Development Co-operation Reviews: Belgium 1997

The Belgian aid system has experienced serious problems in recent years and is now going through a crucial transition period. An action plan has been prepared by the Secretary of State for Co-operation and basic reforms are under way. This plan, entitled "Showing our colours -- Plan for the future of Belgian co-operation and development", was well received by the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC). During its triennial peer review of Belgium's development co-operation policy and aid programme, the Committee also took note of the determination of the Secretary of State to design a co-operation programme that goes beyond economic and social considerations to take full account of the basic values of the society. In relation to general good practice among donors, the Committee indicated its support for a number of measures that might enhance the effectiveness of Belgium's development co-operation programme, including increasing efficiency by decentralising more executive functions and monitoring effectiveness through an active assessment, evaluation and feedback policy; raising staff skills through better training in key development subjects and by delegating authority both internally and to local offices; devising country strategies based on a new partnership approach; and focusing technical co-operation efforts on strengthening local capacity.

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