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OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Italy 2019

image of OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Italy 2019

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.

Italy is strongly committed to multilateralism, and it uses its convening power as well as expertise in co-operation to make the country a leading voice on issues such as agriculture and cultural heritage. The country’s commitment to leaving no one behind is particularly apparent through the focus on gender and disability. However, the country would benefit from reversing the recent decline in official development assistance (ODA), building a stronger and better-skilled workforce, forming a coherent, whole-of-government approach to migration and development, and creating a system to manage for results.

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Italy’s structure and systems

This chapter reviews Italy’s organisational structures and management systems for its development co-operation, examining the extent to which they are fit for purpose and have the capacity to deliver Italy’sdevelopment objectives.Law 125/2014 clearly spells out the role and mandates of official development actors, and establishes new structures, notably the Italian Agency for Development Co-operation (AICS). Partnership approaches, transparency, accountability and the operationalisation of development policy are key characteristics of the law. In practice, the full implementation of this important reform is still in progress. Overall, Italy has clear processes and quality assurance checks in place; however, accountability will have to be managed as AICS implements a greater share of EU delegated co‑operation in its overall portfolio. Italy can also do more to encourage and scale up its innovation efforts. The human resources available to AICS and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation (MFAIC) are not adequate. A human resources plan is urgently needed to attract and retain skilled staff and ensure the satisfactory delivery of Italy’s development co-operation programme.

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