The EU, as a member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee, has recently had its development cooperation policies reviewed by its peers. Despite noted accomplishments, CONCORD underlines several recommendations of this comprehensive and constructive review.
How effective are development actions? To answer that question we need constant evaluation. Acknowledging this need, the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), an OECD committee made up of 27 member countries (+ EU), has set up a peer review system to exchange experience and issue guidance among its members. Most recently, the European Union’s development cooperation was reviewed by its DAC peers – which prompted CONCORD to comment on the review’s main outcomes.
Clearly, there are accomplishments to be proud of: With the Consensus on Development, the EU has a common vision for supporting partner countries’ sustainable development. However, with the negotiations around aid budgets and programmes in the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework in full swing, important recommendations featured in DAC’s peer review need to be underlined.
The report rightly sees a need for the next MFF to focus more on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). People and planet should be at the forefront of the EU’s external policy. Under the Commission’s proposal for the Neighbourhood Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), 20% of the budget will go to human development and gender. CONCORD calls for this benchmark to focus solely on human development (health, nutrition, education and social protection), whilst also calling for the EU to comply with its other international obligations, including the 85% benchmark of all new initiatives to have gender as a principal or significant target under the Gender Action Plan.
Ensuring human development on a global level needs strong measures for addressing poverty. According to the OECD, a startling 43% of aid is spent in Upper Middle Income countries, while the poorest and most fragile countries receive only 26%, and only 27% goes to Sub-Saharan Africa. The next MFF must commit to a clear turn around: 92% of the NDICI must be considered Official Development Assistance (ODA) and prioritise those who are furthest left behind.
Human development and poverty eradication are just two among several concerns raised by the OECD DAC peer review. What about policy coherence for sustainable development, for instance? Or our commitment to contributions to Least Developed Countries? To learn more, watch World Vision’s Director of EU Advocacy Jonathan Beger represent CONCORD at the European Parliament DEVE Committee!