Sweden's Development Aid Minister Gunilla Carlsson

Swedish foreign aid is not monitored

A new initiative to review and analyse the country's SEK 38million foreign aid budget has been delayed by about a year, leading to complaints that Swedish foreign aid lacks transparency.

When Sweden's Development Aid Minister Gunilla Carlsson closed down the previous monitoring body, Sadev, at the end of 2012, she said a new organisation would take over the work from July 1st. However, it now seems the launch of the new body, called the Expert Group (Expertgruppen), will be delayed for a year.

"Yes, I think it will take quite a lot of time, about a year or so from the moment the work gets going to the publication of the first reports.... So we are talking next spring," Lars Heikensten, CEO of the Nobel Foundation which chairs the new monitoring body, told Swedish Radio News.

"The Development Aid Minister said she expected the first evaluations of the new organisation to come out at the half-year-mark. I think most people, including me, interpreted that as the half-year-mark of 2013, not 2014," said Social Democrat aid policy spokesman Kenneth G Forslund.

According to Forslund, Sadev should have continued its work while waiting for a new, functioning monitoring body to be established.

Gunilla Carlsson said: "I think it is very important that the Expert Group gets to lead its work on its own. That work now starts gradually."

Carlsson also confirmed that the aid policy monitoring has not got started yet.

The Expert Group is an independent committee answerable to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. It will order reports from independent experts after a new secretariat is installed in the autumn, according to Heikensten.

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