Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD-DAC)

DACnews November 2013



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Talking about post-2015

This issue of DACnews brings together discussions of several key themes for the post-2015 framework: How will we end poverty, once and for all? What is the contribution of the OECD and of development co-operation? What are the latest trends in climate-related aid? What is the role of gender in building stronger states? Our feature article focuses on the First High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation – scheduled to take place in Mexico in the spring of 2014 – and how it will tackle many of these questions. 

Ending poverty: The Development Co-operation Report 2013

‌The 2013 OECD Development Co-operation Report 2013: Ending Poverty explores what needs to be done to achieve rapid and sustainable progress in the global fight to end poverty. A panel of experts will debate the key issues from the report in an event hosted by the OECD and Intelligence Squared on 5 December in London. For more information, visit the Intelligence Squared event page. In the meanwhile, here is a selection of key facts from the report:

Global challenges:

  • The cost of ending extreme poverty is approximately 0.2% of global GDP, or USD 150 billion.
  • Those who have low incomes may not be poor in other ways and vice versa: mismatches of 40% to 80% are common.
  • With China left aside, only 5% of people have ceased to live in extreme poverty from 1990 to 2010.
  • The number of people living on less than USD 1.25 per day in Africa increased from 204.9 million in 1981 to 386 million in 2008.
  • Half the world’s poor will live in fragile low- and middle-income countries by 2015, and a much higher share by 2030.
  • By 2020, USD 100 billion a year must be found from public and private sources to tackle climate change.

Local solutions:

  • In China from 1978 to 2008, agriculture’s contribution to poverty reduction was around four times that of all manufacturing services.
  • In Africa alone, the number of cash transfer programmes increased from 25 in 9 countries to 245 in 41 countries between 2000 and 2009.
  • Recent changes to Brazil’s Bolsa Família programme have enabled 22 million people to escape from extreme poverty. Since Costa Rica’s payment for environmental services scheme was put in place, forest cover has increased from 21% to 50% of land area.
  • Viet Nam brought down its poverty rate over twenty years – from 60% in 1990 to 20.7% in 2010 – by involving people, helping farmers, creating jobs for the poor, and paying attention to gender and ethnicity.
  • The percentage of developing countries that have produced data to analyse MDG progress increased from 2% in 2003 to 83% in 2012.

Find out more about Ending poverty at:



An update on the UNGA event on the MDGs and post-2015 goals

With less than two years until the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), preparations for the post-2015 goals framework are in full swing. At the end of September, the international community gathered at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York to discuss the new agenda, with a series of discussions being held at the President of the General Assembly’s Special Event on the MDGs and post-2015 goals. These are notes from the OECD delegation to the UNGA. 

The process leading to the MDGs was supported in 1996 by the OECD report Shaping the 21st Century: The Contribution of Development Co-operation. The OECD is contributing to thinking around the post-2015 agenda. Over the past year, OECD has published a series of papers in its OECD and Post-2015 Reflections, which cover eleven elements through which the organisation aims to contribute expertise and experience to the post-2015 debate.

At the UNGA, OECD co-hosted three side events:

  1. Shaping coherent and collective action in a post-2015 world: How policy coherence for development can help improve global food security
  2. Engineering a data revolution
  3. How philanthropies and their civil society partners can contribute to the future development agenda

Through these events, there was strong support and recognition for the broader approach to policy coherence for development that the OECD is
‌developing as part of its Strategy on Development. The Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) also was confirmed as a major player in shaping the development data revolution. OECD’s Global Network of Foundations Working for Development (netFWD) was asked to help develop a set of broad principles for philanthropic engagement with development stakeholders, to promote development effectiveness and support the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation. Finally, during the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN) side event, a broad range of governments and international organisations expressed their supported for using a multidimensional poverty index (MPI) as a headline indicator for the post-2015 framework.

Nigeria and OECD also organised a high-level event on domestic resource mobilisation, under the auspices of the Global Partnership. OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría participated as a panellist alongside Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and a group of ministers and experts. This event confirmed strong political support for the First High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership, set to take place in Mexico from 15 to 16 April 2014.

