Programme contribution and eligibility clearance

Once every four years, and synchronised with Switzerland's strategy on international cooperation, the SDC publicly invites Swiss NGOs to apply for programme contributions in accordance with a specified procedure posted on its website.

The SDC Guidance for Engagement with Swiss NGO provides the framework for SDC’s cooperation with Swiss NGOs and ensures an effective and efficient use of funds to help the poorest and most vulnerable communities in developing countries and crisis zones. The Guidance explains the system for allocating programme contributions, which ensures that the distribution process is transparent and competitive.

SDC Guidance for Engagement with Swiss NGO (PDF, 24 Pages, 300.2 kB, English)

  • An updated edition will be published in the first quarter of 2023.

Programme contribution recipients from 2023 (PDF, 3 Pages, 530.2 kB, German)

Programme contributions are granted to the following four categories of NGOs:

  1. Large Swiss NGOs
  2. Swiss NGO umbrella organisations
  3. Cantonal federations
  4. Swiss NGO alliances

Overview of categories (PDF, 1 Page, 216.5 kB, German)

An NGO may apply for a programme contribution in one category only. Individual large Swiss NGOs may apply for programme contributions directly. Small NGOs may obtain programme contributions as members of umbrella organisations, cantonal federations or NGO alliances.

Eligibility process and application procedure 2025-2028

The SDC Guidance sets out the eligibility requirements, application and approval process for programme contributions.

The three stages involved in allocating programme contributions are set out below. The dates below are approximate and may be subject to change.

  1. Public invitation and eligibility clearance (March 2023 - June 2023)
    The next public invitation for eligibility clearance is scheduled for 2023. Spontaneous applications will not be considered.

  2. Applications for programme contributions and assessment (June 2023 - April 2024)
    The SDC invites Swiss NGOs considered as eligible to submit applications for programme contributions. Applications must be submitted in the standard format required by the SDC.

  3. Approval and allocation of funds (summer - autumn 2024)
    The amount allocated to a programme depends on the quality of the application, the total SDC budget for programme contributions and the number of recipients.

In anticipation of the new SDC programme contribution process for Swiss non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for the period 2025-2028, the SDC Swiss NGO Section is organising an information session on 2 February 2023 for all Swiss NGOs wishing to apply for a programme contribution. You will find more information in the document below.

Information event on SDC programme contributions to Swiss NGOs for the period 2025-2028 (PDF, 1 Page, 231.9 kB, German)