How to Maximize Impact on Development


Remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, delivered at the plenary session on “Catalyzing Development: How to Maximize Impact on Development”, Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan

1st December 2011, Busan, Korea


Ladies and gentlemen:

Building more effective public sector institutions is an essential component of aid effectiveness. I am delighted to see so many of you here to forge a New Consensus on how to help countries develop this strategic asset.

We have strong evidence that open markets perform better when they have social, legal and political institutions which ensure that the benefits of progress are broadly shared. Innovation, skills, green growth, all these policies need strong institutions to succeed.

At the OECD, we have learned much about which institutions matter for development and how to make reform happen. We know that there is no ‘one size fits all’ and that there are many different ways to strengthen institutions. However, our work has proved that there are certainly common threads and best practices that can be shared.

Policy communities and networks have a vital role to play in the transmission of these best practices and the strengthening and consolidation of institutions and policies that can deliver public services effectively. This transformational effect of sharing knowledge and identifying best practices is indeed at the core of the OECD. Over 2000 policy practitioners come to the OECD every day to share experiences, define better ways of operating, and identify innovative practices in reforming key public sector institutions. Many developing countries already participate in this work and we want to enhance this collaboration.

I am glad that networks hosted by the OECD, such as the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness, GOVNET, the DAC network on Development Evaluation and the project on Making Reform Happen, carried out with the colleagues of the Korean Development Institute, are helping to shape the “New Consensus” on more effective institutions for development.

This contribution will be enhanced by our new Development Strategy, which will be delivered at our Ministerial Council Meeting next May. This Strategy will pay special attention to the need to better connect and support the strengthening of policy communities across disciplines to embrace a more holistic analysis of public sector institutions for development. It will do so by tapping more in the experience accumulated by our committees and working groups in practically all areas of economic and social public policy, identifying those aspects that can be particularly relevant in a developing context.

For instance, our extensive work on raising public revenues and spending them effectively could be particularly relevant in light of ongoing efforts to foster domestic resource mobilisation in many recipient countries. Equally, the work by our competition committee could help in the definition of the processes, institutions and human resources that can strengthen competition frameworks.

The OECD will continue to support a systematic process of mutual learning on what works. We know there is much to learn from innovative approaches in developing countries. And of course we will continue to work closely with other regional and international organisations along the way.

The moto of the OECD is "better policies for better lifes". After Busan, our development work will be marked to achieve "better institutions, for better policies for better lifes". Let me conclude with this: we are well aware of the big challenges ahead, but we also know that if we work together, taking more and more into consideration the realities of developing countries, we will not only build a new consensus but also a more prosperous and equitable world.

Thank you very much.


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