Basic education and vocational skills development

African girls raising their hands.
The SDC considers basic education and vocational skills development to be interconnected and complementary. © UN Photo / Marco Dormino

A good education lays the foundation for the economic and social development not only of the individual but of society as a whole. Education helps to reduce poverty and social and economic disparities and stimulates economic growth. The SDC pursues the objective of quality education accessible to people of all ages by focusing on two priority sectors: basic education and vocational skills development.

Education in any society is fundamental to achieving sustainable development underpinned by peace and social cohesion. Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all is the fourth sustainable development goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Along with achieving decent work for all within the framework of sustained economic growth and eradicating poverty, this goal is central to the SDC's activities.

As a vehicle for raising public awareness, education can help improve hygiene practices, advocate​​ responsible agricultural production, and improve public knowledge about the effects of climate change.

In many developing and transition countries there is a real need to improve the education system. It is equally important to ensure access to education in fragile contexts, where social disparities tend to worsen.

In the area of education, the SDC works to improve the quality of both basic education and vocational skills development. The SDC sees both components as interconnected and complementary, not only from a linear educational perspective. Depending on particular needs and contexts, it can make good sense to teach basic education and vocational skills development modules simultaneously to provide young people with a set of marketable basic skills to maximise their chances for professional integration.

Strengthening educational opportunities in developing countries and countries in transition is a priority of Switzerland's international cooperation in the years ahead. In accordance with the Dispatch on Switzerland's International Cooperation 2017–2020, which has been adopted by Parliament, Switzerland will increase funding for basic education and vocational skills development by 50% compared with the 2013–16 period.

Basic education

The SDC promotes quality basic education that is adapted to the needs of each population and accessible to as many people as possible. To this end, it works with several partner countries in reforming their education systems.

Vocational skills development

By working with the public authorities and the private sector, the SDC is able to develop training programmes tailored to the needs of the market. It thereby enables growing numbers of young people to find decent employment and to contribute to their country’s development.

Current projects

Object 61 – 72 of 89

IPDET Grants: SDC Global Institutions Monitoring & Evaluation training support to multilateral organisations

01.04.2017 - 31.12.2019

The International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) is a globally recognised executive training initiative on development policy, programme and project evaluation. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) supports selected multilateral priority institutions to benefit from IPDET trainings to strengthen their evaluation capacity. To achieve this, about 17 IPDET grants are provided annually for three years to key staff members of these organisations.


Programme Régional Interinstitutionnel pour la Qualité de l’Education (PRIQUE)

01.03.2017 - 30.09.2019

La qualité de l’éducation de base est un enjeu majeur en Afrique de l’Ouest tout comme le respect du droit à l’éducation de centaines de milliers d’enfants et de jeunes. Des alternatives éducatives ont été créées à leur intention, utilisant les langues nationales, des pédagogies actives, des contenus adaptés. Le Programme Régional Interinstitutionnel pour la Qualité de l’Education (PRIQUE) permet aux Etats et aux ONG de former des experts nationaux afin qu’ils améliorent la qualité et l’équité des systèmes éducatifs.


Skills for Employment Tanzania – SET

Babati, Tanzania

01.03.2017 - 30.06.2022

SET seeks to enhance youth (self) employment by improving the Vocational Skills Development (VSD) system. It will support public and private stakeholders to expand access to quality training that matches the demand from both the economy and youth, in particular women, including young mothers. Key elements from the Swiss VSD model will be emphasized: the coordination between skills providers and private sector, practical training and innovation.


Baobab Books

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2019

Baobab Books, ein gemeinnütziger Verein in der Schweiz, setzt sich für einen respektvollen Umgang mit Menschen anderer Herkunft und für Chancengleichheit ein. Mit einem vielfältigen Angebot von interkultureller Kinder- und Jugendliteratur, auch von AutorInnen aus Afrika, Asien, Lateinamerika oder dem Nahen Osten, unterstützt Baobab Books den interkulturellen Dialog und Bildung für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung in der Schweiz.


Fédération inter-jurassienne de coopération et de développement (FICD)

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020

La Fédération inter-jurassienne de coopération et de développement (FICD), organisation faîtière qui compte 32 ONG membres, a fait de la formation et de l’information ses axes de travail privilégiés, afin de promouvoir des projets de qualité et un regard critique sur les enjeux globaux. Un pont qui relie spécialistes et bénévoles et qui met en communication le public du Canton de Jura et le Jura bernois avec les pays du Sud. La FICD est devenue un interlocuteur reconnu en matière de coopération internationale au développement pour les collectivités publiques locales, car garant de qualité et lieu d’échange et de débat.


