The Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) conducted an evaluation of their Global Governance Portfolio in the Mekong region in 2007. Bilateral SDC projects were visited and extensive interviews were conducted with programme managers in India and project partners in their respective countries. Hence, recommendations for further programme work were outlined, discussed with the partners and then presented at SDC’s end of the year meeting. The existing bilateral and exclusive partnership with Indian institutions was extended in favour of a participatory and equal partnership with institutions in each of the Mekong countries. The programme was further improved by shifting competences from SDC to other competent agencies in the Swiss government that play a stronger role in trade promotion.
The regional programme should strengthen aspects of sustainable development in the sub-programmes on trade and financial markets in the future. SDC showed great interest in the "Ankerlandkonzept" of German development cooperation (intensified cooperation with emerging economies) and explored its applicability to the Swiss context. A study visit of the GISD Programme Director in November 2007 in Berlin demonstrated opportunities and constraints of this concept and limits to its transferability.
The concept and its implementation were discussed with senior government officials in German Federal Ministries (environment, development and foreign affairs) and institutions of German development cooperation. Alexander Carius served as the lead expert in this evaluation project for SDC.