10.11.2021

Coronavirus Switzerland: Study reveals impact of aid

What impact does Swiss Solidarity's assistance have? How was the funding process perceived by the organisations we support? And last but not least: What can we learn from this unprecedented crisis and apply to similar situations in future? These are the issues addressed in a September 2020 independent study we commissioned, whose findings are now available.

Click here to read the study

Background of the impact study

CHF 43.5 million: That’s how much money the people of Switzerland donated to Swiss Solidarity—an overwhelming show of solidarity by any measure! What’s just as remarkable is our collaboration with 129 national, regional and local organisations. They have all worked wonders during the crisis, exclusively for the benefit of people who were, and still are, going through particularly hard times. At the time of the survey, we were supporting 108 organisations. Of these, 69 agreed to take part in the study, which was conducted by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) and the Haute école de travail social et de la santé Lausanne (the Lausanne school of social work and health, or HETSL). 

 

 

Meeting needs wherever possible

Not surprisingly, our partner organisations have seen a marked increase in the number of people seeking help, and more particularly, in the proportion of employed people, men, minors and people with disabilities coming to them. While the most urgent needs were met—food aid, shelter and financial support—social care was lacking. This had to do not only with social distancing requirements, but also to the limited capacity for in-person care.

 

 

Praise for uncomplicated support 

The various organisations that took part in the online survey were largely in agreement on one thing: the rapid and uncomplicated assistance we provided them was crucial and enabled them to respond just as quickly to people’s needs, which included food aid and social support. Your donations made it possible to expand urgently needed services such as counselling, and in some cases, allowed for the hiring of additional staff.

‘Swiss Solidarity’s support being extended to smaller organisations was a very positive step. We appreciated being funded quickly and without all the usual red tape.’
Hüseyin Haskaya, Treffpunkt Glaibasel

What the crisis taught us

The positive cooperation with our longstanding partner organisations, not to mention the rapid expansion of the aid provided to regional organisations, proved very effective. However, achieving this called for an incredible amount of extra work we were not prepared for. The next time crisis hits, we need to be ready. The organisations also highlighted the need for improved coordination and division of tasks between organisations at the regional and cantonal levels.

‘During this crisis, we reacted quickly and unbureaucratically. However, crisis management demonstrated the limits of a system in which smaller, privately supported organisations tackle these essential tasks. In many places, there was a clear lack of resources to cover the increased structural and personnel costs.’
Fabienne Vermeulen, Programme Manager Switzerland

About the ‘Coronavirus Switzerland’ campaign

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