Sida hosts launch of two global education reports

On December 11, the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) hosted the launch of the World Bank's 2018 World Development Report and UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM). The focus of both reports and the discussions that followed was on the ‘global learning crisis’ and the need for improved accountability on equitable education. To date, the focus within education has been on enrollment and attendance, two indicators that have seen great improvements. However, the challenge now is to ensure that students in poor settings are receiving quality education.

Sida’s Director General Carin Jämtin made opening and closing remarks, emphasizing that Sweden will be maintaining a high level of financial commitment at the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) replenishment conference in February 2018. 

Website - Sida (in Swedish)

News article - Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish)


Sida signs new financial guarantee agreement with World Bank

The Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) signed a new agreement with the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) to provide financial guarantees that will enable large, sustainable infrastructure investments in low-income countries. The financial guarantees will be provided to two of the world’s largest insurance companies, Allianz and Eastspring Investments (Prudential), enabling them to lend up to SEK8.6 billion (US$1 billion) to developing countries for sustainable infrastructure projects. The IFC will manage the loans and monitor the investments. 

IFC and Sida will jointly share the risk for the non-repayment of loans. Sida’s guarantee is valued at SEK535 million (US$65 million), although it is estimated that little or none of this will need to be paid out.

Press release - Sida (in Swedish)


Sweden establishes new Sustainable Finance Center in Stockholm

Swedish Minister for International Development and Climate Isabella Lövin announced the launch of the Stockholm Sustainable Finance Center, a new knowledge hub for sustainable investments. The center is a joint initiative between the Swedish government, the Stockholm School of Business, and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). The World Bank is providing the center with a US$17 million grant. 

The initiative was presented at the Climate Summit in Paris on December 12, 2017. The Swedish government also presented its recently adopted climate law and national targets to meet net-zero emissions by 2045 which will come into force on January 1, 2018.

News article - Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish)

Press release - Government of Sweden (in Swedish)

Press release - Government of Sweden (in Swedish)


Sida invests US$48 million in SRHR in southern and eastern Africa

On December 1, 2017, World AIDS Day, the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) announced a US$48 million (SEK400 million) commitment to improving people's sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in five countries in eastern and southern Africa: Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Sida's new support will focus on girls, adolescents, and other vulnerable groups.

The four-year project is a new collaboration between Sida and UN agencies such as UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNICEF and WHO, with the regional UNFPA acting as the coordinating agency. 

Press release - Sida (in Swedish)

Sweden Global health

Sweden announces new development cooperation strategy with Burkina Faso   

Sweden's governing Social Democratic party has overturned the former government’s decision to phase out support to Burkina Faso, and has instead adopted a new strategy for cooperation for 2018-2022. Minister for Development Cooperation Isabella Lövin said that Burkina Faso has made strides in its democratic development in recent years, but continues to face challenges of poverty and security which can create conditions for terrorism and increased radicalization. The focus areas of the new support are democratic development, gender equality, and the environment. 

The total allocation to the development portfolio is SEK1.5 billion (US$181 million). This comes in addition to the humanitarian support that Sweden has provided for the country, which totaled SEK10 million (US$1.2 million) in 2016.

Press release - Government of Sweden (in Swedish)


Swedish government seeks to strengthen development cooperation for sustainable economic development

The Swedish government has instructed its development agency, Sida, to develop a new strategy on sustainable economic development from 2018-2022. Sida has been tasked with exploring how to strengthen Sweden’s development cooperation in the areas of free and fair trade, private-sector development, entrepreneurship, investment, and innovation. Topics such as food security, employment, social-protection systems, and the link between migration and economic development will also be considered. In the months ahead Sida will initiate consultations and conduct analyses that will inform the new strategy. Gender is expected to be a core element of the strategy. 

Press release - Government of Sweden (in Swedish)


Canada and Sweden launch initiative to support women’s leadership in technical fields

Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) will co-fund a fellowship program for women working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Valued at CAD15 million (US$11.7 million), the initiative will support 140 doctoral and 60 early-career women working in STEM in low- and middle-income countries.

The first call for Fellowship applicants will be launched in March 2018. 

Press release – IDRC

Canada Sweden

Swedish Institute for Global Health Transformation issues 2017 award on malaria research to Andreas Mårtensson

The Swedish Institute for Global Health Transformation (SIGHT) at the Royal Academy of Sciences has awarded the 2017 SIGHT Prize for interdisciplinary malaria research to Professor Andreas Mårtensson at the Institution for Women's and Children’s Health at Uppsala University.  Mårtensson won the award for his pioneering work in malaria reduction in Zanzibar, which has led to a dramatic drop in reported cases.                                           

The SIGHT award recognizes researchers for important research in lower- and middle-income countries within global health and is financed by the Swedish foundation of the Einhorn family, 'Familjen Einhorns stiftelse', with the aim of supporting successful global- health researchers early on in their careers. 

Press release - Royal Academy of Sciences (in Swedish)

Melinda Gates highlights partnership with Sweden on global health and gender equality

Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, met with government and civil-society representatives in Stockholm to discuss the partnership between Sweden and the Foundation with regard to global health and gender equality. Gates also attended a panel discussion in the evening organized by the Swedish Institute for Global Health Transformation (SIGHT) at the Royal Academy of Sciences on youth, health, and the SDGs. SIGHT was founded in February 2017 with financial support from the Bill and Melinda gates Foundation.   

In an interview with daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter, Gates noted the global impact of the #metoo campaign and highlighted the need to focus on gender equality in all global-development work.   

News article - Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish)

Website - SIGHT


OECD DAC holds meetings in Paris to discuss ODA

The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) held key meetings this week at its headquarters in Paris, hosting delegations from the 30 richest donor countries to discuss the rules surrounding ODA. A number of controversial issues were debated, including 1) the amount of ODA that donors can spend on in-country refugee costs, 2) the cap on the amount of ODA that can be directed towards multilateral peacekeeping efforts in conflict-affected countries, and 3) how to measure ODA spent through blended finance mechanisms.

The UK in particular has been critical of existing ODA regulations, having previously suggested that it may pull out of OECD-DAC if rules surrounding spending on military and security costs remained unchanged.

News article - Devex