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International cooperation in the context of development

The City of Zurich has been involved in international development cooperation (IZA) for decades, thus contributing to global sustainable development and poverty reduction. In doing so, it is guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, for the implementation of which cities play an important role. 

The increase in annual funds for development cooperation decided in the referendum of 17 November 2019 was the occasion to realign the city's international cooperation (IZA). Following the referendum, the city council decided to adapt the previous procurement system and to realign international cooperation strategically, in terms of content and organisation due to the changed financial framework conditions.

Responsibility for Urban Development Zurich since January 2021

Against this background, responsibility for the allocation of IZA funds was transferred from the previously responsible Department of Finance to the Presidential Department in the Area of External Relations of Urban Development Zurich as of 1 January 2021. External relations are now responsible for the entire procurement process.

Innovations in the allocation system and the legal basis

From 2021, the available funds will no longer be allocated exclusively through project contributions. Three different award modules will now be applied: Module A includes programme contributions to NGOs based in the city of Zurich, supplementing the programme contributions of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Within the framework of Module B, project contributions will be awarded to Swiss NGOs in accordance with the previous system. In Module C, the City of Zurich enters into temporary and project-related cooperations with cities in developing countries with a focus on sustainable urban development in the sense of UN Sustainable Development Goal 11.

The principles of the new procurement system will now be laid down in the Regulations on International Cooperation (RIZA, AS 856.130). The procurement practice of the City of Zurich is based on scientific research on effectiveness and cost-effectiveness as well as on the aspects of transparency and ecology.

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