On 14 May 2013, the Czech Republic joined the DAC, becoming its 26th member. It is the first European Union member to accede to this forum sincethe accession of Greece in 1999.
The Czech Republic started building its development co-operation programme soon after it joined the OECD in 1995. Over the past couple of years, the programme has been transformed, drawing on the recommendations made in the DAC special review in 2007. The Czech authorities adopted the Act on Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid and the new Development Co-operation Strategy of the Czech Republic 2010–2017. They also set-up the Czech Development Agency and established a monitoring and evaluation system that follows DAC guiding principles.
Simultaneously, the Czech Republic has increased its official development assistance (ODA), reaching USD 219 million (0.12% of GNI) in 2012. Bilateral aid represents around one third of its total ODA and is concentrated in five countries: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Moldova and Mongolia. The Czech Republic focuses its bilateral aid on sharing experience from the country’s transition towards a democratic political system and a market economy. Multilateral assistance is mainly channelled through the European Union.
“The Czech Republic’s successful transformation offers valuable experience on building democratic institutions and social, economic and infrastructure development which will enrich the DAC’s work,” said DAC Chair Erik Solheim. “Membership in the Committee will further reinforce the Czech Republic’s progress in its development work and I hope that its accession to the DAC will encourage other countries to join in the near future.”
The Czech Republic is the second OECD country to join the DAC in 2013, following the accession of Iceland on 14 March 2013.Iceland’s ODA totalled USD 26 million in 2012 (equivalent to 0.22% of GNI). Iceland focuses its development activities on geothermal energy, sustainable fisheries and gender equality. The country’s bilateral aid is concentrated on three priority partner countries: Uganda, Malawi and Mozambique.
The DAC welcomes the contributions of all providers of development co‑operation towards the common goal of reducing poverty and promoting development around the world. The Committee encourages countries to apply for membership, independent of whether they are ODA recipients. In particular, during its 2012 High Level Meeting, DAC members invited other OECD countries to consider taking steps toward membership and expressed their desire that all OECD members, EU members, and other donors will eventually join the Committee.
For more information, see the DAC Global Relations website: http://www.oecd.org/dac/dac-global-relations/
The OECD Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD) and the Camões – Institute for Co-operation and Language (Portugal) organised a Policy Dialogue on Triangular Co-operation, 16-17 May 2013 in Lisbon. A previous Policy Dialogue on Development Co-operation was co‑organised with the Mexican government, 28-29 September 2009 in Mexico City.
Triangular co-operation, which has been attracting growing international attention over past years, brings together providers of development co-operation, partners in South-South co-operation and international organisations to share knowledge and implement development programmes and projects.
The Policy Dialogue brought together 69 people from 24 OECD member countries, 19 developing countries and 4 international organisations to share experiences in triangular co-operation. The findings emerging from OECD’s analytical work on triangular co-operation resonated well with participants.
The Policy Dialogue provided an opportunity to build consensus on the main characteristics and essential elements of good triangular co-operation:
Participants recognised that there is currently little tracking, monitoring and evaluation of triangular co-operation. They agreed on the need to fill this analytical gap, as well as to promote the exchange of experiences on different mechanisms for promoting and funding triangular co-operation. These are areas where the international community could do more work.
Seven areas for follow-up were identified:
The conclusions of the Policy Dialogue will now be presented to the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co‑operation with a view to encouraging debate and joint action in the area of triangular co-operation.
Hearing the voices on the receiving end
The 11th DAC Development Debate (DDD) looked at two very different processes for promoting the views of those on the receiving end of development co-operation. Dayna Brown, Director at the CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, presented Time to listen: Hearing people on the receiving end of international aid. The publication outlines evidence, ideas and experiences collected between 2005 and 2009 from 6 000 people including aid recipients, government and civil society representatives and aid workers across 20 countries. Ms Brown explained that the publication questions the way international assistance is organised, whether this makes sense, whether it is working as we intend it to at the grass roots level, and whether the effects are being felt by those it is directed towards. The evidence she presented indicates that rather than more aid, people want smarter aid. They recognise the need for changes so as to overcome the dominance and “procedure-aucracy” of donors, which involves a lot of waste. They also call for real ownership by civil society (e.g. “nothing about us without us”, versus the artificially created “project society”) in order to achieve more effective and lasting results; in this regard, new technologies are seen as holding important potential.
