Strong, Shared, Green: Development we can do together

2 days celebrating the Centre’s 6Oth anniversary

24 October 2022 | High Level Meeting 
25 October 2022 | Public event


People are hurting and worried, and many policy makers are struggling to respond. Just as we were emerging from an unprecedented global pandemic, Russia’s war on Ukraine shook the world once again. Food and energy prices are skyrocketing, poverty and hunger are rising fast, and governments are taking on even more debt. Every day, extreme weather events alert us to the growing climate crisis.

For many years, it seemed that the world was getting closer, that poorer countries were catching up with rich ones and that we had shared global goals. Today, it can feel like we are drifting further apart. Inequality is growing, both within and between countries, and the world’s most vulnerable communities are being hit hard. We have fallen off track on the path to gender equality.

It is not too late to turn this around. Policy makers are finding ways to make their economies stronger, more shared and greener. Partners in academia, advocacy and business have innovative solutions to share. Citizens everywhere want more action on sustainable development and global solidarity.

The OECD Development Centre is here to help seize these opportunities. On 24 October 2022, decision makers from our 53 member countries came together for the 8th High-Level Meeting of our Governing Board. They shared ideas and learnt from one another, met with renowned experts and discussed policy priorities for the international community.

They came together in the knowledge that we are all connected. They know that no matter where we live, our well-being, stability and prosperity is at stake. They know that the only way to address our global problems is together.

This knowledge has underpinned the Centre’s work ever since John F. Kennedy suggested its creation 60 years ago. Today, the Centre is a place where countries meet on equal footing to address, the world’s most pressing challenges. It is where they can find, policy advice that is based on evidence, independent and tailored to their needs.

On 25 October, our member countries and a number of eminent personalities gathered for a high-level public discussion to celebrate the Centre’s 60th Anniversary. Together, they took stock of where development stands today and what it could look like tomorrow. 

Watch the full event


Main events

DEV Talks

  • Building a more resilient world in a multi-crisis era

    • 29 September - 3pm CET
    • From climate change - to COVID-19 - to Russia’s war against Ukraine, the world is weathering a series of multiple, cascading crises. How to strengthen the resilience of countries, and better prepare the international response to “perfect storms”?
    • Watch the video of the panel
  • Equal rights under attack around the world

    • 11 October - 3pm CET
    • While great progress has been made on the road to gender equality, in just a few short years, the pandemic has set us back by more than a generation. How do we address this and avoid further setbacks? 
    • Watch the video of the panel
  • Energy access or low-carbon transition: do we need to choose?

    • 20 October - 3pm CET
    • How can developing countries simultaneously participate in the global energy transition towards net-zero and extend energy electricity access to hundreds of millions of their citizens? Will they be forced to choose between the two?
    • Watch the video of the panel

Impact stories

    • Leaving no one behind

    • “Informal” workers make up 60% of the global workforce. The OECD Development Centre recognised this challenge early on.

    • Read more
    • Building a Gender-Equal World

    • Policy makers often lack the data and evidence to understand inequality. This is where the SIGI comes in.

    • Read more

    • Getting the Green Transition Right

    • For the world to reach net-zero, fossil fuel producing developing countries will have to play their part. But they need support.

    • Read more

Six decades
of the OECD Development Centre

  • 2011-2022 Harnessing prosperity …

    • Having overcome the global financial crisis of 2008, development has a strong run and many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America continue to improve living standards, while increasingly struggling with social cohesion and environmental issues. Responding to members’ calls for more concrete support, the Centre works with over 20 of them on their overall development strategies, directly supporting centres of governments, as well as more specific reviews on productive transformation and social protection. Based on extensive case studies, the Centre analyses migration as a development policy, and measures the benefits and costs for developing, host countries.

  • 2011-2022 continued … and tackling disruptions

    • Thirteen more countries become members of the Centre, with as different profiles as Rwanda, China, Kazakhstan, and Ecuador. New permanent policy dialogues and networks bring together foundations, development communicators, as well as policymakers seeking to make natural resources work better for sustainable development. At the invitation of the African Union Commission, the Centre launches an annual AUC-OECD economic report. As a new decade starts, disruption is back, spurred by the COVID pandemic. Mobilising its full resources, the Centre provides early analysis and support. As Russia’s war against Ukraine aggravates global economic prospects, poverty is on the up again, as is inflation, and global production networks are thrown out of kilter. At their 8th High-Level Meeting, on 24 October 2022, members of the Centre’s Governing Board gather to seek ways of promoting strong, shared, and green development together.
  • 2002-2010 Towards a new balance

    • In large part due to the commodity super-cycle, the centre of the global economy gradually shifts to the East. The Development Centre is among the first to document that shift, and to forecast the positive impact of emerging economies’ growth on low-income countries, especially on Africa. It also warns that the decade’s high growth creates too few decent jobs globally, asking Is informal Normal?. The report Shifting Wealth coins the narrative for 20 years of global economic convergence. Membership expands fast: South Africa is the first African country to join (2006); five more will follow during that period, along with 14 more non-OECD countries from Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe
  • 2002-2010 continued Brokering new partnerships

