Covid-19 vaccines and official development assistance


By Haje Schütte, Senior Counsellor and Head, Financing for Sustainable Development Division, Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD


When scientists announced the discovery of a Covid-19 vaccine, the world sighed with relief. But soon after, many people around the globe discovered that others would get access to jabs faster than them. The sad term ‘vaccine inequality’ was coined. Only 6% of people are fully vaccinated in low-income countries today. In a bid to fill the gaps and curb the pandemic, there were calls for high-income countries to share and donate vaccine doses to developing countries, in particular through the COVAX Facility – the multilateral mechanism for providing developing countries with vaccines.

Continue reading “Covid-19 vaccines and official development assistance”

The Development Assistance Committee at 60

By Susanna Moorehead, Chair of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC)


The DAC’s 60th anniversary is a good moment to pause and take stock with some honest self-reflection.  Like any 60 year old, the DAC has grown up, changed a great deal, at times become a bit set in its ways, but it has also learnt to adapt, flex, respond to shocks, be less risk averse and better able to meet new challenges, incorporate new members and work with others.

Continue reading “The Development Assistance Committee at 60”

Which path for the Development Assistance Committee down the Belt and Road?

By Philippos Pierros, EU Delegation Minister-Counsellor, & Elliott Memmi, Freelance Research Analyst

belt-road
The Chinese Xiaomi Highway bridge, between Lao’s border town Boten, and Mengla, Yunnan, China. Photo: Shutterstock

At the April 2019 Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) conference in Beijing, a new life seemed to have been given to the Belt and Road project. After 2018, marked by increased foreign criticism, suspicion, and a subsequent reigning in of ambition by China, 2019 saw a renewed confidence — with President Xi Jinping himself stepping in to address the risks of unsustainable debt and corruption and promising a more “open, green, and clean” development co-operation model. In July, China endorsed the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment. And the China International Development Co-operation Agency (CIDCA) was promoted as the new government organ that would unify the tangled web of Chinese development actors. 2019 saw a sudden surge in new BRI agreements. Continue reading “Which path for the Development Assistance Committee down the Belt and Road?”

Integrations, amalgamations and mergers: Lessons from institutional reforms in development co-operation


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.

Continue reading “Integrations, amalgamations and mergers: Lessons from institutional reforms in development co-operation”

Time for bold initiatives to tackle inequalities and climate change

By Filippos Pierros, Minister-Counsellor, Vice-Chair of the Development Assistance Committee and the Development Centre Governing Board [i]

Green-deal-climate-change

With the resounding failure of the UN COPs to mobilize a strong international response to climate change and inequality, concerned citizens around the world are rightly beginning to show frustration and even anger. And yet, at long last on the final year before the turn of the decade, a major high-income donor of international aid publicly proclaimed it would step up to the plate and propose radical change.

The new EU Commission promised to bring to the floor a “European Green Deal” that will drastically transform the very foundations of the EU economy. The green deal has clear implications for fighting inequalities, as well as for development. The “EU can use its influence, expertise and financial resources to mobilize its neighbors and partners to join it on a sustainable path.” The EU announces a strong “green deal diplomacy” focused on supporting sustainable development globally, engaging countries to end fossil fuel subsidies, phasing out fossil-fuel based infrastructure, investing in climate finance and climate resilience, promoting green regulations, and creating an international carbon market to provide reform incentives. Continue reading “Time for bold initiatives to tackle inequalities and climate change”

Helping Cities and Regions achieve the SDGs: Partnering for Decentralised Development Co-operation

By Jorge Moreira da Silva, Director, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate and Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE)

 

UrbanisationAll too often international aid is viewed through the traditional lens of nation states. A rich-poor relationship of a developed country providing a one-way flow of financial assistance to a developing country to address crucial development issues, whether they are societal, economic or environmental in nature. However, the impact of these problems is acutely felt at the local level and requires global collaborative responses at the subnational level. Decentralised development co-operation (DDC) – the exchange of resources between subnational governments in developed and developing countries – offers a pragmatic and effective approach to addressing the most critical issues and to achieving the sustainable development goals.

Following the onset of the Syrian crisis, Lebanon has had to provide adequate housing and basic services to over one million refugees, or nearly 20% of the world’s total Syrian refugee population.[1] At the forefront of this daunting task are municipalities, which in most instances critically lack the resources and funding to deliver. Continue reading “Helping Cities and Regions achieve the SDGs: Partnering for Decentralised Development Co-operation”

Strengthening development in the face of the climate crisis and environmental degradation

By Jorge Moreira da Silva, Director, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate and Andrew Norton, Director, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Amazon-fire-climate-change
Aftermath of a Brazilian Amazon fire

The climate emergency and broader environmental destruction — from forest devastation to loss of biodiversity to depleted water supplies — are challenging international aid agencies’ collective ability to support sustainable development.

Despite awareness of these growing pressures, these issues are often peripheral to how development agencies work. True, most members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) have adopted environmental safeguards and are refocusing some of their actions on tackling the climate crisis. Too often, however, development agencies overlook other pressing environmental problems, such as sustainable management of forests, land and water, and related health issues such as sanitation, indoor air pollution and urban slum improvements.  In short, agencies have yet to fully integrate environmental concerns ― including climate change ― in their policies, plans, budgets and actions.

But how? The DAC examined the practices of its members — focusing on the European Union, Sweden and Canada — with support from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and identified five steps that agencies should adopt if they want to effectively tackle critical environmental challenges and threats: Continue reading “Strengthening development in the face of the climate crisis and environmental degradation”

Fit for purpose means continuous change

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).

Continue reading “Fit for purpose means continuous change”