Claire Malamed, Head of the Growth, Poverty and Inequality Programme of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), presented the latest in global community thinking gathered through the online My World Survey. She explained that the results of this survey, led by the UN and implemented in co-operation with ODI and other partners, indicate that across age ranges, gender and Human Development Index (HDI) ranking, the top three priorities for the community are: a good education, better health care and honest and responsive government. In addition, climate change is given greater priority in countries with a higher HDI. By contrast, these countries rank support for those who cannot work as a much lower priority.
The discussion that followed compared these two community engagement processes to the “Voices of the Poor” project undertaken in the 1990s. It focused on lessons learned and the need to ensure that the voices of the South are not only heard, but actively incorporated into the on-going discourse on development policy and the post-2015 goals. DCD Director Jon Lomoy concluded that to achieve this, development co-operation needs to become more flexible and less risk adverse.
The innovation revolution and development
Annemie Denzer from the German Development Bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau and author of their recently launched paper “Innovations in developing and emerging countries” led the 12th DDD on27 May 2013. This report is based on in depth research on the on-going innovation revolution (mobile banking, e-governance, e-health, e-education). Ms Denzer explained that today’s important challenges – such as climate change, population growth, and poverty – call for innovative solutions. To make innovation happen and to best use innovations, several things are needed. First, we need to bridge the digital divide through transfer and adaptation of technologies. Second, we need to enable access to advanced, green technologies and help partners to adapt them to local contexts. Third, we need to activate and promote local innovation potential. Development co-operation can play an important role, for instance by supporting national innovation systems, by creating incentives for pro-poor innovations and by bringing together different actors.
Burkhard Gnaerig, co-founder and Executive Director of the Berlin Civil Society Center (BCCC), an international NGO which helps global civil society organisations improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their work, took a slightly different approach to the innovation revolution. He stressed that the development community has to face disruptive change ahead, resulting for example from technological change – e-banking, e-health, e-education – and from increased competition with private companies in the delivery of development services. All this requires radical rethinking. Mr Gnaerig also pointed to huge challenges in terms of overuse of resources and the approach or even overstepping of planetary boundaries. Unsustainable production and consumption patterns and lifestyles must give way to changes in policies, lifestyles and behaviours that make space for others and lead by example.
Putting green growth at the heart of development
By Jan Corfee-Morlot, Senior Policy Analyst and Environment and Development Team Leader, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate
The rapid pace of development in many developing countries raises the stakes for investments in development, but also begs reflection on the patterns or types of growth that are appropriate for a particular country context. Developing economies are highly dependent on natural resources and at the same time highly vulnerable to resource scarcity and environmental risk. By integrating the value of natural assets into the growth model, green growth policies can deliver a range of developmental and environmental benefits. If policies are designed to respond to the needs of the poorest, green growth also can contribute to poverty reduction and social equity. Green growth does not replace sustainable development, but is a key means to achieving it.
Putting Green Growth at the Heart of Development is a new OECD publication that will be released on 5 June 2013. It explains why green growth is vital to secure a more sustainable future for developing countries and outlines how national and international action can help achieve this. Based on in-depth consultations and engagement processes with a range of developing countries, this book brings to light 74 policies and measures from 37 countries as well as 5 regional initiatives that target green growth. These examples demonstrate that there is growing interest in developing countries in pursuing green growth. It also responds to many of the concerns and questions we often hear about green growth, for instance: How do we manage the costs of implementing green growth? How do we make green growth and trade work together?
I’m sure that choosing a greener pathway for economic growth will generate up-front costs for some developing economies in the short term, whether to build better infrastructure or to put in place a system to limit over-harvesting of forests or fisheries. Balancing these difficult short-term trade-offs with longer-term benefits will be challenging as countries make choices to deliver a more stable and sustainable future. They will need leadership to integrate environmental concerns into development plans and to take bold actions to reform policies. It will be important to secure and publicise some immediate gains, but also to educate and inform people about the risks of non-green development pathways. Lasting institutional reforms will need to build engagement, be step-wise and emphasise the need to learn and adjust to achieve green growth over time. International co-operation can help committed developing countries to make green growth a reality. And the DAC members can support these efforts.
Green growth can offer cost-effective routes for “getting to zero” on absolute poverty while greening national growth patterns. It can help countries to benefit from greater efficiency and productivity in natural resource use, and from innovation and new markets. More important, if we do not green our act today, the development achieved so far could be significantly eroded and future growth potential seriously compromised. Green growth is not an option – it is a must-do for delivering sustainable development and global security for all.