Contribution to UNRWA's Programme Budget 2017-2020

a classroom with young female students

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020

UNRWA is one of Switzerland’s key multilateral partners in the Middle East, due to its regional outreach and its important contributions towards stability and peace in the region. UNRWA overall delivers assistance and protection services to 5.3 million registered Palestine refugees. Under its Programme Budget, UNRWA ensures universal access to quality primary health care and to basic education to Palestine refugees. It also provides targeted relief and social services to needy poor refugees.


Partenariat Mondial pour l’Education – Global Partnership for Education (PME – GPE)

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020

Le Partenariat Mondial pour l’Education (PME) est reconnu par la communauté internationale comme la principale plateforme de coordination et de financement de l’éducation au niveau mondial. Il vise le  renforcement des systèmes éducatifs des pays en développement ou affectés par un conflit sur les aspects d’accès, d’équité et de qualité de l’apprentissage. Le PME répond aux principaux défis actuels en matière d’éducation de base et de formation professionnelle des enfants et des jeunes et s’inscrit dans les priorités stratégiques de la DDC dans le secteur.


CERAH Core Contributions 2017-2020

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020

CERAH’s mission aims at enhancing the capacity of individual and institutional humanitarian actors to devise and bring relevant, adapted and timely responses to the plight of populations affected by armed conflict, disasters or social exclusion. To that end, it aims at strengthening the competencies of humanitarian professionals through internationally recognized education and training, at improving humanitarian responses through critical research of humanitarian concepts, policies and practices and to stimulate debate on selected humanitarian issues to further critical and innovative thinking. This project aims at furthering systematization and professionalization of humanitarian activities and actors, with the stated goal to make the humanitarian sector more coherent and accountable.


Educational facilities for the Internally Displaced and street children

10.12.2016 - 31.12.2019

The internally displaced youth living often as street children in the low-income neighbourhoods of the capital city Islamabad and are deprived from basic education and protection services. The Mashal school educates IDP children from all over the country with a majority from KP and FATA, offers them a protective space, advises / counsels them on cultural, social and legal issues and help them to register under the government system by that laying the basis for future livelihood possibilities.


Programme d’Appui à l’Education de Base (PAEB)

01.12.2016 - 31.12.2020

Malgré les avancées, le Burkina Faso fait face à des défis d’éducation. Chaque année, de nombreux enfants n’accèdent pas l’école ; la majorité de ceux qui y accèdent, abandonne avant d’avoir fait 6 années de scolarité ; 65% des adultes sont analphabètes. La DDC soutient les fonds communs, permettant au  Gouvernement et à la société civile d’améliorer les performances du système éducatif, à travers la décentralisation, l’adaptation, et l’extension des offres répondant aux besoins des populations.


Master of Advanced Studies in Development Cooperation (MAS)- NADEL

01.12.2016 - 30.11.2019

Mit der Unterstützung des Nachdiplomstudiums für Entwicklungsländer der ETHZ (NADEL) (Stufe “Master of Advanced Studies“) leistet die DEZA einen Beitrag an die Ausbildung von Nachwuchskräften für die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (EZA). Die praktisch ausgerichtete akademische Aus- und Weiterbildung von Fachkräften der EZA, hat zum Ziel, Wirksamkeit, Effizienz und Innovation der Schweizer EZA dauerhaft zu sichern und zu steigern.  


Programme d’Appui à la Formation Professionnelle et à l’Apprentissage (PAFPA)

01.12.2016 - 31.12.2020

Au Burkina Faso, la majorité des jeunes travaille dans des activités à faible valeur ajoutée, du fait d’un système de formation professionnelle peu efficace et faiblement lié au secteur privé. Le PAFPA entend améliorer l’accès et la qualité de ce système en capitalisant sur les expériences de la DDC dans les secteurs agro-alimentaire et artisanal et en promouvant un partenariat public-privé inédit entre le Ministère de la formation professionnelle, la plus grande organisation patronale et une ONG spécialisée en ingénierie de formation.

Object 61 – 72 of 89