Green growth represents a necessity and an opportunity for advancing Africa’s development in a manner that is not only sustainable, but also more equitable than today’s approaches. Green growth can support inclusive economic growth that improves the environment as well as the health and wealth of the population. Based on country priorities and experiences, policymakers have identified key actions to promote green growth:
These conclusions emerged from a joint OECD/AFDB Workshop – “Green Growth in Africa: Concepts, Tools and Strategies for Building Greener Economies and a Sustainable Future” – held in Lusaka, Zambia 15-18 January. Organised in partnership with the Government of Zambia and the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the workshop brought together numerous African policymakers to examine the green growth opportunities and challenges for the continent.
From data poverty to a data deluge? Statistical systems and evidence-based policy making in a post-2015 development framework (21 January 2013)
PARIS21 and the OECD/DCD co-hosted a DDD to consider these opportunities, as well as potential risks. Among the panel members – Mohamed Taamouti (Moroccan Statistical Office), Emmanuel Letouzé (Development Economist), Paul Schreyer (OECD Statistics Directorate), Isabelle Wittoek (Permanent Delegation of Belgium to the OECD) and Stephan Klasen (Göttingen University) – there was consensus that big data should complement official statistics, rather than provide an alternative. Despite the numerous problems that official data collection faces in developing countries, it offers more accurate, reliable and comparable information than big data, complying with international statistical standards. Participants stressed the need to make use of emerging technologies to strengthen official data. They also highlighted the role national statistical offices should play in quality control of data flows.
SDGs and MDGs: How to combine in a post-2015 goals framework? (22 November 2012)
Through Brice Lalonde’s (Executive Co-ordinator of Rio+20) presentation it was clear that reaching a global agreement on SDGs may prove to be difficult. Environmental issues are especially difficult to tackle because of the resulting trade-offs. Mr. Lalonde stressed, however, the need to agree on sustainable production and consumption objectives, and to remain ambitious. Guido Schmidt-Traub (United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network [UNSDSN]) called for a simple, forward looking, inclusive, outcome-focused and politically feasible framework. This framework should bring together the MDG and SDG communities.
Global public goods: A concept for framing post-2015 goals? (31 October 2012)
The PARIS21 Secretariat recently published results from the 2012 round of its Partner Report on Support to Statistics (PRESS). In its fifth edition, the PRESS exercise reveals positive findings but also some disquieting trends. Is statistical support increasing or decreasing? Is it fairly distributed across countries/ regions? Are donors truly committed to statistical development?
Increasing aid to statistics, but overall level remains low
Between 2008 and 2011, the regional distribution of commitments to statistics showed a steady shift away from the largest recipient, Africa, with Asia and the Pacific being the primary beneficiary of this change. The 2012 round, however, saw a slight trend of increase toward the African continent. Africa’s 2012 share rose from 41% to 46%, equivalent to USD 1.056 billion in commitments.
Challenges in aid delivery
The plight of small-island developing states (SIDS) is a source of additional concern. SIDS face many unique development challenges, and despite this are often “aid orphans”. In fact, no SIDS figure among the top 15 recipients of aid targeted to support the development of national statistical systems. (The Dominican Republic – 24th on the list – received the most among SIDS, followed by Haiti at 38th.)
Improvements in the alignment of development programmes with country priorities are also needed. Only 40% of projects/ programmes were confirmed as being aligned with national strategies for the development of statistics (NSDS), down from 52% in the 2011 PRESS Round, despite the fact that 81% of low and lower-middle income countries have an NSDS process already in place.
OECD-DAC peer reviews of development co-operation celebrated their 50th Anniversary as part of the DAC High Level Meeting 2012. Based on the principles of peer pressure and peer learning, these peer reviews represent the only international process to examine regularly key bilateral development co-operation systems and offer constructive commentary for their reform. In doing so, peer reviews constitute a yardstick against which the DAC can measure the influence – or lack of it – of its good practice principles on donor behaviour, both in the field and at headquarters. “As we have observed over 50 years now,” stated former DAC Chair J. Brian Atwood (2011-12), “constructive self-criticism and peer learning have worked to improve our programmes.”
