For 50 years, Unité, the Swiss association for personnel exchange in development cooperation, has been monitoring the quality of the volunteer assignments through standards, evaluations, institutional support, studies and training. In partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Unité is committed to an efficient, sustainable and equitable cooperation with partners in the South.
Unité, founded in 1964, groups 22 Swiss organisations who have the main objective of establishing and reinforcing support and solidarity towards disadvantaged populations in the South. Its full members receive contributions from the Confederation for personnel exchange development programmes and are subject to institutional analyses, monitoring the quality of their assignments. Associated members do not receive contributions but can benefit from offers of trainings and participate in Unité's quality control work.
In the South, Unité's member organisations work in close partnership with local organisations. In Switzerland, their role is to train people wanting to get involved in cooperation as well as awareness-raising of questions regarding North-South relationships.
As an association, Unité represents the interests of member organisations and the exchange of personnel in general on a national level. Furthermore, it has the designation of becoming a Competence Centre of personnel exchange. Therefore, it continuously develops standards for this kind of cooperation and monitors the quality and efficiency of its member organisations' work through independent external analyses. It offers training to the staff of the Swiss member organisations and their coordinators in the South. Additionally Unité and its member organisations undertake studies on the relevance, impact and value-added of the exchange of personnel in development cooperation.