26/05/2005 - The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) commended Sweden for making poverty reduction in developing countries a focus across the full range of government departments. The DAC also applauded Sweden’s continued commitment to increase its aid budget, in support of achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Sweden’s volume of aid in 2004 stood at USD 2.7 billion, making it the world’s seventh largest donor and representing 0.77% of Sweden’s Gross National Income (GNI). Current budget projections call for a 1% level in 2006 and 2007, well over the United Nations target of 0.7%.
Sweden is the first OECD DAC member country to adopt a whole of government approach to ‘equitable and sustainable global development’. The innovative Policy for Global Development (PGD) endorsed by parliament in 2003 commits Sweden to an overarching poverty reduction mandate and prescribes a government-wide approach to global development. However, the DAC identified some of the challenges Sweden will have to meet as it implements this approach. They include the need to obtain buy-in from all government departments, to identify results that can be reported annually to parliament.
Sweden is at the forefront of the international agenda on harmonisation and alignment of aid - this experience offers both policy and implementation lessons to other DAC members. The DAC also noted the number and quality of Swedish policy statements on development co-operation. Sweden was encouraged to make its policy statements more relevant to the needs of the field. As well, Sweden should continue its work towards a more strategically selective concentration of countries and sectors. Given the growing volume of its aid, Sweden was encouraged to work toward use of more robust performance assessment systems in order to guide budget allocation choices for bilateral or multilateral assistance.
The DAC welcomed the increased decentralisation of the management of Swedish aid and encouraged greater simplification of field management practice, accompanied by special attention to the skills mix of Swedish aid staff.
The DAC noted that a large proportion of Swedish aid is allocated to humanitarian aid (16% in 2003). Sweden has a strong humanitarian tradition and has been contributing actively to the development of international good practice. The DAC encouraged Sweden to examine how to improve co-ordination among the various bodies that deal with humanitarian aid.
The DAC Peer Review of Sweden’s development co?operation policies and programmes took place on 25 May 2005. The meeting was led by the DAC Chair Richard Manning and the Swedish Delegation was headed by Mrs. Carin Jämtin, Minister for Development Co?operation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The examiners for this Peer Review were Australia and Belgium.
See the main findings and recommendations of the DAC regarding this review.
See tables and graphs