Sector-wide approaches (SWAps) are used in a limited number of highly aid-dependent countries, primarily in Africa. Rather than delivering aid through stand-alone programmes, SWAps coordinate donor support in a particular sector, such as health or education, so that all significant government and donor funds support a single policy and expenditure program led by the government.
SWAps are intended to put the government in the drivers seat in disbursing and accounting for funds, and increase aid effectiveness by promoting coherence between policies, budgeting and results.
As of 2007, UNFPA was active in some 27 countries in sector harmonization strategies. Through policy dialogue and technical assistance, UNFPA plays an important role in encouraging governments to fully incorporate reproductive health issues, including family planning and sexual health, into their health sector-wide policies, budgets and operational plans.