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OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Norway 2019

image of OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Norway 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.

Norway’s commitment to spend 1% of gross national income on official development assistance is supported across the political spectrum. It increasingly uses multilateral channels to promote global public goods and address global challenges. This review looks at the changes to systems, structures and capabilities that would help Norway deliver on its shifting approach to development co-operation. These include strategic oversight to align programming with Norway's overall vision and policies for sustainable development; strengthened approaches to results, knowledge and risk management; and taking a bolder approach to cross-cutting issues such as human rights, gender, climate and environment, and anti-corruption.

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The DAC’s main findings and recommendations

Norway is a strong partner for development. Recognition that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a shared responsibility underpins Norway’s commitment to sustainable development. This vision is backed by broad-based political support for maintaining official development assistance (ODA) at 1% of gross national income (GNI).Norway is taking action in several areas. It is becoming more knowledge-oriented and consolidating its approach to technical co-operation and capacity building in partner-country institutions, focusing on areas of comparative advantage. It is adapting its humanitarian response to the changing patterns of crises, backed by a clear strategy, an increased budget and solid partnerships. Its framework for working in fragile contexts recognises the need for coherence between peacebuilding, development and humanitarian action. Reflecting its support for the 2030 Agenda and its global thematic priorities (such as health, education, climate and the environment), Norway’s development co-operation model is changing. It is increasingly using the multilateral system to protect global public goods and address global challenges. Although using multilateral delivery channels has some benefits, it creates an additional layer between Norway and its partner countries, potentially limiting Norway’s ability to ensure that funding responds to country level needs. The creation of new global financing instruments may also undermine Norway’s efforts to strengthen the multilateral system.Further adjustments will be needed to ensure Norway’s changing model delivers on its ambitions, including improving its approach to strategic management; considering its staffing needs; and strengthening its results, knowledge and risk-management approaches. Organisational reforms launched in 2018 are an opportunity to address overlaps between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (Norad). At the same time, reforms should strive to maintain existing capabilities and expertise, and should involve careful changemanagement involving effective communication with staff and stakeholders.

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