Development Co-operation Directorate

Modernising the international aid system


In 2016, the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) decided to set up a High Level Panel to propose options for a transformation of its decision making on global development assistance issues.


The decision to establish the panel was made at the February 2016 ministerial level meeting of the DAC. The aim was to propose options on how to best arrive at decisions on aid in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals and on how to shape the future of the Committee in an international landscape and development context that has witnessed fundamental change since it was created more than 50 years ago.


This is of course an important process which I, as Chair, will have the opportunity to use as a guide for the future” said Charlotte Petri Gornitzka as she took her responsibilities as Chair of the DAC in the summer of 2016.


 The Panel made proposals and recommendations, testing the status quo and focusing on the following main issues:

  • The DAC’s contribution to global development efforts and its relevance and impact within the international development architecture, reflecting its mandate, traditional role and functions.
  • The evolution of global decision making in the field of development. This involves evaluating the DAC and its work, and enhancing the inclusiveness and representativeness of the committee, in line with the universal and inclusive nature of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The strategic implications for the working methods and structure of the committee, including its subcommittees and networks.


The panel was chaired by Mary Robinson, president of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, and former President of Ireland (1990-1997) as well as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002).


She was joined by 16 panel members with a diverse background who all served in a personal capacity. The panel produced its final report in late January 2017 and presented it to the DAC at its meeting on 2 February 2017. In January 2018, the DAC issued a report on the implementation of the High Level Panel’s recommendations.


See the bios and full list of panel members here.

Please find more information on the Panel here.

Please also find former DAC Chair Erik Solheim’s blog about the panel in Devex here.