The outcome document of the UNGA special event calls for “a strong post-2015 development agenda, which will build on the foundations laid by the MDGs, complete the unfinished business and respond to new challenges.” Steps were also taken to converge the alignment of the twin-track post-MDG and Rio+20 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) processes, “recognising the intrinsic inter-linkage between poverty eradication and promotion of sustainable development.”


Climate-related aid trends

Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meet in Warsaw this month to negotiate towards a global climate agreement, expected to be ratified in 2015.

To contribute to these discussions, the DAC Network on Environment and Development Co-operation (ENVIRONET) and the DAC Working Party on Development Finance Statistics (WP-STAT) have published three brochures on climate-related aid statistics: “Aid to climate change adaption”, “Aid to climate change mitigation” and “Climate-related aid”; they provide detail on current allocation, commitment and delivery modalities of climate-related aid. They draw on the "Rio markers", used by the DAC to monitor development co-operation since 1998, which target the objectives of the Rio Convention. This data enables the analysis of questions such as:

  • How much aid is climate-related and through which channels does it flow?
  • Is adaptation-related aid targeting the countries most vulnerable to climate change?
  • Is mitigation-related aid targeting the most important emitting sectors?

Key findings:

  • Aid to climate change mitigation and adaptation has steadily increased over the past decade.
  • Bilateral climate-change related commitments from DAC members reached USD 21.2 billlion per year in 2010-11.
  • This represents up to 16% of total official development assistance (ODA).

Going forward, climate finance needs to be scaled-up to an even greater extent in order to meet the developed countries’ goal of mobilising – from a range of public and private sources – USD 100 billion in climate finance per year from now to 2020. Achieving an efficient and effective allocation of finance is critical given the scale of the challenge of tackling climate change.

For the latest climate-related aid statistics and analysis, see: OECD-DAC statistics on climate-related aid.

The DAC welcomes the Slovak Republic
and Poland

‌The Slovak Republic joined the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) on 17 September 2013 and Poland joined on 22 October 2013. In total, four OECD countries have joined the DAC in 2013, bringing its membership to 28.

The Slovak Republic
and Poland both have a decade of efforts dedicated to building up effective development co-operation systems. They have each progressively set up institutional frameworks to ensure that their human and organisational capacities enable them to programme, implement, monitor and evaluate grants an‌d other concessional flows to developing countries. Both countries have also substantially increased their volumes of official development assistance (ODA). The Slovak Republic’s ODA increased from USD 28 million in 2004 to USD 80 million in 2012. ODA from Poland rose over the same period from USD 118 million to USD 438 million. Although their ratios of ODA as a share of gross national income (0.09% for both countries in 2012) are below the 2012 DAC average of 0.43%, both countries intend to fulfil, when economic and financial conditions permit, the financial commitments agreed by European Union members to reach 0.33 % of GNI as ODA.

Close to three‑quarters of Slovak and Polish ODA are channelled through international institutions, mainly the European Union; a sizable part of their direct, bilateral co‑operation is directed to neighbouring countries and regions. The Slovak Republic and Poland are sharing their experience of successful economic transformation with their partners, while also promoting democracy, good governance and human rights.

Referring to the DAC, Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz – Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Poland – said, “No other institution has exerted such an influence on the way assistance has been provided to developing countries.” Peter Burian – State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Slovak Republic – is convinced that his country’s accession to the Committee “will further reinforce the Slovak Republic’s progress in its development work.”

For more information, see the DAC Global Relations website:


DAC Development Debates

Presentation of the Development Initiative’s Investments to End Poverty Report
Following the first meeting of the OECD-DAC Expert Reference Group on External Financing for Development, this DAC Development Debate (DDD) focused on the Development Initiatives’ recently launched Investments to End Poverty Report. The report maps domestic and international resource flows to developing countries based on OECD-DAC data.

