All twelve projects were successfully completed by June 2017. The initial objectives have been achieved and in some projects even surpassed.
Results in Latvia
An overview of the results:
More than 1,000 microcredits have been granted, which have been used to maintain and create around 2,500 jobs. The companies involved were only unable to pay back 2.4% of the credits.
Transparent financial reporting
Authorities and associations have acquired skills in international financial reporting and auditing standards by taking part in training courses. Around 100 seminars with over 600 participants were carried out. A newly-developed auditing software has also been making work easier for SMEs.
A total of 6,500 students attended guest lectures given by 92 Swiss lecturers. Twenty-seven Latvian doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers are taking part in a fixed-term research residency at a Swiss university thanks to a SCIEX fellowship. This is helping Swiss and Latvian universities to work together more closely.
Twenty-six youth centres have been renovated and offer a range of recreational activities for young people from remote and disadvantaged regions of Latvia. Around 4,500 young people and youth workers received training, and a number of international and regional conferences and seminars took place.
In 59 municipalities, 110 school buses provide around 7,000 children with safe transport to school on a daily basis.
Rehabilitation of contaminated sites
Three oil-contaminated sites in Riga's industrial port have been rehabilitated. 1,700 tonnes of oil have been pumped out and 7,000 tonnes of contaminated soil from the riverbed have been removed and safely disposed of. The rehabilitation prevents petroleum products from seeping into the River Daugava and subsequently into the Baltic Sea.
Modernising the judiciary
Ninety-four modern videoconferencing units and 308 audio recording devices have been installed in all courtrooms and prisons in the country. The monthly use of video conferencing units increased by 27% between 2014 (the first year after the project was completed) and 2016. The audio recording devices are used in 2,500 civil and 500 criminal cases per month on average – an increase of 15% between 2014 and 2016.
Improving fire prevention
In 57 municipalities, fire prevention in kindergartens and schools has been improved through the installation of smoke alarms and other preventive measures. The 115 schools involved in this project now offer a safer learning environment for over 14,000 schoolchildren.
Support funding for NGOs
NGOs received funds to promote and strengthen civil society participation in the economic and social development of the country. Disadvantaged young people and elderly people were given priority. A total of 191 NGOs implemented 62 large and small-scale projects benefiting 14,500 children and young people and about 6,200 elderly people. Fifty-nine projects were implemented in partnerships between Latvian NGOs, municipalities and government institutions. Twenty projects involved cooperation with Swiss organisations. This collaboration allowed the Latvian organisations to gain insight into Swiss conditions and develop approaches tailored to their circumstances.