Digital technologies are evolving at breakneck speed. Switzerland’s international cooperation not only harnesses the potential of technological innovations to advance sustainable development and accelerate poverty reduction but also works to mitigate the risks these developments pose.

Digitalisation and technological innovation bring unprecedented opportunities for all. However, if the right legal provisions are not in place, digitalisation and new technologies can lead to surveillance, manipulation of public opinion and dependence on tech companies. Switzerland’s international cooperation (IC) seeks to create framework conditions which mitigate these risks. 

Great potential for sustainable development

New technologies have the power to accelerate sustainable development and poverty reduction. This is why they are an integral part of Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24. The core aims of the IC Strategy are to protect people in need, reduce poverty and address global challenges. As part of its activities to promote good governance, Switzerland’s international cooperation harnesses the opportunities of digitalisation to further increase the effectiveness and efficiency of administrations, reduce red tape and prevent corruption.

Raft of opportunities for development cooperation

Technological advances have the potential to generate positive political, social and economic change by opening up opportunities like easier access to information, payments by mobile phone and online financial services. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) works closely with the private sector and the research community to find innovative solutions. All sections of the population in developing countries should be able to reap the benefits of technological progress. Universal and affordable internet access is therefore one of the goals of the SDC's engagement in partner countries.