The reality of development has changed radically since the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) was created in 1961. Today, policy makers are aware that global problems can only be solved with more and better development cooperation.
This was the theme for the last report of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an initiative that took place on December the 15th, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in Lisbon, a joint organisation of the Portuguese Institute for Development Support (IPAD) and the Gulbenkian Foundation itself.
Through the vision of distinguished and recognised global leaders and development experts, the document presents a review of 50 years of Development Cooperation. It also contains a description on how the OECD intends to meet the new challenges of modern society.
Ana Paula Fernandes, Vice President of DAC, took the opportunity to stress the importance of the different views and suggestions incorporated in the document, which now allows for new paths for Official Development Assistance (ODA). Considered especially important is the revision of the concept of ODA bearing in mind the new players in development cooperation, such as the Providers of Development Cooperation – the greater coherence in the stands taken, the importance of keeping the focus on pro-poor economic growth and training for poverty reduction, and the need for the post 2015 Millennium Development Goals to include human rights issues.
Isabel Mota, Administrator of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, pointed out that ODA has contributed to eradicate poverty and advance indicators of health, education, among others, but there is still a long way to go. In her speech, she stated that living standards have improved in many so-called “developing” countries but currently we have been witnessing a deepening of inequalities between countries and within countries, and the absolute poverty now affects 1/5 of the world’s population. She added that the path must go on through strengthening co-development, creating synergies so that we can all help and learn from each other and stop the paradigm of the richest countries donating to developing countries.
The President of the Portuguese Institute for Development Support (IPAD), Professor Manuel Correia, aware that the New Architecture for Global Development Aid is increasingly complex, added that the CAD, the result of 50 years of work, must be recognised and valued and that new paths must be paved by the Committee.
Summary of the Report available at: www.oecd.org/dataoecd/3/44/48764214.pdf