OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews

2309-7132 (online)
2309-7124 (print)
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The OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) conducts periodic reviews of the individual development co-operation efforts of DAC members. The policies and programmes of each DAC member are critically examined approximately once every five years. DAC peer reviews assess the performance of a given member, not just that of its development co-operation agency, and examine both policy and implementation. They take an integrated, system-wide perspective on the development co-operation and humanitarian assistance activities of the member under review.

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OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: France 2013

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04 June 2014
9789264196193 (PDF) ;9789264204430(print)

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This report on the DAC peer review of France's development co-opeation programmes and policies presents an assessment of  the performance of the programme and examines both policy and implementation. It takes an integrated, system-wide perspective on the development co-operation and humanitarian assistance activities of the member under review

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  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • France's aid at a glance
  • Context of France's Peer Review

    Since 2008, the French economy has been hit hard by the global recession and, more recently, by turmoil in the euro area. France also faces structural weaknesses: despite its many strong points, the economy is weakened by fiscal and trade balance deficits as well as high unemployment. The European Union and the OECD has encouraged France to continue efforts its to reduce the budget deficit, primarily by reducing public spending, considered as very high (OECD, 2013).

  • The DAC's main findings and recommendations

    France has an overall view of development and its financing. It promotes this vision in many international settings where it is recognised as a major player. Advocating a cross-cutting approach, the country emphasises the need to produce and protect global public goods, whether the concern is with climate, the international monetary system, financial regulation, employment or the social dimension of globalisation. France is thus contributing to the establishment of public policies conducive to sustainable development, in the United Nations, the G8 and the G20 alike.

  • Towards a comprehensive French development effort

    France is actively engaged in promoting the development agenda in international forums, where it insists on the need to produce and protect global public goods. It thereby contributes to the implementation of public policies conducive to sustainable development.

  • France's vision and policies for development co-operation

    The Framework Document on development co-operation, published in 2011, sets the development policy vision of France and constitutes the frame of reference for the French co-operation stakeholders. This document refers to France’s main international commitments and reflects its global ambition, proposing various responses adapted to each development challenge. The process of updating development policy, currently underway, offers an opportunity to set forth the objectives of that policy more precisely and to ensure consistency between those objectives and the allocation of resources.

  • Allocating France's official development assistance

    While France has implemented some of its international commitments concerning official development assistance (ODA), it recognises that it will not achieve the objective of allocating 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) to ODA by 2015. A more realistic path is therefore needed. Moreover, French aid includes a growing loan component. The decrease of grants reduces possibilities for bilateral co-operation in some sectors (basic social services, governance) and contexts (fragile states and certain LDCs), although these are supposed to be strategic areas of involvement.

  • Managing France's development co-operation

    France has improved its steering of co-operation by focusing efforts on the three main players. Institutional arrangements remain complex, however, and generate high transaction costs. Measures to improve steering and rationalise structures will therefore have to be continued and extended to other players. That will mean revitalising interministerial co-ordination mechanisms and restoring a forum for consultation with civil society. AFD, which has retained its status as a financial institution, will have to continue to adapt its procedures and instruments to its extended remit and to the contexts in which it operates.

  • France's development co-operation delivery and partnerships

    France’s aid is almost entirely untied and extensively aligned on national priorities and systems. Despite the efforts made, the budgetary presentation of co-operation remains complex and would gain from being simplified. Embassies are sometimes allocated fewer resources than the commitments made, which adversely affects programme quality and could undermine France’s credibility. A better match between commitments and disbursements is therefore needed. Partnership framework documents are now mandatory only in priority countries. Elsewhere, it would be helpful to develop an overall framework in order to ensure that France’s commitments are both clear and cohesive.

  • Results and accountability of France's development co-operation

    France has continued its efforts to implement a results-based management system, though the link between objectives, budget programming and measurement of results, both at headquarters and in partner countries, can still be improved. The passing and implementation of framework legislation for development policy should make it easier to steer and programme co-operation while also meeting the requirements of transparency and monitoring of results.

  • Humanitarian assistance

    France has finalised a first humanitarian strategy, and is working to develop an implementation plan. However, France does not yet have the right tools to ensure a holistic recovery from crisis.

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