Development cooperation in themes

Over the past few years, development co-operation has been organised around themes in which Dutch resources, knowledge and expertise can make a difference. Food security, water, sexual and reproductive health & rights and security & rule of law are core themes for the Netherlands, as are women's rights & gender equality, climate and private sector development. In addition, the Netherlands is working to strengthen civil society in developing countries and we also offer humanitarian aid. Furthermore, the theme of Prospects for refugees, host communities & migration cooperation has recently been added.

Compared to the previous Cabinet, the current Cabinet has embraced the SDGs more closely as an international framework for its theme-based policy. Within this framework, the Cabinet has set new focus areas, such as education.

More information on the SDGs and how the Netherlands' theme-based policy complements them can be found here.

More information on the current Cabinet policy and the SDGs.

The themes

Food security


Sexual and reproductive health and rights

Security and Rule of Law

Women’s rights and gender equality


Private sector development

Civil society

Prospects for refugees & migration cooperation

Humanitarian aid

Results achieved for themes

Select a theme below to get a summary of what was achieved in 2018. You will also see where in the world these theme received the most attention.