By Megan Kennedy-Chouane, Policy Analyst, Evaluation Network, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate
Evaluation has been a major theme in the DAC's work from the start. The first DAC Chair's report in 1962 said that “Member Governments would be well advised to devote more attention to critical evaluations of the results of their aid operations and exchange experience in this field.” This call for critical analysis of the results and effectiveness of development co-operation remains relevant today.
Building on work by individual members in the 1960s and 1970s, the DAC agreed to establish a DAC Expert Group on Aid Evaluation; the Group held its first meeting in 1983. Today, the DAC’s evaluation experts still focus on the core issues of supporting members (and development partners) in strengthening their evaluation systems and capacities, and distilling knowledge from evaluations to inform the broader development community. The success of the group in fulfilling this mandate can be seen in the widespread influence of its work. The evaluation criteria (relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and impact) laid out by the group in 1991 form the foundation for development evaluations today. Likewise the principles of impartiality, credibility, usefulness and participation have played an invaluable role in shaping the face of evaluation. The DAC Evaluation Quality Standards, introduced in 2010, have established good practice and contributed to harmonizing the conduct of evaluations. These principles, criteria and standards have been broadly adopted by development actors and now serve as the generally recognized benchmarks for development evaluation. More recently, the Evaluation Insights series has helped make lessons from evaluation more readily available to policy makers. New guidance, produced in collaboration with INCAF in 2012, supports the use of evaluation to improve learning and accountability in settings of conflict and fragility.
As aid modalities have shifted, so has the evaluation focus and the work of EVALNET – from individual project evaluations towards assessments of sector or country programmes and specific aid modalities, such as budget support. The methodological emphasis has also moved towards assessing outcomes and impacts, tackling the challenge of understanding the role of external assistance in achieving broader development goals. The network has been at the forefront of supporting country-led and joint evaluations, working with other development partners to increase mutual accountability among development partners. It has collaborated with many partners over the years and is currently working to support new and potential DAC members in developing their evaluation policies and systems.
All of this has been facilitated by the dynamic and inclusive nature of the EVALNET – a dynamism that comes from the engagement and enthusiasm of its members, small and large. I am confident that the EVALNET will continue to meet its challenges in the same collaborative and constructive way it has over the past thirty years, and in so doing contribute to making development co-operation work better for the world’s poor.
Learn more about evaluation and the network’s activities: www.oecd.org/dac/evaluation
NOTE: The DAC will mark the 30 years of EVALNET with a reception during the Network’s 15th Meeting on 18 June. The event will feature a presentation of a short history of the group, a forward-looking discussion and the launch of the forthcoming publication Evaluating development activities: 12 lessons from the OECD-DAC .
China-DAC Study Group Roundtable
For more information on the China-DAC Study Group, see: http://www.oecd.org/dac/cdsg
OECD Forum 2013
For more information, visit the Forum’s website: http://www.oecd.org/forum/5th Joint Meeting on Due Diligence for Responsible Supply Chains: 2-3 May 2013, OECD Conference Centre
This meeting – jointly organised by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the OECD and the United Nations – consisted of two separate, concurrent meetings focused on due diligence in the gold supply chain and in the tin, tantalum and tungsten (3Ts) supply chain. During the gold supply chain meeting, the gold implementation programme, funding and participation were formally launched and key issues such as artisanal and small-scale mining as well as regional outreach were discussed. Participants attending the 3T meeting agreed on implementation activities and action items, including outreach and awareness raising as well as risk mitigation approaches. During the concluding joint meeting, participants received an update on the situation on the ground in the Great Lakes Region, confirmed the composition of the multi-stakeholder steering group, and were provided with an opportunity to contribute to the public consultation of a possible EU initiative on conflict minerals.
For more information and to access the meeting documents, see: http://www.oecd.org/daf/inv/mne/multistakeholder-forum-may-2013.htm
Rural-Urban Dynamics and the Millennium Development Goals
Coverage of the Australia Peer Review 2013 included:
“Why funding predictability will make Australia an aid leader”, Devex, 16 May 2013.
“OECD praises aid program”, PSnews, 14 May 2013.
“Good news: the DAC likes Australia’s aid program”, Development Policy Blog, 10 May 2013.
“Aussie aid program gets good review”, News.co.au, 7 May 2013.
“Good report card for Aust aid program”, Sky News, 7 May 2013.