While non-ODA resources for development are becoming increasingly important, ODA continues to play a critical role, especially for least-developed countries (LDCs) and fragile states. Judith Randell and Tony German, co-founders and Directors of Development Initiatives, stressed that to expedite the end of poverty, development assistance should be better targeted, and should also be complemented by other resources. Abdalla Hamdok (Deputy Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa) and Tony Pipa (Deputy Assistant to the Administrator for Policy, Planning and Learning, USAID) raised some important points from the report: the need to combat the huge resource outflows from developing countries; the need to direct development assistance to productive sectors; the possibility of using ODA to leverage other financial flows (i.e. unlock private capital); and the need to improve in-country data collection and statistical capacities.  “Statistics are too important to be left to statisticians,” concluded participants; rather, they should be used to empower people and policies. The importance of PARIS21 as a platform for supporting statistical capacity in developing countries was underlined.

Development co-operation confronts politics
At the 15th DAC Development Debate, Thomas Carothers (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) and Diane de Gramont (Oxford University) presented the research behind their joint publication,  “Development Aid Confronts Politics: The Almost Revolution”. Carothers and de Gramont stated that today, providers of development co-operation have increasingly political goals and want their projects to lead to political change. Inclusion, participation, accountability, and transparency have become the bywords of politically focused development co-operation.

In the eyes of the two speakers, this represents a dramatic shift from past approaches to development. Carothers and de Gramont consider this “revolution” to be incomplete, however, for the following reasons: the development community is still sceptical about governance as a development priority; development agencies lack the resources and internal organisation required to address governance adequately; and the international context still emphasises sovereignty. Participants argued that even though the political aspects of development co-operation are complex, inherent power relations must be addressed.


Point of View:
Google, gender and statebuilding

By Diana Koester, Associate Member, Governance for Development and Peace (G4DP) Team, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate

‌Have you recently tried Googling “women should,” “women can’t” or “women shouldn’t”? A powerful UN Women advertisement highlights Google’s suggestions for completing these phrases based on the most popular searches, which include: “women shouldn’t vote”, “women shouldn’t work” and “women should stay at home”. These are stark reminders that our gender strongly shapes how we are expected to relate to the state – and that these expectations tend to result in women’s exclusion.

For donors aiming to support state-society relations in fragile situations, this has important implications: to be successful, donors need to understand gender roles and seize opportunities to promote gender equality. In short, smart support to statebuilding integrates a gender perspective.

Gender-sensitive statebuilding in fragile situations is smart, first, because it can significantly advance gender equality. Transitional environments, where institutions and ideas tend to be in flux, can provide opportunities to “build back better” through measures such as supporting women’s participation in constitution-making processes.  Interesting to note in this context: about one-third of the countries with 30% or more women in parliament have recently experienced conflict, fragility or transitions to democracy.  

Gender-sensitive statebuilding is also smart because it can help strengthen peace and development. Some calculations suggest that increases in women’s labour market participation have contributed more to global growth over the past decades than the economic growth of China and India combined – or even the advent of the Internet. We also know that women invest more in family well-being than men – even when they earn significantly less. You may therefore not be surprised to hear what emerging research shows: women’s inclusion can significantly strengthen economic foundations – and other pillars of peace – in fragile states.

Nonetheless, statebuilding theory and practice have tended to overlook these links. The good news is that donors are increasingly aware of the need to address this blind spot. The International Network on Conflict and Fragility (INCAF) publication Gender and Statebuilding in Fragile and Conflict-affected States aims to help them understand how this can and should be done. It’s time to translate its recommendations into action. As the Google searches confirm: we still have a long way to go. 


FEATURE ARTICLE: Mexico welcomes the First High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation

by Juan Manuel Valle Pereña, Executive Director, Mexican Agency for Development Cooperation (AMEXCID)

Mr Valle Pereña has held various positions in the Mexican government, including Executive Director of Programs and Products in Financiera Rural; Head of Planning and Special Projects in the Revenues Department of the Finance Ministry; and Head of the Department for Banking, Securities and Savings in that same Ministry. He obtained a Masters in Public Policy and Economics from Princeton University and a BA in Economics from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM).

