedish authorities' collaborations in the Western Balkans presented and discussed at a webinar on Thursday, October 8 at 10 p.m. Sign up for the seminar here. 

What is EBA?

The expert group for development assistance analysis (EBA) is a state committee that independently analyzes and evaluates Sweden's international development assistance.

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