Consultants are the most cost-effective players in development assistance and it is high time that we were recognized and regarded as an obvious partner in Swedish development assistance as well. Despite all the talk about the importance of the private sector, the consulting companies were not consulted when the development assistance policy platform was sent for consultation earlier this year. We exist and we want to contribute our experiences to a results-oriented Swedish development assistance. It writes Swedish Consultant's board
Decades before there was a stated profit agenda in Swedish development assistance, Swedish consultants have continuously contributed to achieving results. We consulting companies that are part of Swedish Consultants contribute to delivering the qualitative assistance that Sweden is proud of, and we intend to continue to do so.
To say that consultants guarantee results is far more than an empty slogan on our part - it is about our entire raison d'être. Because we have a business relationship with our clients where we are contracted to perform an assignment, we must deliver to be able to charge. This situation puts pressure on us that most other actors in development aid do not have.
Consultants are traded in competition, which forces a high professional level in the business. Today, that competition is international. We compete with the worldwide consulting elite and must constantly sharpen our skills and capacity to be able to mobilize the expertise needed to solve the task. Companies that do not reach that standard are inexorably knocked out and disappear.
Our services are also not in demand for any assignment. Assistants procure consultants when they have a well-defined need and want expert help. Since experts cost money, they want the assignment to be carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our experts can quickly get to grips with the problem and they can design sustainable and innovative solutions. We often offer a complementary team of experts where some have national or regional experience and others have global experience to draw on. As a consulting company, we make a strong contribution to innovations and exchange of experience between countries and across business areas.
Aid donors - and by extension taxpayers - also appreciate us for our cost-effectiveness. We dare say that no other aid provider is as cost-effective as a consultant. The competition means that we have to be extremely cost-conscious and find smart solutions in everything we do.
All consulting companies that operate internationally also have well-developed quality assurance systems, many are also ISO-certified in quality and / or environment. This naturally increases the security of the client. The client in this context is usually a combination of a financier and a recipient who have jointly agreed that a project should be carried out. The recipient does not pay, but can also not completely choose who will receive the assignment. For them, it is important to have a quality-assured resource at their disposal.
However, being a consultant is not just about being an expert. A consultant must be able to read an organization and create relationships with people in order to make the most of a short period of time on site. The results must not only solve immediate problems but must be able to create the capacity to handle similar problems in the future in a sustainable way. A good consultant solves problems and supports the organization both in the short and long term and contributes to sustainable solutions.
We consultants are also involved in the goals of development assistance. We think it makes our work meaningful and we have done so for a long time. Fifteen years ago, we were seen as different and there were those who snorted at such commitments. Today, when CSR is an accepted concept, this is no longer strange.
All of these factors underlie the fact that donors around the world hire consultants to achieve results. However, it is high time that we are recognized and regarded as an obvious partner in Swedish development assistance as well. The development assistance policy platform was sent for referral to 100 civil society organizations and no less than 45 authorities, universities and colleges. Despite all the talk about the importance of the private sector in development assistance, the consulting companies have not taken a place in the Swedish development assistance debate. We exist and we want to contribute our experiences to a results-oriented Swedish development assistance.
The Board of Swedish Consultants:
Kajsa Nylander, Senior Advisor, Respect (chairman)
Anders Olin, CEO, SIPU International
Maria Lannér, CEO, Neptunia Development
Stina Mossberg, CEO, NIRAS Natura.
David Montgomery, CEO, WSP International
Bertil Oskarsson, Director of Business Development, Indevelop
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