2022 Health and Social Protection, Organisation and Management of Aid Mapping

Swedish Aid in the Time of the Pandemic

Carsten Schwensen, Jonas Lövkrona, Louise Scheibel Smed

This report analyses how adjustments of Swedish aid were managed within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Sida during the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, it contributes to knowledge on how development cooperation was impacted by the pandemic, in addition to describing how adjustments were implemented in practice, and identifying lessons-learned for future crises.

Key conclusions:

  1. The overall strategic direction of Swedish development cooperation and humanitarian assistance remained unchanged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Broad strategies with a high degree of flexibility and a decentralised decision-making process facilitated reprogramming when needed.
  2. Sweden’s financial response specifically for the coronavirus pandemic is estimated at 6 percent of the total budget for official development assistance. This support was mainly directed towards the health sector and social infrastructure.
  3. Overall, internal systems adapted well to the challenges, although there were some critical shortcomings in preparedness within the areas of communication, coordination, and human resource management.