SNV Strategic Plan 2019-2022

SNV has remained relevant over its 53-year history by adapting to a rapidly changing world. In 2017, we transitioned from dependence on subsidies from the Netherlands government to breaking even based exclusively on revenues from project financing. We are well positioned to scale up our impact.

In this new phase, our aim is to create direct results and to bring about systems change. We will do this by kick-starting markets, supporting government service delivery, and improving government and market accountability.

We will remain a global premium organisation with a local presence. Our decentralised structure with the vast majority of our staff residing in Asia, Africa and Latin America remains our distinctive feature. We constantly learn about what works and what does not work. This enables us to adapt our global know-how to local contexts.

Through our projects, we aim to improve the quality of life of 20 million people in low-income and lower-middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We will also significantly contribute to systems change in agriculture, energy and WASH sectors in at least 21 countries.

Meike Van Ginneken

Chief Executive Officer

Who we are

SNV Netherlands Development Organisation is a not-for-profit international development organisation. We have a long-term, local presence in over 25 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Our team of 1,300 specialists and generalists, nationals and internationals, males and females, young and more seasoned colleagues are the backbone of SNV. Only five percent of our team is based in the Netherlands, the country where we were established 53 years ago.

Where we work

We work in low-income and lower-middle-income countries where our expertise has added value and can make an impact, we can safeguard the security of our staff, and we have a solid financial outlook. Our regional coverage is sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America.

As we start the new strategy period, we have a presence in 28 countries. In the first year of the Strategic Plan, we will start up in three new countries (Burundi, Myanmar and Nigeria) and wrap up our activities in Bolivia and Peru.

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What we do

Our work focuses on three sectors: agriculture, energy, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). By continuing to focus on these interconnected areas, and adapting and expanding our approach within them, we will reach more people and continuously improve the quality of our work. Within these three sectors we have defined eight products. During the Strategic Plan period, we will further deepen our expertise in these products.

Our sectors and products

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How we fund our work

We are proud that we implement our programmes entirely through project funding awarded by public development agencies, foundations, multilateral development banks, governments and the private sector. We have successfully diversified our financing base over the past years. Our largest donor, the Netherlands government, now provides approximately one-third of our financing. We have also entered the American donor market through our affiliate SNV USA.

In the new strategy period we will continue to diversify and grow our portfolio. We will also continue to increase the average size of our projects to allow us to more actively shape our portfolio and enhance efficiency.

Value of signed contracts 2019–2022, by sector

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Our impact: Direct results and systems change

Our projects do not just deliver direct results, but also influence markets and governance processes to function better. We help women and men to improve their livelihoods. This includes increasing people’s incomes and resilience to climate change so livelihoods are stable. We help people to access new or improved services, such as energy, water, sanitation and hygiene, and nutritious food.

In this strategic period, we aim to improve the quality of life of 20 million people. We will kick-start markets, support governments and other actors to improve their service delivery, and improve government and market accountability.

We will report the results of our efforts to initiate systems change by narrating what we did and why what we did was the right thing to do (or not). Through these narratives, we will show how, from 2019 to 2022, SNV will contribute to systems change in agriculture, energy and WASH in at least 21 countries.

Focus on practical know-how

SNV bridges the gap between theory and practice, between policy ambitions and effective implementation at scale. We implement approaches that are tailored to local needs as we believe that countries and communities themselves should be the owners of change. Our know-how services include advice, brokering and stakeholder engagement, advocacy, fund management, results-based financing and delegated management.

We will assure high quality expertise within our three sectors.


Developing sustainable agricultural production is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Poverty, hunger, malnutrition and climate change are complex challenges that require a paradigm shift in agriculture. Value chains and food systems need to become more inclusive, efficient and diverse, as well as nutrition-sensitive and climate smart, to ensure that people have access to food at affordable prices and opportunities to shift to healthier diets.


Globally, close to a billion people live without electricity. In 2016, 2.8 billion people still relied on low quality biomass, coal and kerosene for cooking. Cooking with biomass has a negative effect on more people than AIDS and malaria combined. Modern sustainable energy technology is crucial to human well-being and a prerequisite for economic development.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)

Access to safe water and sanitation is a human right. Governments are the duty bearers of the progressive realisation of this right in their jurisdictions. Worldwide, 2.4 billion people are still without basic sanitation, and more than 600 million people are without safe drinking water. Our projects will continue to support local, district and national governments to progressively realise the right to safe water and sanitation for all citizens.