Development Assistance Committee and Romania

As of April 5th, 2018 Romania, becomes a Participant in the Development Assistance Committee. As a provider of substantial concessional finance for development co-operation and humanitarian aid, Romania will contribute to the DAC’s discussions and work on key development and humanitarian issues. Integrating Romania’s experience and perspectives will help strengthen the DAC’s capacity to inform international development discussions, making the committee more inclusive and relevant. The DAC, as the leading forum for providers of development co-operation and humanitarian aid, is an important platform for countries to learn from each other’s experience. Most notably, as a Participant, Romania will have greater opportunities to learn from other countries’ experience, good practice and lessons in managing development co-operation and humanitarian program and systems.

When accepting the OECD’s invitation to become a Participant of the DAC, Romania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, looked forward “to bringing Romania’s perspectives to the work and activities of the DAC and to learning from the experience of DAC members as we develop Romania’s development co-operation programme and systems further”. The DAC Chair, Ms. Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, welcomed Romania’s new role in the DAC.

Romania is the fourth Participant in the DAC and, as such, can take part in all non-confidential meetings of the committee, including its High-Level and Senior-Level Meetings, and the meetings of the DAC subsidiary bodies.

The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) is the leading international forum for bilateral providers of development co-operation. Its main objective is to promote development co-operation and other policies, thus to contribute to sustainable development. The Committee monitors development finance flows, reviews and provides guidance on development co-operation policies, promotes sharing of good practices and helps shape the global development architecture.

The DAC has developed a reputation for objectivity, neutrality and quality of its work. Since its establishment in 1961, the DAC has taken key decisions on and set standards for development co-operation. The DAC defines official development assistance (ODA) and periodically updates the list of ODA recipients. It has set standards on the financial terms and conditions of aid and agreed to untie most development assistance to the least developed and heavily indebted poor countries.

The DAC also helps to shape the international development agenda by developing policy guidance in many areas, including gender equality, harmonization of donor practices, policy coherence for development assistance. In 1996, the DAC formulated the International Development Goals which evolved into the Millennium Development Goals. The Committee has also promoted dialogue on how to make evaluation of aid more effective, which led to the creation of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation.

Countries are not spontaneously invited to join the DAC. Rather, a country addresses a brief letter to the OECD announcing its interest in becoming a Member (in the case of OECD countries) or an Associate (in the case of other countries) of the DAC. If a preliminary analysis deems it appropriate, the OECD will conduct an accession review and prepare a report making a recommendation on the country’s readiness to join the DAC. Based on this report, the DAC takes a decision. If positive, the candidate country is invited to join the Committee. To formalize its accession, the candidate country writes to the OECD Secretary-General accepting the invitation and pledging to fulfil the obligations of joining the DAC (see next section).

The DAC is by no means an exclusive club. Many countries in the DAC face similar challenges to those faced by bilateral providers of development co-operation outside the Committee. To address these challenges, the DAC encourages its Members and Associates to make continuous efforts to maintain and upgrade their policies, instruments and practices. By joining the DAC, countries have more opportunities to participate in these processes and to share experiences and learn from each other.

The DAC currently has 30 members. Candidate countries are assessed in terms of the following criteria: the existence of appropriate strategies, policies and institutional frameworks that ensure capacity to deliver a development co-operation program; an accepted measure of effort; and the existence of a system of performance monitoring and evaluation.

As members of the DAC, countries pledge to implement forthwith the Recommendations adopted by the DAC since its inception and to commit to use DAC guidelines and reference documents in formulating national development co-operation policies. They also provide the annual submission of required ODA statistics and, on request, summary information describing their aid efforts and policies to be included in the Development Co-operation Report. Members undertake to participate in meetings of the DAC and at least one of its subsidiary bodies. Finally, DAC members agree to submit to a regular Peer Review of their development co-operation, undertaken by the DAC and the OECD/DCD, and to serve as an examiner in reviewing another member program.

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