By JorgeMoreira da Silva, Director of the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate and Pascal Saint-Amans, Director, OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration
Should projects financed by foreign aid be subject to tax? Historically, donors have claimed tax exemptions on most projects funded by Official Development Assistance (ODA), reasonably arguing this would maximise the impact of ODA, not least by sparing these projects from the perceived hazards of high taxes, lack of transparency and corrupt or inefficient government institutions. However, these assumptions have been increasingly challenged in recent years. Many developing countries have made strides in improving their tax systems, simplifying regimes, professionalising administration and reducing the burden of compliance.
By Sony Kapoor, CEO of the Nordic Institute for Finance, Technology and Sustainability (NIFTYS) and Chair of Re-Define
The humanitarian, moral and economic case for development aid has been made eloquently and does not bear repeating. But the stark, ongoing highly inequitable impact of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, both of which hurt poor and developing economies the most, has turbocharged the case for more aid and now. However, present levels of aid languish at 0.32% of GDP, or $161.2 billion, less than half the promised amount of 0.7% of GDP. This commitment needs to be at least doubled, but despite the OECD call for a “massive expansion of aid” countries such as the UK are cutting, rather than increasing aid.
By Jorge Moreira Da Silva, Director, Development Co-operation Directorate, and Mags Gaynor, Senior Policy Analyst, OECD
Where OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) member countries have been through a process of integration, amalgamation or merger, they have shared with us their lessons both in real time and with hindsight. As a result, we have been able to reflect on the integration and merger experiences of a number of members in their recent peer reviews, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand and have a historical perspective on how restructuring and integration processes worked in countries such as France, Ireland, Japan, Korea and the United States. More generally, we do regular peer reviews of the 30 members of the DAC which give us the benefit of seeing strengths, opportunities, risks and challenges that members experience with their institutional arrangements and reform processes. We hear how institutional arrangements are experienced both internally and externally, including by partner country governments. Eight main observations can be drawn from these reviews.
By Jorge Moreira da Silva, Director of the Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD, and Jorge Chediek, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for South-South Co-operation and Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC)
Triangular co-operation is when actors from both developing and developed countries come together, often with international organisations, civil society and private sector partners, to deliver innovative and co-created development solutions. A niche issue for many years, it is now taking centre stage in the global discourse.
By Thomas Carothers, Director, and Saskia Brechenmacher, Associate Fellow, Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The trend of closing civic space crystallised at the beginning of this decade. In response, concerned international actors — including various bilateral aid agencies, foreign ministries, private foundations and international nongovernmental organisations — are working to address this problem. They have carried out many diagnostic efforts and gained greater knowledge of the issue. They have initiated a wide range of measures to limit or counteract it, from setting up emergency funds for endangered activists and supporting national campaigns against new civil society restrictions to pushing international bodies, like the Financial Action Task Force, to take better account of the issue.
by Susanna Moorehead, Chair, OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC)
As I arrived in Paris last week to take up office as Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), the 30 DAC Members gathered for a Senior Level Meeting. It was a great opportunity for me to meet people and understand the DAC’s role in helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).