About us: goals, working methods and team

International Development

Information about us and how we work

Our goal is to improve the living conditions of vulnerable people around the world. But how do we achieve this? What advantages does our international network bring to our work? How do our projects come about? And what do “accountability” and “transparency” mean to us? You’ll find answers to all these questions and more here, as well as an overview of our team.

Our vision and strategy

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International cooperation is constantly developing – and so are we, because a dynamic field calls for dynamic working methods. In line with this, we're clarifying our vision and making some small adjustments to our strategy.
You’ll be able to view our vision and updated strategy here soon.
Thank you for your understanding!

Comprehensive, international, dignified

Working in development cooperation poses significant challenges. The assistance provided has to be effective and reach the people who need it.

When someone is suffering from hardship or poverty, they need more than just financial help. There are a host of factors to consider: education, healthcare, employment, the social environment and spirituality play a vital role in easing people’s hardship. These complex and interrelated issues can often hinder the development of people in precarious and vulnerable situations. The Salvation Army knows this, and it’s why our support goes beyond fulfilling basic requirements. It is only by taking a holistic view of the individual that we can create projects that help people in the long term. This approach enables the Salvation Army to help vulnerable individuals live an independent and dignified life and to support them in their next steps.

It is vital that our support is accepted locally, and that it is maintained in the long term. We believe strongly that this is a prerequisite for a successful project. The Salvation Army is present in more than 130 countries, some of which we have worked with for decades. We know and trust our network on the ground. There's no need to set up costly infrastructure, which means we can act quickly and reduce expenses. We want your valuable support to make a difference to people, rather than peter out before it reaches them.

Our position is clear: we want to cooperate with people and with our partners on an equal footing. We want to empower people to shape their own future without creating dependency. We ask them to play an active role in this, and to take responsibility for achieving it.

Transparency and accountability – more than just buzzwords

We work hard to ensure the Salvation Army is a transparent organisation characterised by accountability and good governance. To achieve this, we speak regularly with our partners to see which areas we can improve in, both within the organisation and in our project work. This feedback is implemented in specific action plans aiming, for example, to improve our project support or the transparency of our financing. We are also keen to hear what people in need who live in the affected areas think about the support we provide. All new projects are carefully analysed to ensure that only the most suitable ones with the greatest chance of success are implemented. At the end of each project we conduct an external final evaluation. This isn’t simply to give us peace of mind; it is an opportunity for critical self-evaluation.

The Salvation Army is convinced that transparency strengthens trust – not least among sponsors and donors. The Salvation Army has played a pioneering role in the field of transparency and accountability.

When speed is of the essence: our emergency aid and disaster relief

The Salvation Army is an international movement that is present in more than 130 countries. This offers significant advantages in our work and allows us to provide immediate disaster relief. Working with our extensive network of partners – including ACT Alliance – we are usually among the first to provide emergency aid such as food, water, clothing and tents. We begin reconstruction work with the local Salvation Army once emergency aid has been provided and develop follow-on projects for the future to mitigate the suffering of the affected people.

We provide information on our website about catastrophes and emergencies in our partner countries and will also make a call for donations if required.

How do our projects come about?

We carry out our project planning in close cooperation with our local partner – that is, the local Salvation Army. Our colleagues in the relevant countries see every day what people on the ground need, and are able to develop appropriate solutions with local residents. These efforts culminate in a project proposal. At the Salvation Army’s headquarters in Switzerland, the person responsible for the project examines the proposal, offers support, makes any necessary additions, and carries out quality control. Projects are examined by a range of stakeholders during the approval process.

A written record is kept of the project procedure, including budget planning from start to finish. Once the approval phase is complete, the project can begin. During the implementation phase, the project is continuously evaluated and modified if necessary. If there are delays or problems during the implementation phase, we will first check if our partners on the ground can resolve them. They can call on us for help if required, and we will work on a solution together.

The project managers keep a close eye on our projects and periodically assess their progress. Our partners regularly visit the project locations and provide us with quarterly reports on their status and progress. The Salvation Army also has a monitoring and evaluation system for each project with corresponding indicators. If there is a need to act, we will discuss any next steps with the local Salvation Army.

At the end of the project, our partners will create a final report. An external evaluation and an external audit will also be conducted.

Cooperation and exchange: our network

Professional standards and long-term change require broad-based expertise. We therefore work with trusted partners at home and abroad to support our projects and goals, and conduct regular exchanges with other organisations involved in development cooperation. This allows us to improve the quality of our work and to develop in a rapidly changing field.

In line with this, we are members of the Community of Cooperation (KoGe) as well as Unité, the umbrella organisation for personnel exchange in development cooperation. As part of the international Salvation Army, we also work with other operationally active territories. We are co-signatories of AllianceSud’s Manifesto for Responsible Communication on International Cooperation and are part of the ecumenical campaign run by “HEKS/Bread for All”.

As a respected partner in the Swiss development cooperation community, we receive regular support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), as well as public institutions including the Lottery Fund of the Canton of Bern, the City of Zurich, the “solidarit’eau” platform and various municipalities and foundations.

A first-hand account of a project:

The story of Daw Shwe Lone from Myanmar

Our microcredit project improves the living situation of around 3,000 families in Myanmar. The local people are given the opportunity to help themselves. Through the investments, they can increase their income, provide for their families and pay school fees for their children.


A first-hand account of a project: the story of Daw Shwe Lone from Myanmar (german or french versions only)

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