Peer review at a glance


What is a peer review?

Peer review is basically an examination of one state’s performance or practices in a particular area by other states. The point of the exercise is to help the state under review improve its policymaking, adopt best practices and comply with established standards and principles. OECD peer reviews cover a wide range of topics, from economics and governance to education, health, environment and energy. To know more  

Peer pressure: a related pressure

The key to the effectiveness of peer reviews is the “peer pressure” exerted by the states carrying out the review, and the willingness of the state concerned to accept it. Peer pressure is particularly effective when it is possible to provide both qualitative assessments of performance and quantitative measures of progress. More

How does it work?

There is no standardised peer review mechanism but all peer reviews share certain structural elements: a basis for proceeding; an agreed set of principles, standards and criteria against which the country’s performance will be reviewed; designated actors to carry out the review; and a set of procedures leading to the final result. To know more

Who takes part?

As the term peer review implies, the review will be carried out by the committee, working party, or other body which has decided to undertake it; officials in the relevant policy field from other countries will be involved in the evaluation process. The OECD Secretariat supports the process by producing documentation and analysis, organising meetings and missions, stimulating discussion and maintaining continuity. To know more

Why does it work?

Through the accompanying effect of peer pressure – both persuasion by other countries and the stimulus of domestic public opinion – peer review can act as a catalyst for improved government performance. But for a review to be effective, it must meet certain conditions that are value sharing, mutual trust and credibility. To know moreHow does it work?


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