“Aust foreign aid gets good review”, Business Spectator, 7 May 2013.
Coverage on the New Deal following the Third global meeting of the International Dialogue included:
“Un New Deal pour les États fragiles”, Les Echos, 17 May 2013.
“Time for a ‘New Deal’: The G7+ as an emerging voice for fragile states”, Stimson, 2 May 2013.
“MDGs and fragile states: A red herring?”, Ottawa Citizen, 2 May 2013.
“Finding a ‘New Deal’ in the post-2015 agenda”, by Brenda Killen (Head of the Global Partnerships and Policy Division, OECD-DCD) and Donatta Garasi (Co-ordinator of the International Dialogue), Open Security, 24 April 2013.
“‘New Deal’ has potential to provide new solutions for fragile African states”, Council on Foreign Relations Blog: Africa in Transition, 23 April 2013.
“A New Deal for peace and stability in fragile states: Interview with the International Dialogue’s Co-Chair, Minister Christian Friis Bach”, Institute of Development Studies, 22 April 2013 [Audio].
“The New Deal needs a bolder endorsement of South-South cooperation”, Africa Interpreted, 22 April 2013.
“The New Deal: How to build more peaceful states”, FairPlanet, 19 April 2013.
Other blogs, videos and articles:
"Green Growth at the Heart of Development", International Institute for Sustainable Development, 3 June 2013
“The need to increase Japan’s ODA spending on health”, Nippon, 30 May 2013.
“South Africa Tourism Minister to lead new United Nations World Tourism Organisation initiative on tourism and development”, South African Government Press Release, 29 May 2013.
“Im Klub der Entwicklungshelfer”, Prager Zeitung, 22 May 2013.
“Czechs unaware their country joined prestigious donors club”, EurActiv, 16 May 2013.
"What's next for the MDGs?", OECD Insights, 8 May 2013.
"Yes, it is time to revisit the concept of Official Development Assistance", OECD Insights, 4 May 2013.
"Value of aid overstated by billions of dollars as donors reap interest on loans", The Guardian, 30 April 2013.
"Declining donor aid", The Independent, 28 April 2013.
DAC peer review of Australia 2013: Australia delivered USD 5.44 billion in official development assistance (ODA) last year, or 0.36% of its annual budget. It is the eighth most generous country in the DAC. Australia’s goal is to reach 0.5% of GNI by 2017 – a goal the DAC encourages it to follow through on, given its good track record and relatively strong economy. Erik Solheim, Chair of the DAC, noted that “Australia’s aid system is set up to deliver its growing aid programme effectively and efficiently after impressive reform since 2010.” Solheim also welcomed Australia’s innovative work to reduce exposure to disasters in the Philippines. “We would like to see this good practice expanded to all partner countries, and invite Australia to share its good practices with other donors.”
Unfinished business – Women and girls front and centre beyond 2015: Gender equality and women’s rights are essential to achieving the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This paper identifies five key areas in which increased investments would have catalytic effects on the lives of women and girls, and accelerate development progress beyond 2015.
Four new publications will be presented at the World Trade Organization’s Fourth Global Review of Aid for Trade (9-10 July, Switzerland):
Aid for trade at a glance 2013: Connecting to value chains (forthcoming): The global expansion of value chains is offering new opportunities for many developing countries. Value chains are no longer just North-South in character, but also involve increasingly complex regional and south-south trade interactions – and they are extending beyond goods into services too. The report focuses on how developing countries and LDCs are participating in regional and global value chains and the barriers they face.
Aid for trade in action (forthcoming): The almost 300 case stories presented in this publication show clear results of how aid-for-trade programmes are helping developing countries to build human, institutional and infrastructure capacity to integrate into regional and global markets and to make good use of trade opportunities. Together, these stories are a rich and varied source of information on the results of aid for trade activities – an indication of the progress achieved by the Aid-for-Trade Initiative.
Aid for trade and development results: A management framework (forthcoming) offers an alternative between the traditional evaluation approach and the current flavour of impact assessment. It provides a particularly appropriate framework for using aid to promote trade as an engine of growth and poverty reduction.
Succeeding with trade reforms: The role of aid for trade (forthcoming) highlights the potential of aid for trade to boost economic growth and reduce poverty, while discussing the various reasons why it may not be realised. In so doing, this book draws lessons for the design of aid-for-trade projects and programmes and for increasing their effectiveness.