Development Co-operation Directorate

OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: The Netherlands 2017

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Published on June 28, 2017

The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) conducts periodic reviews of the individual development co-operation efforts of DAC members. The policies and programmes of each DAC member are critically examined approximately once every five years. DAC peer reviews assess the development co-operation performance across government of a given member and examine policy, finance and implementation. They take an integrated, system-wide view of the development co-operation and humanitarian assistance activities and seek input from a wide range of stakeholders – civil society, parliament, private sector and partner countries. This review assesses the performance of the Netherlands, including looking at its integrated aid, trade and investment policy focus, and its approach to partnerships.


Conducting the peer review
Abbreviations and acronyms
The Netherlands' aid at a glance
Context of the Netherlands' peer review
The DAC's main findings and recommendations
Towards a comprehensive Netherlands' development effort
The Netherlands' vision and policies for development co-operation
Allocating the Netherlands' official development assistance
Managing the Netherlands' development co-operation
The Netherlands' development co-operation delivery and partnerships
Results management and accountability of the Netherlands' development co-operation
The Netherlands' humanitarian assistance
Annexes4 chapters available
Progress since the 2011 DAC peer review recommendations
OECD DAC standard suite of tables
Field visit to Bangladesh
Organisational structure
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Read the DAC's main findings and recommendations, available in English and French

The Netherlands is an innovative aid provider but budget pressures a concern, says OECD

The Netherlands has responded to new global goals and challenges by integrating its aid, trade and investment agendas, and is an innovator in using aid flows to mobilise significant additional and responsible resources from the private sector, according to a new OECD report.

The DAC Peer Review of the Netherlands expresses concern, however, over cuts to the country’s aid budget that come on top of a requirement to report all refugee costs and climate finance as official development assistance (ODA). This may divert funds from core development projects. 

Read the press release, available in English and French 

 A good practice excerpt from the peer review: The Dutch Relief Fund

At the end of 2014, the Netherlands set up a relief fund of EUR 570 million to run until the end of 2017. This was additional to the existing Dutch humanitarian aid budget. The fund allowed for multi-year planning and funding, while also allowing greater flexibility to both the Netherlands and the fund’s recipients. Total contributions to NGOs and international organisations from the relief fund (EUR 450 million) cover multiple years and are mostly unearmarked or softly earmarked. The remaining EUR 120 million are available for urgent needs. This allowed the relief fund to make extra contributions to humanitarian aid in the most severe emergencies during 2014-17: Syria, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Iraq, and the Ebola outbreak. As soon as an emergency developed, the government decided which aid agency was best placed to provide humanitarian aid – the UN, the Red Cross, or an NGO – on the basis of their quality, effectiveness and access. At the end of 2016, the Dutch Relief Fund was replenished with EUR 48 million.

Read the peer review's chapter on the Netherlands' humanitarian assistance.

Implementation of peer review recommendations from 2012

Netherlands Donut 2017 English

Read about the implementation of the 2011 recommendations

 About this review

The Netherlands' peer review history

 Related links