Since their initiation, peer reviews have produced evidence for change. The very first review in 1962, for example, called on members to reverse the trend towards tied aid. In 1981, the DAC conducted a review of aid by the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) socialist countries – one of its first major outreach exercises. In 1990, field visits to a development programme of each country under review were introduced; since then 156 field missions have been made to 58 countries to “ground truth” of what has been learnt about each donor. Tanzania has had the most missions (13), followed by Mozambique and Vietnam (8 times each).
Since 2002, 18 observers – from institutions and donors outside the DAC – have participated in peer reviews to learn more about how DAC donors function. Five “special reviews” (of non-DAC countries) have been conducted since 2008, the first being the review of the Czech Republic. Newer donors can also request special reviews to help improve their systems and learn from the experience of others. In 2008, mid-term reviews were introduced to monitor the implementation of peer-review recommendations and look at the impact of change.
There have been 109 full peer reviews of individual DAC members since 1990. 2012 marked the start of the 12 lessons series, highlighting lessons from peer reviews in an easy to use format. Titles published to date include: Towards better humanitarian donorship, Supporting partners to develop their capacity, and Partnering with civil society.
Over the past two years, 88% of DAC peer review recommendations have been either partially or fully implemented. Korea, the newest DAC member, launched its first peer review on 30 January 2013. Korea’s success in transforming itself from an aid recipient (as recently as 1995) to an important donor in a short period of time will provide important lessons for other DAC donors.
To view the film and other highlights from the 50th Anniversary celebration, please click here.
By William Hynes, Policy Analyst in the Statistics and Development Finance Division of the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate
The OECD Policy Dialogue on Aid for Trade (16-17 February 2013) highlighted the transformative role that aid for trade can play in helping developing countries adapt to and take advantage of changing production patterns. OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría, World Trade Organisation Director General Pascal Lamy, and EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht opened the dialogue by noting the achievements of aid for trade; they committed to continue their efforts to secure more and better aid for trade while ensuring that aid for trade remains relevant in a changing trade and development environment.
The emergence of global value chains (GVCs) as a dominant feature in world trade presents new opportunities, but only for those developing countries that can reduce the “thickness” of their borders. There are numerous examples of how aid for trade is helping to reduce queues at border posts, harmonise standards and simplify paperwork, thus lowering the costs of trade; such investments have a high rate of return.
By reducing the costs of importing as well as exporting, and by deepening connectivity with the global market, developing countries can tap into regional and global value chains to accelerate their trade and income growth. The potential of integrating into these value chains is evident in the experiences of a number of developing countries. Costa Rica, for example, has moved from a position as a primary exporter of coffee and bananas to agro-processing, attracting investment for high-tech industry.
Today, value chains offer opportunities to take small steps in production processes that entail low levels of initial investment. In this way, developing countries can enter international markets without having to produce sophisticated final products. Specialisation in specific tasks – such as automobile parts assembly in countries as diverse as Cambodia and Samoa – has allowed them to capture part of the value chain in ways which would not have been possible just a decade ago.
The emergence of GVCs, however, also poses new risks. Countries that are poor and distant, and that compound their isolation through policy barriers to integration, may well be left behind. Aid for trade is indispensible to enable these countries to integrate into the global marketplace and connect to value chains.
I agree with Simon Maxwell of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), who said that the Policy Dialogue made “an incontrovertible case for aid for trade.” Nevertheless, challenges remain. The likelihood of declining aid volumes, increased tying of aid projects and the fact that outside the “aid-for-trade bubble”, aid for trade must still be justified against other priorities for development co-operation are just a few of these. Despite successes, there is no room for complacency.
SAVE THE DATE
2013 Global Forum on Development
The 2013 Global Forum on Development (GFD,4-5 April 2013, OECD Conference Centre, Paris) will promote better understanding of the shifting dynamics of poverty, and of what these will mean for poverty reduction policies in the post-2015 world. The GFD is the first in a series of three forums over the next three years focusing on “Preparing for the Post-2015 World”. These events provide a venue for high-level policy makers, academia, civil society and the private sector to exchange perspectives and explore challenges, opportunities and lessons learned. The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC), Development Centre, Statistics Directorate and Paris 21 are hosting the 2012 GFD in co-operation with the European Report on Development, Jeune Afrique and the Africa Report. For more information (including registration), visit
Policy dialogue on triangular co-operation
The OECD Development Co-operation Directorate and the Camões Institute for Cooperation and Language will hold a Policy Dialogue on Triangular Cooperation in Lisbon, 16-17 May 2013. The conference will provide an opportunity to build consensus on the main characteristics of triangular co-operation, share lessons on good practice and identify actions to support and promote more and better triangular co-operation. This conference will also feature the launch of the OECD report on triangular co-operation (forthcoming). The conclusions of this Policy Dialogue will 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. For further information about DAC Global Relations, see www.oecd.org/dac/dacglobalrelations, and for more about Camões Institute for Cooperation and Language, see: www.instituto-camoes.pt.
