Doubling support to DRM in partner countries
Sweden’s portfolio in 2017 contains global and bilateral DRM support programmes. It also includes preparations for the International Tax Conference, which took place in May 2018 in Stockholm. In 2016 and 2017, several programmes were phased out or completed, and preparatory work for new programmes was conducted. This explains the reduction in disbursements in 2017 compared to 2015 and 2016. The preparatory work carried out during 2017 is now bearing fruit, with preliminary figures for 2018 indicating the highest disbursements for DRM support in the past six to seven years. This trend is expected to continue in 2019. No major changes took place in 2017.
In 2018, however, the Swedish Government agreed upon a new strategy, the “Strategy for Sweden’s Global Development Cooperation for Sustainable Economic Development 2018-2022”. It includes domestic revenue mobilisation, financial stability and anti-corruption as one of its results areas. The strategy has paved the way for an increased provision of support to global DRM programmes during the strategy period. New support to at least one programme via a multilateral channel started in 2018 because of this strategy.
Policy coherence for development
Swedish development cooperation rests on internationally agreed principles of effective development cooperation. The principles are expressed in the Paris Declaration (2005), the Accra Agenda for Action (2008) and the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (2011). These principles remain relevant for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Work on development effectiveness covers all development actors, including states, multilateral organisations, civil society, the research community and the private sector. Following and further developing these principles in Swedish development cooperation is an important prerequisite for planning, implementation and monitoring.
A new National Action Plan will apply the Policy for Global Development (PGD) as a key tool for mobilising coherent whole-of-government action. For the first time, the PDG mandated all ministries to develop internal action plans with concrete goals and clear responsibilities for the work of the PGD linked to the 2030 Agenda. This process provided an opportunity to anticipate and manage potential conflicts of interest between sectors as well as between domestic and international priorities.
An in-depth report is provided for several areas in which the government has expressed a particular ambition towards feminist foreign policy, sustainable businesses, sustainable consumption and production, climate and sea, and capital flight and tax evasion. Furthermore, to identify areas where conflicting objectives within and across government might limit opportunities to achieve equitable and sustainable global development and where alignment and synergies are present. The communication further outlines the responsible ministries for each PGD area under the respective global goals. Policy coherence is thereby considered as the backbone of PGD. Reports to parliament every two years enhance transparency in the handling of conflicts of interest and strengthen co-ordination for policy coherence. Finally, the Government establishes that Sweden shall be a leader in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda both nationally and internationally, and that PGD shall continue to be a key tool in the implementation. The coordination function for PGD within the Government Offices is located at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, as with the 2030 Agenda, it is incumbent on the entire Government, and therefore on all ministers, to implement the policy.
Moreover, coordination within the government offices, such as between the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as with relevant agencies (notably STA and SIDA), takes place when called for, such as when addressing policy issues or important meetings. Formats are flexible and range from email contacts, face to face meetings and establishing a working group, and matters will be addressed on political level when called for.
The Swedish Government has included DRM as a priority in certain Development Cooperation Strategies, and the International Tax Conference that was arranged in Stockholm in May 2018 also signalled the importance that Sweden attaches to DRM.
Given the current trend with increasing disbursements for DRM support, the likelihood that Sweden will achieve substantially increased support by 2020 is evaluated as promising. The efforts being made have been described above: DRM prioritisation in development cooperation strategies is resulting in an increased operational focus and a higher level of disbursements channelled to DRM; the Stockholm Tax Conference, drawing attention to DRM and the importance that Sweden attaches to these issues.