SVEO fund

A Colombian Civil Society Support Fund, created by Swedish civil society organisations, with support from the Embassy of Sweden.

Project overview

In Colombia, peacebuilding work has been ongoing for decades. The signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian state and the FARC-EP guerrillas in November 2016 is a milestone in this process. However, the conditions for the implementation of the agreements have been challenging. In the territories there are situations of multiple violence, the presence of armed groups and drug trafficking, phenomena that affect the population and in particular human rights defenders, social leaders and peace signatories.

Faced with this panorama, the contribution of organised civil society has been and continues to be fundamental in advancing peacebuilding, the defence of human rights, the protection of nature, the recognition of the rights of women, ethnic peoples and the LGBTIQ population, and the promotion of social and political participation in all scenarios of dialogue and agreement.

Never before has Colombian civil society had a political scenario in which its major demands were echoed by the national government. In fact, many of the policies of the new government have been inspired by the struggles of social movements, by the demands for rights of organizations and communities in the territories. Although Colombian civil society has a historic opportunity to advance in the recognition of rights and the expansion of democracy, it also faces great challenges.

In the above context, the SVEO Fund, an initiative of seven Swedish NGOs (ForumCiv, Diakonia, ACT Church of Sweden, Swefor, We Effect, Lutheran World Federation and Peaceworks) together with Sida, agree on the need to create and put into practice a new approach to peacebuilding in Colombia by supporting Colombian CSOs with grants that address any of the following purposes:

  • Diverse initiatives for comprehensive peace building, in the context of evolving negotiations with illegal armed groups.
  • Proposals to contain the armed conflict, imposing the limits of IHL 
  • Actions to continue supporting the fulfilment of the 2016 peace agreements
  • Proposals to contribute from civil society to security and defence sector reforms
  • Initiatives to address conflicts over land and territory, as a basis for peace building
  • Contributions to strengthen the mission and legacy of the institutions of the transitional system created as part of the implementation of the Peace agreement between the government and FARC. In particular it is a key moment to support the development of the Truth Commission recommendations.
  • Citizen participation in the political discussion around various scenarios and conflicts of social, political, economic and cultural life. 
  • Women's initiatives in peace-building and participation agendas with a transformative gender approach
  • Support for initiatives to protect defenders, social and environmental leaders and peace signatories with a gender and differential approach.

Period/duration: January 2023 – December 2025

Project goal: Generate capacities and resources in Colombian civil society, in its diversity, to effectively contribute to the consolidation of favourable conditions for peace-building, respect for human rights, quality of democracy, gender justice and environmental justice, within the framework of Sweden's cooperation strategy with Colombia.

Objectives: Design and implement a Colombian Civil Society Support Fund, created by Swedish civil society organisations, with support from the Embassy of Sweden.

Funded by: Embassy of Sweden in Colombia