2022 Equality, Evaluation of Aid Evaluation

Evaluation of strategic secondments for Swedish policy influence

Lisa Dellmuth, Paul T. Levin, Nicklas Svensson

A large part of Sweden’s foreign policy takes place within and through multilateral organizations, such as the UN, the EU or the various development banks. Sweden is also one of the largest donors to the multilateral system – a majority of Swedish aid goes to multilateral organizations, either as core support or so-called multi-bi support. That Swedish can ensure its policy priorities in the cooperation with multilateral organizations therefore becomes important.

This report highlights how Sweden works with one of the many tools available to cooperate with and influence multilateral organizations, namely secondments. The evaluation focuses on the secondment of senior personnel to the UN and the EU, secondments that aim to increase the impact of Swedish development policy priorities.

The overall conclusion of the evaluation is that senior secondments can be an effective instrument to support Swedish policy influence, but only under the right conditions and circumstances. The authors show that solid preparatory work is required for secondments to achieve their strategic potential, and that there are opportunities for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Sida to improve this work.