Third Global Meeting of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding
The third global meeting of the International Dialogue will take place on 19 April 2013 in Washington D.C., USA. Covering the theme “The New Deal: Achieving better results in fragile states and shaping the post-2015 global agenda”, it will focus on the successes achieved at the country level through the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States. Participants will also discuss concrete action to inform the post-2015 development agenda and global discussions on peace and security.
Detailed final 2011 aid figures released by the OECD-DAC
Final aid figures for 2011 were released on 20 December 2012. These figures add significant detail to the preliminary official development assistance (ODA) statistics released yearly in April. The final figures show that in 2011, net ODA was USD 134 billion, representing 0.31% of donors’ combined gross national income. OECD’s Aid Statistics data are unique in their richness, comprehensiveness and scope of coverage. They cover aid- and development-related official and private flows from DAC members, multilateral agencies, regional development banks, a large number of non-DAC countries and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The OECD estimates that it captures 95% of global ODA spending. Access the 2011 aid figures.
Ben Dickinson appointed Head of the OECD’s Tax and Development Programme
Mr. Dickinson took up his duties on 1 January 2013. As Head of Programme, Mr. Dickinson will work with the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration and the Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD) to deliver the OECD’s objectives for supporting developing countries to mobilise domestic resources, a key pillar of the OECD’s Strategy on Development.
Mr. Dickinson joined the OECD in 2005 as Head of the Governance and Fragile States Unit in the DCD, responsible for the Development Assistance Committee’s work on economic governance, conflict and security matters. In this capacity Mr. Dickinson was the architect of several of the Organisation’s high profile initiatives including the Partnership for Democratic Governance and the International Network for Conflict and Fragility. In 2009, Mr. Dickinson began work on establishing the OECD’s horizontal work on taxation and development and illicit financial flows, working with the Committee on Fiscal Affairs and the DAC. Mr. Dickinson, a UK national, holds a Master’s in Development Studies from the University of Manchester.
THE DAC IN RECENT BLOGS AND ARTICLES
Coverage of the first Korea Peer Review included:
“Korea should increase untied aid”, Korea Economic Daily, 30 January 2013 (Only available in Korean).
“Korea’s Official Development Assistance tripled over 5 years”, Daily An, 30 January 2013 (Only available in Korean).
“Korea should manage integrated development assistance”, E Joongang News, 30 January 2013 (Only available in Korean).
“High loan component representing almost 40% of Korea’s total aid”, Kyunghyang Shinmun, 29 January 2013 (Only available in Korean).
“Recipient to donor, Korea’s aid tripled over 5 years”, Money Today, 29 January 2013 (Only available in Korean).
“Korea: a growing influence in the field of development co-operation”, 4-traders, 29 January 2013.
“Korea’s growing international influence in development co-operation”, Yonhapnews, 29 January 2013 (Only available in Korean).
“Korea should integrate development assistance”, Yonhapnews, 29 January 2013 (Only available in Korean).
Coverage of the Aid for Trade Policy Dialogue 2013 included:
"Global value chains and social welfare", by Debapriya Bhattacharya (Centre for Policy Dialogue), Overseas Development Institute Podcasts, 17 January 2013.
"Addressing the constraints of Aid for Trade", by Carlos Braga (Professor of International Political Economy, International Institute for Management Development [IMD]), Overseas Development Institute Podcasts, 17 January 2013.
"Reducing 'thickness' of borders in Zambia", by Yvonne Chileshe (Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Zambia), Overseas Development Institute Podcasts, 17 January 2013.
"Aid for Trade in Rwanda", by François Kanimba (Minister of Trade and Industry, Rwanda), Overseas Development Institute Podcasts, 17 January 2013.
"Securing the future of Aid for Trade", by Pascal Lamy (WTO Director General), Overseas Development Institute Podcasts, 17 January 2013.
