Reformagendan – A Process

SoME Gavobevis 2023

8 May 2023

The Reform Agenda – A Process

Dialogue with the Minister of Aid and Foreign Trade Johan Forsell (M) and State Secretary Diana Janse regarding the reform agenda. The new government has made a number of reprioritizations regarding Swedish aid since taking office in the fall of 2022. The government is developing a reform agenda in 2023 as a framework for the new direction.

This naturally affects Swedish civil society, which are important players in aid. In January of this year, civil society was invited to a conversation about these changes where the minister for aid and the city secretary shared information. In early May, the exchange continued with a dialogue meeting in which approximately 80 civil society organizations participated.

The new aid policy has a strong connection between aid and trade in order to, among other things, mobilize private capital to broaden the donor base. As there is a gap between needs and available resources. Ukraine will continue to be a geographic focus area in the coming years. Thematic focus will remain on climate, increased freedom for women and girls and gender equality.

There is a desire to increase efficiency and transparency in aid on the one hand, while on the other hand the government decided to phase out information and communication support (InfoKom) from 2023. There is also concern within the sector that the focus on trade will concentrate aid to middle-income countries that can offer trade opportunities while leaving out the most needy, conflict-affected low-resource areas. It is also difficult to achieve the results that are requested, in aid, as the re-prioritization led to many civil society actors having to abruptly end their activities both in Sweden and in partner countries.

There are obviously still many issues to discuss regarding the reform agenda and more meetings between the government and civil society have been promised during the process.

The point is that priorities, and thus prioritization, will be made.

Anette Uddqvist, Director

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