Mexico will host the First High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation from 15-16 April 2014.

This meeting takes place at a major crossroads. With the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) around the corner, it is Mexico’s belief that a more effective and inclusive international development co-operation architecture will be a fundamental pillar of the post-2015 development agenda.

In the spirit of the Monterrey Consensus, the development effectiveness agenda seeks to maximise the impact on the ground of diverse co-operation modalities and traditions, identifying synergies that can be generated among all the actors involved. It is essential that we build on our comparative advantages to achieve an enabling international environment for development – one that also reflects and responds to new global realities, in particular the increasing importance of multiple and emerging actors.

In this sense, we aspire to frame the Global Partnership’s First High-Level Meeting within the larger process being undertaken to define the development framework that will replace the MDGs. We aim to provide a valuable contribution to ensure the establishment of a holistic, inclusive and action-oriented post-2015 development agenda, in particular with relation to MDG 8: building a truly Global Partnership for development. When the new goals that will guide international efforts are decided, development effectiveness will be a fundamental part of how to achieve them.

Our agenda – while it grows out of the Paris Declaration – has come a long way since this declaration was adopted in 2005; the Declaration centred on improving aid effectiveness, based on five overarching principles. Although there is still a lot of work to do to fully implement these principles and commitments, which were sharpened and streamlined in Accra and Busan, they have proven relevant in making aid more effective. In Busan, however, we took a step further, transforming aid effectiveness into development effectiveness: in other words, a more holistic agenda involving more actors and stakeholders. An essential goal of the meeting in Mexico will be to further evaluate the relevance of the Busan commitments, to track their implementation and to foster political momentum towards their realisation.

As hosts, Mexico’s priority will be to ensure that the process of preparing the meeting is totally inclusive, taking into account the views and legitimate concerns of all actors.

Discussion during the meeting will be guided by two overarching themes: the contribution of the effectiveness process to the post-2015 development agenda; and inclusive development, in terms both of participation by a wide range of actors – including a strong involvement of civil society and the private sector – and of the need to promote the inclusion perspective in the formulation of all development policy, to ensure that no one is left behind.

The agenda for the meeting itself comprises five topics:

  1. revision of progress since Busan
  2. domestic resource mobilisation
  3. co-operation with the private sector
  4. South-South co-operation and knowledge sharing
  5. co-operation with middle-income countries (MICs)

As part of the division of labour within the Global Partnership Steering Committee, Mexico is leading in two of these topics:

Co-operation with middle-income countries. The current country classification system, which has a direct impact upon a country’s eligibility to receive co-operation, uses GNP per capita as its only indicator. Mexico believes that this does not appropriately address the reality of the development challenges still faced by many MICs – challenges that are closely linked to inequality both among and within countries. It is important to emphasise the multiplier effect that co-operation with MICs can have. On the one hand, it can have a direct impact on the achievement of the MDGs (about 70% of the world’s poor are concentrated in MICs). On the other, it can reinforce the institutional and technical capacities of the high middle-income countries, incentivising them to collaborate with countries of a relatively lower development level through South-South and triangular co-operation.

It should be clear that this discussion is not intended to increase co-operation flows to MICs at the expense of the low-income or least-developed countries; these last should continue to be the international community’s priority. The focus is, rather, on identifying the most effective way of integrating the needs of MICs within the international development architecture, making full use of potential synergies and available capacities in order to advance towards the achievement of truly global, inclusive and sustainable development.

South-South and triangular co-operation. This meeting of the Global Partnership offers an ideal opportunity to reflect on the role of South-South and triangular modalities within the larger international development co-operation architecture. Engaging in concrete and pragmatic actions to promote the convergence of diverse co-operation efforts and traditions can help establish effective and measurable lines of action, maximising the impact of each actor’s capacities and available resources.

I would like to seize this opportunity to extend an open invitation to the development community not only to participate in the meeting itself, but also to get involved on the road towards it. We would like to reaffirm our commitment to making this process fully open and inclusive, and we welcome your feedback and comments in all regards.



