SDC is Switzerland's international cooperation agency within the Swiss Foreign Ministry. Together with other federal offices, SDC is responsible for overall coordination of international development activities, the cooperation with Eastern Europe, as well as humanitarian aid.
SDC's strategies and policies for the water sector are covered by the Thematic Resource Department, namely the Social Division (SoDev) and the Natural Resources and Environment Division (NRE), both leading the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) team of SDC. SDC Water Strategic lines based on previous practical experience and encompassing all aspects of water resource management drives SDC activities in this sector. These strategic lines built on basic values such as sustainable development, water as a common good, and water as a human right, priorities Water for People and Water for Food as its main entry points for its interventions, and orients its activities according to six cross-cutting strategic fields for a balanced development (economic, social, environmental, technical, institutional and knowledge).
SDC invested in 2004 bilaterally about CHF 60 million in close to a 170 water projects, by according a distinct priority, about half of the budget to the area of "Water for People". Thirty-seven percent is contributed towards "water for food", 9% towards "water for nature" and the remaining towards other water for nature and others uses of water. Within the multilateral context, SDC contributes to international organisations for about CHF 20 mio. On the top of the bi- and multilateral sector budgets, additional investments are made in humanitarian projects.
Involvement in Research
Performing one’s own research, supporting Swiss Research Institutes working for Developing countries and strengthening the research capacities in Swiss Institutes working for the South and in partner countries are indispensable prerequisites for the solutions of development problems.
In addition, learning (and changing) has to occur in such a way as to provide the partners of SDC and the target populations in the South and the East with access to knowledge and to build their capacities to make the most meaningful use of this knowledge in order to overcome poverty and injustice.
Water for development researches are under the responsibility of the Thematic Resource Department of SDC. This Department is well positioned with three major desks in relation with this topic (Water desk, Health desk and Environmental Desk), furthermore this department has also a desk specialized in Knowledge and Research.
SDC collaborates with about ten Swiss research institutes focused on Water and Development, and has develop partnerships on some specific topic with Private companies. At the global level and in the South SDC supports various centres of knowledge and research or specific program as for example WSP or GWP.