Development Centre

Ministers rethink development and call for a new box of domestic and international co-operation tools


03/10/2017 - Increasingly complex development challenges demand new policy tools.


Policy makers in developing economies are confronted with increasingly complex decisions as they balance their economic, social and environmental agendas. While rising income levels help improve development outcomes, they also bring about new challenges and demands from emerging middle-classes. Those issues were addressed at the Fourth High-level Meeting of the OECD Development Centre Governing Board held today in Paris, in the framework of the Centre’s 55th Anniversary and its Development Week under the heading of “Embracing development’s complexity”. The meeting, opened by OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría, brought together officials from 52 member countries, international organisations and civil society representatives, under the co-chairmanship of Argentina and Cabo Verde.


The discussions focused on the opportunities and challenges faced by countries transitioning to higher income levels, the consequences of international migration for developing countries, and the drivers of gender inequality. Participants also acknowledged the role of the extractive sector in development and welcomed the achievements of the OECD Policy Dialogue on Natural Resource-based Development. Advancing the agenda of these policy areas is instrumental for the Development Centre’s work in the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


 “New partnerships, more dialogue, better measurements and more innovative tools will all be necessary for a sustained transition. Our priority now is to translate “development in transition” into “development in action,” which expands opportunities for all countries and people”, said OECD Development Centre’s Director and Special Advisor to the OECD Secretary General on Development Mario Pezzini.

Debates around development in transition welcomed the developing world’s significant progress in terms of stronger growth and poverty eradication, but also recognised persistent and new challenges countries face as they move across levels of income. They agreed on the need to sustain successful development trajectories by adapting international cooperation to current development realities. To this end, they called for a broad set of development and well-being indicators, beyond income-based metrics, to better assess progress and needs of countries at different levels of development. Member countries asked the Governing Board of the Development Centre to be an open platform to shed light on the consequences of transitions and develop a box of tools to tackle them – from domestic policy to international co-operation, – including South-South and Triangular Co-operation. The Centre will work with Member countries, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation, and other relevant stakeholders to advance this agenda.


The High-Level Meeting saluted the work of the Development Centre on migration in developing countries and the outcomes of its first Policy Dialogue on Migration and Development. It emphasised the importance of better managing the complex interrelations between migration and other public policies, with specific focus on emerging and developing economies. It also agreed on the need to promote greater coherence to enable the positive contribution of international migration to development, using tools such as the Dashboard of indicators for measuring policy and institutional coherence for migration and development, developed jointly by the Development Centre, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank Group, within the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD).

In their discussion of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, participants reaffirmed the importance of tackling discriminatory social norms and institutions in the identification of evidence-based policies in support of achieving the SDGs. They stressed the prominence of the Centre’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) as an official data source to track progress on SDG 5. This complements the Centre’s actions through the Policy Dialogue on Women’s Economic Empowerment and support for the G20 eskills4girls initiative.

Countries adopted a Policy Statement on Natural Resource-based Development and welcomed the OECD Development Centre’s contribution to the G7 CONNEX Initiative.

Participants gathered at the High-Level Meeting agreed to :

  • Contribute to a more comprehensive understanding and provide tools of measurements for development notably through the launch of a new open platform on Development in Transition within the Governing Board of the OECD Development Centre, to exchange knowledge and best practices and develop concrete proposals.
  • Broaden and promote the use of the Dashboard of migration indicators to foster policy and institutional coherence so as member and partner countries along regional organisations can better enable the positive contribution of international migration to development in developing countries of origin, transit and destination.
  • Advance the national and international implementation of SDG 5 on gender equality, while enhancing data collection and the impact of the Centre’s work on SIGI, not only as a strong data source to monitor discriminatory social norms and institutions, but also as an instrument for evidence-based policy guidance in developing countries.
  • Develop principles for contracts in the extractive sector, in partnership with CONNEX, and explore ways to develop synergies between sustainable management of renewable and non-renewable natural resources for countries’ long-term development.


Finally, the High-Level Meeting reaffirmed the OECD Development Centre’s unique role in the international architecture as a platform for analysis and policy dialogue on an equal footing amongst countries at different stages of development capable of providing tailored solutions to complex policy challenges to stimulate growth and improve living conditions.

>> Access the full High-Level Meeting Communiqué and the Policy Statement on Natural Resource-based Development.


For further information, journalists are invited to contact Federico Bonaglia (+33 145 24 96 03) at the OECD Development Centre.  Learn more about the OECD Development Centre:


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