The OECD DAC has been working closely with partner countries for several years. Now a new phase begins: co-operation with non-DAC donors. The DAC sees this as an increasingly important area for the future. Globalisation has led to a world that is changing faster than ever, including in the world of donorship, and the need to reach out beyond the OECD has progressively grown. There are many non-OECD or non-DAC member countries - notably several Arab countries - who have long-standing aid programmes. Many countries that used to receive aid have made enormous development progress over the last decades, and are now becoming increasingly active as donors.
There’s a lot to be gained in having a sustained dialogue with these donors, not least because their experience offers additional and new insights for the DAC, while in turn they might benefit from the knowledge base of the DAC, which represents more than 40 years of development co-operation experience from its Members.
An active outreach policy also means that non-DAC donors are welcome to use the OECD DAC as the authoritative source on comparable aid statistics, to highlight their own contribution to the international development effort.
As a Committee of Donors it makes sense for the DAC to work with, and understand the preoccupations of a large number of partners, including developing countries, non-DAC donors, international organisations, development professionals and non-government-organisations.
The basic reason for reaching out beyond the DAC ‘borders’ is the same reason for the existence of the DAC itself: to do everything possible to make aid work better, and to be a key forum for development cooperation.
The most important aspect of DAC’s outreach currently takes place through the work on the aid effectiveness agenda – on harmonising donor practice and aligning with developing country poverty reduction strategies for example. DAC is the host, through the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness and Donor Practices, of a major international partnership of donors, partner countries, and international organisations. The objective is simple: to get the best development bangs for tax payers aid bucks.
The DAC hopes that increasing exchanges with its outreach partners will lead to stronger mutual learning and sharing of experience on good practices. Moreover, it is hoped that it will help foster mutual understanding and like-mindedness, particularly in the area of aid effectiveness. This will be essential in making policy-practice more globally owned, and thereby more effective.
The dialogue that the DAC has initiated with new players in the field got off to a very promising start with the Forum on Partnership for More Effective Development Co-operation, organised by the DAC with UNDP collaboration in February 2005. The Forum revealed strong interest on all sides to take the dialogue further, and several areas for concrete follow-up were identified. Further steps this year will include a meeting of the managers of (re)emerging donors to share common challenges and existing good practice.
DACNews from the OECD Development Assistance Committee
Forum on Partnerships for More Effective Development Co-operation, 1-2 February 2005