Forum on responsible mineral supply chains

The 6th Group of Experts Forum of the International Conference of the Great Lakes (ICGLR), the OECD and the UN Group of Experts on Responsible Supply Chains will hold a forum in Kigali, Rwanda from 13-15 November 2013 to:

  • understand the successes, challenges and opportunities for implementation of responsible mineral sourcing in the Great Lakes region
  • resolve previously discussed implementation challenges
  • promote engagement in the region, as well as pilot initiatives (for example, existing or planned closed pipe projects for gold as well as tin, tantalum and tungsten – the “3Ts”)
  • strengthen on-the-ground due diligence in the Great Lakes, promoting regional certification programmes and fostering increased co-ordination and mutual support
  • strategise on incentives for responsible mining and trade in areas of conflict and high-risk.

For more information on the event and to read a draft meeting agenda, visit the event website.


PARIS21 helps engineer a data revolution

Despite progress toward the MDGs, a development data revolution is needed to “ensure no one is left behind”; this means data supply and use that supports targeting the neediest of people. The “Engineering a Data Revolution” side event at the UN General Assembly – organised by the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) and the Philippines – confirmed this need. Participants agreed that realising a data revolution will depend on setting the right incentives to support co-ordination in and among countries at the regional and international levels. PARIS21 is committed to remaining at the forefront of these efforts. For more information on the PARIS21-Philippines UNGA side event, watch this video or read this note.


Global Partnership meets to discuss way forward

The fourth meeting of the Global Partnership Steering Committee (10-11 October in Washington D.C.) took important decisions for making development co-operation more effective. It identified concrete deliverables that need to be realised before the First Global Partnership High-Level Meeting (15-16 April in Mexico); the contribution of the Global Partnership to the post-2015 development agenda; and the political vision for the High-Level Meeting. Video recordings of the Steering Committee Meeting and other important Global Partnership events are available here.


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Go directly to:

> Ending poverty: The Development Co-operation Report 2013

> An update on the UNGA event on the MDGs and post-2015 goals

Climate-related aid trends

The DAC welcomes the Slovak Republic and Poland

> DAC Development Debates

> Point of View

> Feature Article

Also in this issue:

> News in brief

> Peer reviews

> Publications

For recent news and articles about the DAC, visit our scoopit page.


Development Co-operation Peer Review: Sweden 2013: Sweden delivered USD 5.24 billion in official development assistance (ODA) last year, or 0.99% of its gross national income (GNI). This makes it the second most generous member of the DAC in terms of ODA measured on a GNI basis. The DAC commends Sweden for budgeting to reach its 1% ODA/GNI target each year since its last peer review and recognises that this has been done in a climate of global financial crisis. “Sweden has put development at the heart of its foreign policy agenda, showing a strong willingness to take the lead in addressing global challenges,” said OECD-DAC Chair Erik Solheim. 


Gender and Statebuilding in Fragile and Conflict-affected States: This publication makes the case for gender-sensitive statebuilding. It recognises the inherent value of gender equality as well as its contribution to better development outcomes and to reaching the peacebuilding and statebuilding goals. A summary of the key messages is available on the OECD’s Scribd account.

Keeping the multiple dimensions of poverty at the heart of development”: The global economic and poverty landscape has changed, and with it our understanding of what development and poverty are all about. This and other OECD and Post-2015 Reflections papers are available at:

Gearing up for the post-2015 development financing strategy: Modernising the Development Assistance Committee’s statistical system”: The post-2015 framework will require a financing strategy that identifies options for matching needs, timeframes and access/availability sources of finance with diverse developing country realities. This and other Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD) work on development finance are available at:

Policy Framework for Investment in Agriculture: The Policy Framework for Investment in Agriculture (PFIA) aims to support host countries in evaluating and designing policies to mobilise private investment in agriculture, maximising its positive contribution to economic growth and sustainable development.



 USD 126.6 billion, down by -4.0% in real terms and 0.29% of DAC members’ combined GNI.

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