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: United Kingdom 2014

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17 Dec 2014
9789264226579 (PDF) ;9789264226555(print)

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This review of the development co-operation efforts of the United Kingdom examines its policies, performance 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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  • Conducting the peer review

    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 member are critically examined approximately once every four or five years. Five members are examined annually. The OECD’s Development Co-operation Directorate provides analytical support, and develops and maintains, in close consultation with the Committee, the methodology and analytical framework – known as the Reference Guide – within which the peer reviews are undertaken.

  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • The United Kingdom's aid at a glance
  • Context of the United Kingdom's peer review

    With a population of 64 million, the United Kingdom (UK) was, in 2013, the sixth largest economy in the world in terms of nominal gross domestic product. A global power, the UK participates in many international bodies, including the G8 and G20, and is a key member of the European Union (EU).

  • The DAC's main findings and recommendations
  • Towards a comprehensive United Kingdom development effort

    An active member of the international community, the United Kingdom (UK) continues to lead in shaping the global development agenda. It uses its position strategically to address global public risks and brings development concerns into international fora. Particularly valued is its leadership in setting the post-2015 development agenda, including work to promote greater transparency, fairer trade and tax systems, and protection of women and girls, as well as minority rights.

  • The United Kingdom's vision and policies for development co-operation

    The United Kingdom is committed to honouring its aid commitments and supporting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) while adapting to new priorities. A solid legal basis, strong political leadership and broad party consensus drive the UK’s development co-operation. The government’s coalition agreement is reflected in six broad priorities for international development, cascading into multiple sub-priorities. However, there is no explicit overarching strategic vision for promoting development in a changing world and the UK’s role in addressing current and emerging challenges.

  • Allocating the United Kingdom's official development assistance

    In a very challenging fiscal climate, the United Kingdom has met its commitment to provide 0.7% of its GNI as ODA by 2013, becoming the first major economy to reach this target. This commendable, well-planned achievement adds weight to the UK’s internationally recognised leading role. Maintaining this level of support until 2015-16, as planned, and even beyond will strengthen the UK’s legitimacy with respect to the global development agenda. While its ODA is primarily made up of grants, the UK increasingly uses various forms of financial instruments, a shift that reflects its new approach to fostering economic development. As recommended, the UK has improved its reporting on aid delivered by departments other than DFID.

  • Managing the United Kingdom's development co-operation

    The UK’s development co-operation has an effective institutional system with a clear mandate focused on reducing poverty, a seat in the Cabinet and a decentralised model backed by appropriate skills and well-managed resources. DFID is well positioned to manage the development co-operation programme effectively. Expanding cross-government approaches will reinforce the capabilities of the UK’s development co-operation as a whole.

  • The United Kingdom's development co-operation delivery and partnerships

    The UK has delivered successfully on its 0.7% commitment while ensuring programme quality and actively managing risks. DFID continues to provide predictable financial flows. DFID’s decentralised programming approach and new poverty diagnostic tool aim to ensure fit with national contexts while delivering on shared development priorities. Ensuring the right mix and synergies between centrally managed funds and priorities on the one hand, and flexible, context-based country programmes on the other will, however, need to be carefully managed. Programming and strategic management need to be further streamlined to ensure efficient, effective delivery.

  • Results management and accountability of the United Kingdom's development co-operation

    The UK government has clearly defined the results it aims to achieve through its development co-operation programme. DFID has an impressive results system and has made good progress in building a results culture. Its dual-track approach – using headline indicators to illustrate overall progress and more specific indicators to manage programmes – appears to be effective. However, the focus on results has created new burdens.

  • The United Kingdom's humanitarian assistance

    Effective humanitarian response is a clear policy and operational priority for the UK, both on the international stage and in its own programming. Globally, the UK has played a significant role in political messaging around building resilient societies and has galvanised international support for major humanitarian crises such as that in Syria. Its humanitarian policy recognises international principles and good practice. The humanitarian budget is substantial, but the period of rapid growth is over; incorporating new policy priorities and new crises into the future humanitarian portfolio could mean some tough trade-offs. The UK is encouraged to continue its push for effective humanitarian response in the run-up to the World Humanitarian Summit, and to properly embed building resilient societies in the post-2015 development framework. Sustained senior management commitment to resilience, and a push to extend progress in this important area to cover all risks and all programming, would help DFID remain fit for purpose.

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