The HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation was established as a private association for technical cooperation in 1955; it is a membership-based Swiss organization having more than 100,000 members and sponsors and is active in 30 countries of Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Its mission is to actively contribute to improving the livelihoods of economically, socially, and politically disadvantaged people within the framework of human rights.
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation concentrates its development interventions on rural and semi-urban areas. It came to Nepal in 1956 as a Swiss-based INGO and operates under an agreement with the Government of Nepal. It implements its work in partnership with more than 170 local NGOs, governmental bodies, and private organizations in more than 60 districts. In Nepal, it operates through about 13 programmes and projects with around 250 staff. Its operating budget for 2011 was approximately $US 18 million; it invested this in five working areas, including: water and rural infrastructure; education and skills development; rural economy; environment and climate; and, governance and peace.
During the more than five decades that HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation has worked in Nepal, it has developed practical working approaches and technologies in the field of water and natural resources management. In doing so, it has also always remained mindful of ensuring participation and maximum benefits of disadvantaged communities both in the hills and the plains of Nepal. It implements its projects in close collaboration with local and national governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, hereby promoting long term sustainability. In all its approaches and technologies, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation promotes the use of local resources and whenever possible it mobilizes local human resources for the manpower needed. Over this period, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal has implemented more than thirty, mostly long-term, programmes and projects, financed or co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.