    • Sensing the demand of major economic actors for evidence and dialogue on emerging markets, the Centre sets up a stable network of multinational enterprises. True to its commitment to co-create knowledge with local partners, it launches the Latin American Economic Outlook and the Southeast Asian Economic Outlook alongside its African flagship annual report. Co-produced with major regional organisations, they tap the sectoral expertise of the various OECD policy communities, feeding regular, high-level public regional forums on pressing issues such as taxation, productivity, or the digital revolution. On gender, the Centre continues to break new ground with its Social Institutions and Gender Index, which assesses discriminatory laws and practices across OECD and non-OECD countries.
  • 1992-2001 New hopes, new risks

    • After the collapse of the Soviet Union, globalisation picks up pace and global progress against poverty accelerates. With the OECD Economics Department, the Centre publishes Linkages: OECD and major developing economies. It also experiences its first large influx of new members, mostly from outside the OECD, by welcoming Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and India. Years before the financial crises in Mexico (1994) and Asia (1997-98), its researchers warn against the potential consequences of rapid capital account liberalisation for emerging economies. 
  • 1992-2001 continued Deciphering the world’s economic mutations

    • Against the tide of afro-pessimism, the Centre embarks on an ambitious project on Emerging Africa, to analyse the factors underlying the renewed dynamism of several economies in the region. In the following decades, a spill-over project, the African Economic Outlook, jointly led with the African Development Bank, spurs 17 annual editions, in association with the United Nations and African researchers. In another far-sighted move, Angus Maddison captures the ongoing “re-emergence” of China. Zooming out, a few years later, he paints the full picture of the long-term growth of nations in his landmark The world Economy: A Millennial Perspective.
  • 1983-1992 Building bridges

    • Hopes for global, linear growth and sustained progress vanish. Disparities within “the South” grow larger as Asia’s newly industrialised economies take off while income levels falter in other regions. International tensions are still high, monetary, and fiscal crises strike. The Centre puts extra efforts in raising awareness of development issues within the OECD, brokering meetings of the General Secretariat with developing countries on issues such as debt management, the role of private foreign investment and preparations for the next round of trade negotiations. The report One World or Several? brings together such joint reflections on interdependence in a two–speed, multi–polar world economy.
  • 1983-1992 continued Anticipating emerging development issues

    • As many developing countries implement structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) in exchange for international support, the Centre broadens its analysis beyond macroeconomic aspects, assessing for instance the political feasibility of SAPs and their impact on equity. It also explores, counter-intuitively for the time, the employment opportunities offered by the informal sector. Its quantification of the benefits for developing countries of including agriculture in the GATT informs the negotiations. Early in the game, it examines developing countries’ ability to embrace new information technologies for their industrial development and integration into the world economy. The Centre also develops a model (GREEN) to assess the impact of natural resource use on climate and transfers it to its developing country partners.
  • 1973-1982 Facilitating dialogue in an interdependent world

    • As tensions rise between North and South, peaking with two major oil crises, the OECD Council calls for a more holistic approach to development, beyond aid. Through high level meetings between political leaders and experts from all countries, the Centre increasingly facilitates a dialogue between OECD members and its “clients” in the South, aiming to change attitudes on both sides. Topics range from the interdependence between energy producers and consumers, to the internationalisation of banking activities, or the special issues confronting least developed countries. The Centre brings non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to the OECD table, analyses their role in development processes and compiles an ambitious international Directory on NGOs, North and South.
  • 1969-1972 How to do development

    • The focus at the time is transferring finance and building capacity in developing countries, the aim is income growth rather than distribution. Private flows play a minor role, so do civil society organisations. The Centre focuses on the practicalities of how to do development projects: its Manual of Industrial Project Analysis is a best seller. It also works with experts and practitioners in in developing countries to present harmonised national accounting data.
  • 1962-1969 Exploring the new South - West relationship

    • On 23 October 1962, the OECD Council approves the creation of a Development Centre. As many countries around the world experience their first decades as independent nations, the Centre aims to create a direct, high-level, yet informal dialogue --there is no obligation of reaching consensus—with the “South,” on how to accelerate its development. From the start, engaging and building research capacity in developing countries is its modus operandi.

Looking back

A unique Forum for mutual learning

The creation of the OECD Development Centre was proposed by US President John F. Kennedy in an address to the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa on 17 May 1961. The OECD council approved its creation on 23 October 1962.

It is a forum where countries share their experience of economic and social development policies. The Centre contributes expert analysis and facilitates the dialogue. The objective is to help decision makers find policy solutions to stimulate growth and improve living conditions in developing and emerging economies.

The Centre’s membership is open to both OECD and non-OECD countries. Members set its Programme of Work and Budget through its Governing Board.

Further reading:

Looking forward

Recommendations of the Group of Eminent Personalities (GEP)

The 8th High Level Meeting of the Development Centre’s Governing Board (24 & 25 October 2022) was an opportunity for high-level representatives, government officials, and other stakeholders to reflect on key global challenges, scan the horizon for emerging trends, and devise a long-term vision for the Centre.

In that context, the Chair of the Governing Board proposed to establish a Group of Eminent Personalities to share their wisdom on how the Centre could best respond to those challenges and support the OECD in its mission to be globally relevant, in line with its Global Relations Strategy and Vision Statement.