Addressing Poverty in Practice



How can the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) ensure that its activities are effective in reducing poverty? The task of Quality Assurance (QA) poverty is exactly this: to support all SDC’s programs in having a clear poverty-focused results orientation.

This corresponds with SDC’s legal obligation and foremost objective of working in favor of the poor and disadvantaged. As set out in the Federal Bill on Switzerland’s International Cooperation in 2013–2016, "The principal objective of international cooperation remains poverty reduction".

Whilst most SDC personnel are highly conscious of their global mandate to reduce poverty, interpretations of what this means in practice can vary, and it is not always easy to keep the poor and disadvantaged foremost in mind during daily decisions and activities. The desk Quality Assurance poverty therefore seeks to provide tools, guidance and feedback to facilitate a pro-poor focus.


The Main Criteria for the Quality of SDC Operations from the Poverty Perspective
Understanding that poverty is multidimensional and people-centered »
The use of explicit impact hypotheses as learning-oriented practitioners »
Demand orientation and participation in results based management »
Partnership and capacity development for empowerment »


What do these Criteria Mean in Practice?
The implications for the project cycle management (PCM) of country strategies, projects/programmes, are analysed and examples are provided for the following areas:
For the management of country strategies, projects and programs:
• Reporting and steering
• Monitoring, evaluation and reviews 
• Planning