Next year, SMC – Faith in Development will co-finance 57 international development efforts. 16 member organisations have been granted funds of over SEK 270 million for work mainly in Africa and Asia.

”Thanks to our wide network of member organizations and their partners around the world, we can help strengthen people’s ability to contribute to a better world,” says Hanna Mellergård, Head of International Development Cooperation at SMC.


SMC’s support for international aid efforts takes place within the framework of Sida’s mission to reduce poverty in the world.

The vast majority of the efforts, 57 of them, aim to strengthen civil society in low- and middle-income countries around the world in the long term. In addition, SMC is involved in financing nine information initiatives in Sweden as well as three internship programs. The internship programmes give young people the opportunity to travel and work practically on aid and development together with local organisations.

19 new aid operations to start in 2021

Of the various actions carried out in 2021, 19 are new for the year. Some are more extensive development programs that include several different initiatives and local partners. This includes a programme in Latin America focusing on peace, justice and non-violence.

-For 2021, we really see a wide range of aid in terms of strategies and methods but also direction. It is a question of increased participation in democratic processes and thus the possibility of influencing their situation; increased livelihood opportunities; health and education; organisation in society and gender equality,” says Hanna Mellergård.

SMC welcomes the fact that many local partners are working to get politicians and authorities to assume their responsibilities in relation to their citizens. It can be about having dialogue or exerting pressure on authorities where possible, but also working with anti-corruption. Read more about how previous collaborations have led to change at the societal level.

Continued importance of resilience in aid

Since 2017, SMC has been working on an investment in resilience to increase people’s and organizations’ ability to adapt and manage rapid changes such as climate change. In 2021, seven initiatives with funding from the pot will be up and running, two of which are new. One of the efforts that continues to receive support is a ”Community of Practice” focusing on resilience and disaster risk reduction in Kenya. Results from an evaluation of the initiative are expected shortly, but previous reports have shown very good results from the investment in resilience.

Facts: Four grants in aid

SMC has an agreement with Sida on financing operations within four different grants:

1. Development efforts (CivSam)dealing with long-term change work with a focus on strengthening people’s ability and ability to claim their rights themselves and together with others, for example through civil society organisation.
Budget for 2021: SEK 260 million

2. Information and communication efforts aimed at forming public opinion and increasing knowledge about global development issues in Sweden.
Budget for 2021: SEK 8.7 million

3. Internships that provide opportunities for young people to do internships in countries where our member organizations have local collaborations. The internship grant is reported to the Swedish Council for Higher Education.
Budget for 2021: SEK 2.5 million

4. SMC is a strategic humanitarian partner of Sida. This means that some of our member organisations have the opportunity to seek funds from a separate budget in order to be able to quickly alleviate distress and save lives in emergency situationsthrough their local partners.
The calculations for 2020 are not yet ready but are around SEK 60 million. Next year, however, humanitarian cooperation with Sida will be phased out.

How decisions are made on the operations

SMC’s office prepares the applications using available steering documents for each grant. Next, it is the role of the committee to examine the decision-making memorandums that are presented and decide on aid. The Development Committee is appointed by the Board of SMC and consists of people who have good knowledge of our member organizations and international development cooperation.