SDC supports culture with at least 1% of its operational budget in its partner countries
With the "cultural percent”, SDC’s objective is to encourage its staff to consider arts and culture as a way to attain its development objectives.
The cultural percent principle applies to all four SDC corporate domain (regional, global, humanitarian aid and cooperation with the East).
One percent of the operational budget" is a symbolic benchmark. SDC considers it the minimum to be spent on culture activities, whether or not they have a direct link with the rest of the program. More funds can of course be allocated to culture-related activities if this is relevant in a country or region (e.g. by dedicating 1% of the budget to a culture programme, and further involving artists in a programme on an SDC priority theme and/or supporting one-off local initiatives with "small actions" in the field of culture).
The funds are managed by the cooperation offices and taken from SDC operational budget for one country/region (no extra funds). Their commitment follows SDC general rules and PCM instruments (for small actions or programmes with entry/credit proposal, etc). Geographical divisions at SDC headquarters can complement the cooperation offices' contributions in the field of culture through small actions with a regional scope.
There are several ways to implement the principle of culture percent. One is to set up a full-fledged culture programme (similar to SDC programmes in other thematic areas). Another is to support arts and culture activities through the “global credit” of SDC cooperation offices (“small actions”).
SDC Culture and Development PolicyThis SDC culture and development policy paper presents a framework for understanding the multiple links between culture and development and for including them as a factor in all of the SDC's development work.
Download (PDF, 3470 KB):
Message 2017-2020 on Swiss international cooperation (link to SDC website)Art and culture are explicitely mentionned in the overall strategy (cf. 1.8.6), and the "South" credit for developing countries (cf. 126.96.36.199).
Guidelines for global credits of cooperation offices (annex of "SDC Guidelines for credit proposals, July 2019", SDC fieldhandbook,
Foto: © DEZA/GMB Akash