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OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Switzerland 2019

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

This review assesses the performance of Switzerland including its strategic support to multilateralism in order to tackle global goods and challenges, its comprehensive vision for development and partnerships and the current pressure on development and humanitarian programmes.

English Also available in: French

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The DAC’s main findings and recommendations

Switzerland is a strong development partner. Its vision, shared across the government, is described in a document called the 2017-20 Dispatch on International Co-operation. The Dispatch sets a comprehensive view of development that goes beyond official development assistance (ODA) and is aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Switzerland notably supports multilateralism to protect global goods and tackle global challenges. It makes its voice heard when debating international norms and standards related to water, climate change, health, migration, finance and trade, and food security. Switzerland also has a strong humanitarian tradition, blending humanitarian, development and policy efforts to prevent and manage fragility.Partners value the expertise, predictability and flexibility of Switzerland’s support. Its quality assurance builds on a culture of results, strong knowledge management, comprehensive risk management and flexible conflict-sensitive programming. Streamlining annual reporting - especially at the country level - should help Switzerland find a better balance between ensuring accountability and supporting decision-making to avoid unnecessary administrative burden.Switzerland understands the world is changing, and partners accordingly with a broad range of actors. While it engages strategically with multilateral organisations, its partnerships with civil society organisations (CSOs) tend to focus on implementing Swiss programmes. This is a missed opportunity to build a strong local civil society that can act as an agent of change. Moreover, despite advocating for effective development co-operation, Switzerland could use country systems more effectively and strengthen its efforts to achieve mutual accountability.As the development co-operation and humanitarian programmes face budget cuts and contend with increasing pressure to prevent migration to Switzerland, a new narrative for development co‑operation and its contribution to shared prosperity is needed. Further efforts to spell out Switzerland’s comparative advantage would help it move away from a strategy that is a sum of priorities set at the level of budget lines, further focusing the programme. It could also help Switzerland better communicate about development to increase public support.

English Also available in: French

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