"Remaining challenges of Aid for Trade", by David Luke (Trade and Human Development Unit, United Nations Development Programme [UNDP]), Overseas Development Institute Podcasts, 17 January 2013.
"Aid for Trade and development outcomes", by Jeremy Lefroy (Member of Parliament for Stafford, United Kingdom), Overseas Development Institute Podcasts, 17 January 2013.
"Why Aid for Trade must not forget informal workers", by Jacqueline Maleko (Minister of Trade and Industry, Tanzania), Overseas Development Institute Podcasts, 17 January 2013.
"Aid for Trade and Trade Mark East Africa", by Frank Matsaert (Chief Executive Officer, Trade Mark East Africa), Overseas Development Institute Podcasts, 17 January 2013.
"Aid for Trade and the Solomon Islands", by Moses Mose (Ambassador of the Soloman Islands), Overseas Development Institute Podcasts, 17 January 2013.
"Aid for Trade: Where next?", by Shree Servansing (Ambassador for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mauritius), Overseas Development Institute Podcasts, 17 January 2013.
"Lamy lauds USD 200 billion mobilized in Aid for Trade funding", WTO News, 16 January 2013 (également disponible en français).
“Aid for Trade: Continued success in a rapidly evolving environment”, by Angel Gurría (OECD Secretary-General), OECD Insights, 15 January 2013; also available at Business Fights Poverty.
"Aid for Trade: Helping developing countries trade their way out of poverty", by Karel De Gucht (EU Trade Commissioner), OECD Insights, 14 January 2013; also available at Business Fights Poverty.
"Aid for Trade needs to shift from policy to greater action", European Centre for Development Policy Management, 11 January 2013.
Other blogs, videos and articles:
“Atelier de restitution de l’audit des marchés publics 2009-2010 : pour plus d’efficacité et d’excellence dans la gestion des ressources publiques”, Niger Diaspora, 12 February 2013.
“Jean-Pascal Labille: ‘User de notre rôle de levier’”, La Libre, 11 February 2013.
“As EU pares budgets, Turkey and Korea step up aid spending”, The Guardian, 7 February 2013.
“Übersickt: Das 0,7-Prozent-Ziel in Europa”, EurActiv.de, 23 January 2013.
Interview of former DAC Chair J. Brian Atwood by Research Media Limited, International Innovation, 16 January 2013.
"Aid should focus on sustainable development", The Guatemala Times, 2 January 2013.
"Is it time to rethink the ODA concept?", Devex's Development Newswire, 6 December 2012.
"Go Long: Six Actions to Structurally Address Organized Violence", by J. Brian Atwood (DAC Chair) and Erwin van Veen (Policy Analyst on Peace and Security), International Peace Institute, 5 December 2012.
An aid recipient less than two decades ago, Korea is now a donor and sharing its experience of how to use development co-operation as a catalyst to promote long-term sustainable growth in other countries. Over the past five years, Korea has trebled its official development assistance (ODA) to USD 1,325 million per year, or 0.12% of its gross national income; the country is committed to further doubling its ODA by 2015. The OECD’s first ever Review of the Development Co-operation Policies and Programmes of Korea says that the government must manage this steep increase carefully to make its aid effective.
DAC peer review of Luxembourg 2012:
Luxembourg allocated 0.97% of its gross national income, or USD 413 million, to official development assistance in 2011. “Luxembourg is the Development Assistance Committee’s third most generous donor as a portion of its economy – after Sweden and Norway – and it has a high quality programme,” said former DAC Chair Brian Atwood (2010-12). “We commend Luxembourg’s commitment to keeping its ODA at 1% of GNI until 2014.” The OECD’s review of Luxembourg’s development policies and programmes notes the country’s strong stand on reducing poverty, humanitarian assistance and its effective work with 9 developing country partners.
Aid in support of gender equality in education and health examines the extent to which DAC members’ aid to education and health addresses gender equality and women’s empowerment objectives. In 2009 and 2010, DAC members committed USD 4.7 billion/year and USD 4.4 billion/year respectively to this objective.
Geographical distribution of financial flows to developing countries: Disbursements, commitments, country indicators is an online database that provides comprehensive data on the volume, origin and types of aid and other resource flows to around 150 developing countries. The data show each country’s intake of official development assistance as well as other official and private funds from members of the DAC, multilateral agencies and other donors. This database is also available on the OECD iLibrary.