Welcome to this presentation on peer reviews of development co-operation policies ansd practices conducted by the Development Assistance Committee. This presentation is intended primarily for civil society organisations. We hope this presentation will give you a better understanding of what peer reviews are and how they can be a useful tool in your advocacy, influencing and accountability work with government and citizens.
During this presentation, we will look at four main topics: WHY DAC Peer reviews were introduced WHAT do they assess and what can you find in a peer review report HOW are peer reviews carried out and what are the opportunities for CSOs to engage in the process HOW do peer reviews influence donor behaviour
Before we present the DAC peer reviews, it is important to introduce briefly what the DAC is. The goal of the DAC is : to promote development co-operation and other policies so as to contribute to sustainable development, including pro-poor economic growth, poverty reduction, improvement of living standards in developing countries, and a future in which no country will depend on aid. The DAC is open to countries that 1) have appropriate strategies, policies and institutional frameworks for development co-operation, 2) have an accepted measure of effort (e.g. ODA/GNI ratio over 0.20% or ODA volume above USD 100 million), 3) have established a system of performance monitoring and evaluation. The DAC is widening its circle by including participants – significant providers who do not have the full status of members (UAE, Kuwait) The DAC members currently (January 2018) are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
DAC peer reviews date from 1962, soon after the establishment of the committee. Their objective is to: Improve the quality and effectiveness of development co-operation policies Promote good development partnerships for better impact on poverty reduction and sustainable development The DAC has evolved greatly and so have the reviews. In 1962, the report comprised a letter from the DAC chair to the reviewed country following a discussion in the committee. Today, there is a full and transparent process with a report shared on the OECD website. The Peer Reviews are the only forum today that regularly examines key bilateral development co-operation systems and offers constructive commentary for their reform.
So how do we meet the objectives set for the reviews? The analytical framework for assessing performance is revised regularly to keep it up-to-date. Revisions take into account: The changing development landscape such as the increased engagement of the private sector or non-traditional donors New international commitments such as the 2030 Agenda, the Paris agreement or the Addis Ababa Agenda for Action on financing development Emerging issues such as the humanitarian development nexus All changes to the analytical framework – called the peer review reference guide - are approved by the DAC
So what do peer reviews assess? They assess three things: Does the member know what it wants to achieve? Does it have the means to achieve it? Can it measure whether it is getting there? Peer reviews provide an overall assessment of the development co-operation of a member from vision to implementation and not limited to official development assistance. Peer reviews look at: The first chapter looks at whether a DAC member is demonstrating global leadership on issues that are important for developing countries beyond its ODA portfolio. The assessment looks at efforts to support sustainable development, the impact of domestic policies on developing countries – also referred to as policy coherence for development – and efforts to raise awareness of global development issues at home. The second chapter looks at the policy vision for development co-operation: what the member is intending to achieve, whether it is comprehensive in the sense that it addresses poverty, sustainable development, leave no one behind, fragility and whether it provides sufficient guidance for decision-making The third chapter looks at whether the ODA is allocated according to the statement of intent and international commitments as well as efforts to promote and catalyse development finance additional to ODA. The fourth chapter looks at whether the institutional system support the objective of the development co-operation policy, not only looking at the main ministry in charge of development co-operation but looking at the system as a whole. In particular, it looks at the leadership and co-ordination for development co-operation, processes in place and human resources. The fifth chapter looks at whether delivery modalities are in line with the principles for effective development co-operation with a focus on the quality of partnerships and country level engagement The sixth chapter looks at whether the member plans and manages for results and uses evidence for learning and decision-making Finally, the seventh chapter assesses the member’s approach to humanitarian assistance, including the growing understanding of the links with development and security The seven areas of focus are developed in a reference guide available on our website http://www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/.
What benchmark do we use when assessing against these dimensions? Internationally agreed benchmarks for instance the principles agreed in the Busan partnership for effective development co-operation or the Monterrey target for ODA DAC or OECD recommendations such as the terms and conditions which cover areas such as untying, concessionality and measures to address corruption DAC good practice papers and guidelines for instance the 2010 key norms and standards on evaluating development co-operation or the 2016 lessons from the DAC on private sector engagement for sustainable development. Nationally determined commitments
An analysis of the performance of a DAC member against the seven dimensions – taking into consideration the national context A more strategic statement on the overall performance of the country Recommendations to improve the country’s development co-operation policy and practice. The country will be held to account for implementing these recommendations in future reviews.
When? The development co-operation of a DAC member is reviewed by two peers every 5-6 years. Every year, the DAC reviews 5 to 6 countries. The calendar for upcoming peer reviews is available on our website http://www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/. The website is an important source of information for CSOs. Who? The examiners represent the DAC. They contribute to and benefit from the process. They can be DAC delegates or senior staff in the development co-operation system. The Secretariat supports the team with its development expertise Observers are from a non-DAC country. The examined country and examiners must agree to an observer joining the team. In the end, reviews are DAC reports. The committee approves the main findings and recommendations as amended following a discussion during a formal meeting of the DAC.
