The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) sees Norway as an important donor that takes a long-term approach and provides a high level of aid. But the new OECD Development Co-operation Peer Review shows that Norwegian aid should be more results-based, effective and targeted.
“We appreciate the positive feedback, but the most important thing is that we take note of the recommended areas for improvement, and make constructive use of the OECD’s recommendations,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
The OECD evaluates member countries’ development policy every four to five years. It is five years since the last report of this kind on Norwegian development policy. Rintaro Tamaki, OECD Deputy Secretary-General, presented the Peer Review to Mr Brende today.
The organisation also carries out evaluations of other policy areas. These include the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey, which evaluates education systems.
“The OECD Development Co-operation Peer Review gives grounds and inspiration for strengthening Norwegian development policy by enhancing aid effectiveness and taking a more targeted approach. Norway provides substantial amounts of aid and will continue to do so, but the report tells us that this is not enough,” said Mr Brende.
The OECD states that Norwegian development policy would benefit from having a stronger focus on results and a more targeted approach.
“It is not just the volume of aid that counts; it is also the effect of the aid and the results it gives. We must become more adept at clearly specifying expected results, and at carrying out systematic evaluations and learning lessons afterwards. If we are to achieve the best possible results, it is essential that we follow up the aid we give properly,” Mr Brende said.
In the report, the OECD emphasises the importance of trade and business activities for furthering development. Mr Brende welcomed these remarks, seeing them as corresponding closely with the Government’s policy.
“This autumn we increased funding for business development, precisely because we know that business activity furthers long-term development. No country has succeeded in reducing poverty significantly without focusing on business and trade. The agreement reached at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali was an important step on the way towards achieving freer and fairer world trade. This is particularly important for developing countries, and Norway will play an active role in this area,” Mr Brende said.