OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Korea 2018
Korea is often cited as a leading example of how sound economic policies can drive
growth and development, blazing a trail from poverty to advanced industrialisation
throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Building on its reputation as a development success,
Korea now plays a highly valued role on the global stage, sharing its knowledge with
others and helping to bridge the divide between developing and developed country interests.
Among other issues, this review looks at how Korea shares its own impressive development
experience with others and how it is dealing with key challenges in co-ordinating
grants and loans across government. It also explores how Korea is expanding its aid
programme to work on new priorities such as assistance to fragile and crisis-affected
If you are unable to download this report, click here and send us a message with your request.
Read the DAC's main findings and recommendations, available inEnglish and French
Korea needs to keep increasing aid flows in line with its ambitions, says OECD
A success story of international development itself, Korea is now a driving force in global aid, focusing on the neediest countries and shaping strategy by sharing its experience and bridging the gap between rich and poor countries. Korea will have even greater impact if it can produce a clear plan to increase aid volumes in line with its stated ambitions, according to a new OECD Review.
The latest DAC Peer Review of Korea notes a steady rise in Korean aid – from USD 1.2 billion to USD 2.25 billion – in the six years since the former recipient country joined the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) as a donor in 2010. Globally, Korea focuses on inclusive growth, crisis prevention and development effectiveness, while in developing countries, its support includes highly concessional loans for national priorities such as renewable energy and roads.
Country-driven processes are at the core of Korea’s approach to development co‑operation. Having hosted the Busan Fourth High Level Forum on Development Effectiveness in 2011, Korea is a committed champion of the principles of effective development co-operation. Through its missions in Paris and New York it continues to raise awareness among governments about the Busan Partnership Agreement and advocates for its full implementation as part of the global effort towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Korea deserves praise for taking partner government requests as the starting point for its project selection. Additional scrutiny by Korea of the process through which government requests are generated would make its development programmes more effective and help to ensure attention to sustainability, reducing poverty and the principle of “leaving no-one behind”. The majority of Korea’s ODA grants are short-term, stand-alone bilateral projects. As Korea increases its ODA, making this more effective will require further consideration of longer-term impact and more understanding of which funding instruments best match its development objectives in each country context.