The planning is available on line at http://www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/peerreviewsofdacmembers.htm : you can use the planning to start preparing for the review, gather your facts, discuss with your staff and other CSOs to prepare the key messages you would like to convey Before the HQ mission: written inputs are not an obligation but are really useful for the team to get a different perspective before the mission. We use them to guide our conversation not only with you but also with the administration. Such inputs can take different forms – the CSO network may right a shadow memorandum which covers all areas of the official government memorandum and peer review reference guide (quite heavy to prepare) or they may choose to provide a one-pager with key messages for advocacy. CSOs are met in the capital as well as in the field: meetings work very well when CSOs are organized and have prepared key messages for the 3 dimensions we look at: policy of the reviewed member, dialogue with CSOs, partnership instruments. Please use this opportunity for constructive praise and criticism of the reviewed member’s performance. For reviews which include a visit to a partner country, we also meet local CSOs Participation in the DAC meeting: this is to agree with the reviewed member. This was recently the case for the peer reviews of Netherlands and Luxembourg. Again, it works well when CSOs have prepared their interventions as they are given an opportunity to provide introductory and conclusive remarks as well as engage in all thematic discussions. For the publication and launch: while the decision to organise a public event is up to the examined country, the Secretariat makes sure the report is disseminated broadly, including through social media. Such dissemination is an opportunity to raise awareness. An email is sent to everyone we met during the review process. Civil society have an important role to play in disseminating the report and encouraging or organising a public launch. Mid-term reviews are an opportunity to take stock on progress made 2 to 3 years after the review and assess the extent to which recommendations are implemented. A meeting with CSOs is often held as part of the one-day headquarters visit which forms the core of the mid-term review.
CSOs can use the peer review process to: - discuss overall policy direction with the reviewed country, including their engagement with CSOs and how they share information. For example, you can put the peer reviews on the agenda for policy co-ordination meetings with government. - hold the reviewed member to account, ask for updates and back up your arguments with evidence supporting the peer review findings and recommendations - raise awareness of, and public support for, development co-ordination
In the last six years, 86% of DAC peer review recommendations were fully or partially implemented illustrating how effective peer reviews are. Engaging in the process can have an impact on the future development co-operation policy of the reviewed country. This is possible thanks to a solid methodology recognised by the country under scrutiny and its peers. But for a country to implement the recommendations it must be receptive to the analysis. It also depends on other dynamics, one of which may be public opinion where CSOs have an important role. Recommendations are tailored to the country&apos;s capacities and take into account the objectives pursued by the country under review. The report and the entire review process must be critical, respectful, helpful and constructive. The reviews are balanced, noting areas of progress even for relatively underperforming countries, or draws attention to shortcomings of otherwise high performing donors. It may also happen that the country&apos;s co-operation officials wish to use the review to validate / promote their policy. For example, a government can use it to build broader support for a policy that it believes is threatened (e.g. level of official development assistance or the importance of policy coherence). Peer and public pressure is key. As the reports are public, pressure from the media and the public can also advocate for the government of the country under review to comply with the recommendations. In addition, as the same criteria apply to different countries, countries may draw good practice from other DAC members.
Thanks for your time. We hope this presentation answered many questions you may have on peer reviews. You will find further information on peer reviews, including the most recent reports, at http://www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/We would encourage you also to consult the reference sites mentioned in the presentation • DAC Peer review reports and timetable for upcoming reviews • Reference guide • Information note Finally, you can also contact us on DAC.PeerReviews@oecd.org
Presentation for civil society organisations on OECD DAC peer reviews (January 2018)
WEBINAR ON DAC PEER
What they are, how to engage and
how to use them
• WHY DAC Peer reviews were introduced
• WHAT they assess and what you can find in a
peer review report
• HOW peer reviews are carried out and
opportunities for CSOs to engage in the process
• HOW peer reviews influence donor behaviour
• Questions and answers
The Development Assistance Committee (DAC)
• One of the OECD Committees
• 29 member countries + EU
• Donor governments and multilateral
• Goal: promote development co-operation and
other policies so as to contribute to sustainable
• How: exchange experience, issue guidance on
policy approaches, co-ordinate policy, analysis
& statistics, development finance
• One recognised instrument: peer reviews
The DAC in 1962
The DAC in 2017
• To improve the quality and
effectiveness of development co-
• To promote good development
partnerships for better impact on
poverty reduction and sustainable
Why were peer reviews introduced?
• Learning valuable lessons from peers on
what has worked and what has not
• Holding DAC members accountable for
their commitments, and
• Reviewing their performance against key
dimensions of development co-operation,
This is achieved through
• Internationally agreed benchmarks
• DAC good practice papers and guidelines
• Nationally determined commitments
• An analysis of performance
against the 7 dimensions
• A strategic statement on
the overall performance of
What can you find in a report?
The development co-operation of a DAC member
is reviewed by two peers every 5-6 years
An examined country
The peer review team:
- 2 examining countries: the peers
- The DAC secretariat: guarantees quality,
ensures objectivity and consistency
- Possibly an observer
The DAC: approves the main findings and
How are peer reviews carried out ?
When to engage: a cycle with 5
Before the HQ
mission, send written
inputs to the
Secretariat and engage
in drafting of the
to HQ and field:
In agreement with the
participation to the
DAC meeting as part
of the delegation
CSOs during a
Look at the
available on line
Engage in the
How can you use peer reviews ?
• Discuss overall policy direction
• Discuss engagement with civil society organisations
• Hold the member to account
• Raise awareness and public support
What makes peer reviews effective?
•Understanding of the political and administrative changes
•Use of the review to validate / promote a policy
•Pressure from the media and the public