OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Ireland 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.
Ireland is a strong voice for sustainable development. Quality partnerships with civil
society, staunch support for multilateralism and good humanitarian donorship are hallmarks
of its development co-operation. The vision and ambition of its 2019 international
development policy, A Better World, requires Ireland to increase its official development
assistance as planned, develop guidance and a new results management approach, and
undertake strategic workforce planning.
A good practice excerpt from the peer review: The quality of funding to civil society organisations
Ireland has consistently ranked among the DAC donors with the highest percentage of bilateral official development assistance (ODA) channelled to and through civil society organisations (CSOs). With most of its bilateral ODA allocated to CSOs as core contributions, Ireland places great emphasis on supporting CSOs as independent development actors.
Ireland selects CSO partners for funding based on a competitive and rigorous screening process and requires co-funding to ensure their commitment and ownership. Ireland provides predictable funding where appropriate through multi-year agreements. For example, under the 2017 programme grant, NGOs received funding for up to 5 years, providing important reliability for planning. In addition, partners have great flexibility in the use of their funding. Agreements of up to 3 years are now common for humanitarian assistance. In 2017-18, CSOs for the first time also received funding under a joint humanitarian and programme grant arrangement.
Ireland makes good use of joint approaches with other development partners, including pooled funds that reduce the reporting burden for CSOs. As became evident in the field visit in Ethiopia, there is an impressive diversity of such efforts, in particular through the Civil Society Support Programme and the Ethiopia Social Accountability Programme.