- Global collaborations
How we work with global collaborations
Rights-based environmental work
SSNC and our partner organisations actively seek to ensure that our activities are based on a rights perspective. This means that the people suffering the most from environmental degradation and poverty must be at the centre and able to act.
The work of SSNC is based on a rights perspective and its associated principles regarding meaningful participation, transparency, non-discrimination and being able to demand accountability. That is how we want to contribute to improving people’s rights and living conditions. Furthermore, we also want to contribute to raising demands that natural resources are used in a way that is sustainable in the long term. Collaborations within the framework of development cooperation should be based on partnerships.
Global poverty is widespread. Such poverty may involve lacking access to clean water, healthcare, education, information, adequate housing, physical security and material resources. Poverty deprives people of power, rights and influence over their own lives. This is not least the case when our nature and environment are being destroyed and depleted.
The most marginalised people in every society are also the most vulnerable. When natural resources are depleted, the climate undergoes change or dangerous chemicals are emitted, they are often the ones suffering the most. They are also the ones mainly working in production harmful to the environment and people’s health. That is why the existing distribution of power and resources in the world often results in women being particularly vulnerable.
The causes behind poverty, climate change and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources are complex in nature. This concerns an inequitable distribution of power and resources – between countries, within countries and between genders. It also concerns a lack of democracy, widespread corruption and weak institutions.
SSNC and our partner organisations base their work on a poverty perspective. An important target group in this regard constitutes people living in poverty in urban and rural environments. We also target people living in marginalised communities who depend on local ecosystems for their survival. They often suffer negative consequences due to unsustainable resource extraction or environmental degradation. A key element in this work is thus to strengthen the ability of local communities to stand up for their rights.
When we talk about gender equality, we refer to the notion that people should have the same rights, opportunities and abilities to shape their lives and influence society, regardless of gender. In addition to gender, other factors such as class, ethnicity, age, physical or mental ability, gender identity and sexual orientation also play a role in terms of different people’s conditions and access to power. Gender equality is not only a goal in itself, it is also a prerequisite for democracy and a fair and sustainable transition.
The effects of climate change and the loss of biodiversity tend to affect marginalised groups living in poverty the hardest. Due to patriarchal structures in society, women and girls are often particularly vulnerable. At the same time, women play a crucial role when it comes to protecting biodiversity and using natural resources in a sustainable manner.
Women’s work, experiences and knowledge must be included in efforts to reduce poverty and seeking to benefit the environment and the climate. Otherwise, such efforts might maintain or, in a worst-case scenario, reinforce inequalities.
At SSNC, we thus seek to ensure that our global work is permeated by a gender perspective. This includes everything from planning to implementation, follow-up, reporting, evaluating, communicating and learning – both in our own advocacy work and through the work of our partner organisations.
In practice, this involves aspects such as ensuring that a gender perspective is included in applications from our partner organisations and when following up and reporting on the ongoing work of these organisations.
It is also about highlighting the roles of women and men, respectively. How are they able to make themselves heard and have influence? Who has access to and control over natural resources, paid work, information and education?
Environmental and climate issues represent one of the prioritised areas in Swedish development cooperation. This is due to the fact that issues related to the environment and climate to a large extent affect both development and our ability to fight poverty.
SSNC is one of the strategic partner organisations of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), which also largely funds SSNC’s global programme.
It is important that foreign aid is used correctly and that SSNC’s global programme contributes to achieving concrete results with regards to sustainable development. That is why SSNC continuously ensures the quality of all projects. This is done by assessing whether partner organisations have good administrative capacity, a strategic direction towards concrete goals and a high level of trust among the people they work together with and on behalf of in their environmental work.
SSNC also works together with partner organisations when it comes to organisational development, risk management and anti-corruption. We collaborate in order to enable effective environmental work.
Partner organisations report annually to SSNC, and all projects are followed up in the form of external audits. In turn, SSNC annually reports its work to Sida and in our own annual report.
To ensure transparency, all data on Swedish foreign aid is published at www.openaid.se.