Overview by the DAC Chairman, M. Jean-Claude Faure
New prospects are opening up for development and co-operation policies. Following the Doha Development Agenda, adopted by the WTO in late 2001, the year 2002 will remain that of the Monterrey Consensus and the Action Plan for Johannesburg. 2002 provided striking confirmation of a new strategy based on measures to combat poverty and on sustainable development in the context of enhanced partnership, as already reflected in the Millennium Declaration adopted in 2000 with its Development Goals. So the turning point seems to have been reached – including in terms of ODA resources. The latter are set to increase substantially in coming years – a trend that needs to be reinforced and magnified following a decade of steep decline which was halted in 1998. Nothing will be achieved without perseverance, without sustainable and effective implementation and without coherent integration into an open globalisation.
An Action Plan for Aid Effectiveness
Enhancing the effectiveness of aid to promote sustainable development is an essential challenge to meet in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Work in the Development Assistance Committee is thus focusing closely on the issue of aid effectiveness. This section of the Report provides an overview of DAC work in the area, emphasising the linkages between the aid effectiveness agenda and the work plans of the DAC subsidiary bodies.
Managing for Development Results and Aid Effectiveness
What are the emerging lessons from donors on results-based approaches? How can these be made more effective? What opportunities are presented by initiatives that try to foster closer links between development performance and resource allocations? These are some of the issues confronting the international development community, donors and partners alike, issues which were examined at the 2002 DAC Development Partnership Forum on "Managing for Development Results and Aid Effectiveness". The main themes and outcomes of the Forum are presented in this section of the Report.
Harmonising Donor Practices for Effective Aid Delivery
The Monterrey Conference in March 2002 highlighted the importance of building partnerships among donors and developing countries as a means of making more effective progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, and called on development co-operation agencies to intensify efforts to harmonise their operational procedures so as to reduce transaction costs and make ODA disbursement and delivery more flexible. This section of the Report examines how the DAC Task Force on Donor Practices is addressing these issues, in particular, by developing a framework for donor co-operation.
The implementation of the Monterrey Consensus will require accountable partnership efforts with peer review approaches among donors playing a decisive role. Peer review creates a catalyst for performance enhancement which can be far-reaching and open-ended. This section of the Report first analyses the peer review concept and mechanisms in place throughout the OECD, and focuses in the second part on the peer review process within the Development Assistance Committee.
Reviewing Donor Efforts and Policies
At the Conference on Financing for International Development, held in Monterrey in March 2002, DAC members committed to increasing their ODA in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and eradicate poverty. Since the conference, a number of DAC members have made further announcements of increases to their development co-operation budgets. If these announcements are realised, the DAC total ODA/GNI ratio is estimated to rise from 0.22% in 2001 to 0.26% in 2006. On the policy coherence front, following the 2001 Recommendation to untie ODA to the least developed countries, DAC members, without exception, have taken action to implement its provisions. Their efforts to implement the Recommendation and to enhance policy coherence are also presented in this section.
The Millennium Declaration brings unprecedented clarity to the shared and individual roles and responsibilities of governments, international organisations, citizens, civil society organisations and the private sector; it marked a major endorsement of the earlier work in the DAC to select seven international development goals, published in 1996 in Shaping the 21st Century: The Role of Development Co-operation. At the global level, the only targets that are on course for achievement are halving the proportions of people living in poverty and hunger and without access to safe water and sanitation. In sub-Saharan Africa, none of the targets are on track. It would be 2050 before the targets for primary schooling and access to safe water were met. None of the other targets will be achieved in the 21st century if past trends continue.
Trade Capacity Building After Doha
The Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha in November 2001 has had a significant impact on trade-related technical assistance and capacity building activities. This is reflected in enhanced awareness among donors of the importance of these issues for development and poverty reduction, with almost all DAC members placing trade in the context of poverty reduction and economic development. This section of the Report shows what the DAC is doing in support of these key areas, including a presentation of the joint OECD-DAC/WTO database and results of a joint DAC-OECD/Development Centre workshop held in Mombasa in August 2002 on "Trade Capacity Building – Experiences in an African Context".
Working for Development in Difficult Partnerships
There has been over recent years a growing awareness in the international community of the need for donors to stay engaged, despite the risks involved, even in countries where the DAC partnership model does not apply fully. The broad consensus shown at the 2002 DAC High Level Meeting in its discussion on development co-operation in difficult partnerships was a clear reflection of this new awareness. This section of the Report provides summaries of two recent DAC meetings on difficult partnerships, the first addressing the issue in a general way, the second focusing on the specific problems confronting the reconstruction and recovery effort in Afghanistan.
Investing in Health to Reduce Poverty
Increasing the effectiveness of development co-operation in improving the health of poor people is a means of reducing poverty and achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals. A 2002 DAC Reference Document on Poverty and Health examines these issues and develops a set of policy recommendations on the most effective ways of supporting a pro-poor health approach in partner countries. This section of the Report presents highlights from the DAC Reference Document and includes an overview of DAC members’ ODA to the health sector.
Supporting the Development of Water and Sanitation Services in Developing Countries
Access to safe water and sanitation is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals set by the development community. This section of the Report, which draws on a paper prepared by the Development Co-operation Directorate in preparation for the March 2003 Third World Water Forum in Kyoto, describes DAC members’ support to developing countries in relation to this goal. The statistical overview of aid flows to the water sector in recent years is followed by highlights on DAC work to establish best practices for the efficient management and provision of these services in developing countries, with a focus on urban water and the gender dimensions of water management.
Development Assistance Committee (DAC)
The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) is the principal body through which the Organisation deals with issues related to co-operation with developing countries. The DAC is one of the key forums in which the major bilateral donors work together to increase the effectiveness of their common effort to support sustainable development.
Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD)
The Development Co-operat ion Directorate (DCD) is one of the twelve substantive directorates in the OECD Secretariat. The role of the DCD is to assist members with policy formulation, policy co-ordination and information systems for development. In so doing, it supports the work of both the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and of the OECD as a whole. However, so close is the relationship with the DAC that DCD is generally identified with the DAC Secretariat (e.g., on the DAC website).
DAC/DCD Website Themes and Aliases
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