OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Austria 2020
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 once every five to six years. DAC peer
reviews assess the performance of a given member, not just that of its development
co-operation agency, and examine both policy and implementation. They take an integrated,
system-wide perspective on the development co-operation activities of the member under
review and its approach to fragility, crisis and humanitarian assistance.
Austria prioritises its multilateral engagement, advocates actively on global challenges
such as security and environmental sustainability, and demonstrates regional leadership.
The Austrian Development Agency is delivering quality development assistance to Austria’s
priority partner countries but is responsible for only a small share of Austria’s
total official development assistance (ODA) effort. In the absence of a single, overarching
policy vision, Austria’s ODA remains fragmented. This review looks at the opportunities
for Austria to achieve a more co-ordinated and coherent whole-of-government approach.
It also emphasises the need for Austria to develop a plan to increase its aid budget
in line with its commitment to allocate 0.7% of its gross national income to ODA.
A good practice excerpt from the peer review: Austria’s support for the global sustainable energy agenda
Austria has sought to position Vienna as a platform for international energy diplomacy, with several Vienna-based organisations working to accelerate electricity access and increase the share of renewable and affordable energy.
The Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres, hosted in Vienna by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and supported by Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC)[i], represents an innovative South-South and triangular multi-stakeholder partnership. Austria’s support since 2010 has led to the establishment of seven regional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (REEE) Centres covering West Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific Region, Central America and the Himalayas. In addition to providing financial support in the form of risk capital, and seconding experts, high-level political engagement by Austria has helped to bring in the support of other donors.
The centres aim to create an enabling environment for renewable energy and energy efficiency, with a focus on de-risking and scaling up clean and safe energy business models to create integrated and inclusive regional markets for sustainable energy. The focus on working in partnership with participating states as well as other regional actors – such as utility organisations, regulatory authorities, and financial institutions – helps to generate long-term national and regional ownership.
[i] Austria uses the term Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) to refer to the bilateral development co‑operation for which the MFA and ADA are responsible in priority countries, territories and regions (MFA, 2019). It only makes up a small part of bilateral ODA. ADA is described as the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation.