OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: The Netherlands 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.
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Read the DAC's main findings and recommendations, available inEnglish 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.
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.