Development Co-operation Report 2020: Learning from Crises, Building Resilience

The devastating impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on developing countries have tested the limits, ingenuity and flexibility of development co-operation while also uncovering best practices. This 58th edition of the Development Co-operation Report draws out early insights from leaders, OECD members, experts and civil society on the implications of coronavirus (COVID-19) for global solidarity and international co-operation for development in 2021 and beyond.

The report suggests ways forward for the international development community as a whole for bold action and systemic reform to build resilient national and international systems capable of coping with global shocks, and providing and protecting global public goods while reinforcing the fundamental building blocks for sustainable development. The annual “development co-operation at a glance” infographics showcase the latest trends in development finance for over 80 providers of development co-operation, including members of the OECD, the Development Assistance Committee, other countries and philanthropic foundations.

COVID-19 confirms lessons that international development actors know, and relearn, with each new crisis. Topping the to-do list for development co-operation are five key actions to contribute to resilience building:

Integrate climate action in multi-sector development strategies. Policies must enable governments and policy makers to tackle several problems at once: beat the virus and support recovery, ease the multiple stressors that cause crises, and improve resilience to other global threats. Addressing environmental degradation and the climate emergency is a prerequisite for more resilient recovery and sustainable development.
Provide long-term support for country systems. A clear lesson from COVID-19, and previous crises, is that government capacity is a key factor in shaping effective crisis responses. Reforms leading to strong and well-functioning country systems are critical to build resilience to future crises, both within countries and to avoid negative externalities more globally.
Avoid a development finance crisis. International finance has not been sufficient to close gaps in response to this crisis. Actors should continue working together towards solutions to unmanageable debt and to increase sources of new financing.
Step up collective action to provide and protect global public goods. COVID-19 has pushed health security – a global public good – to the top of the international agenda. At the same time, it highlights the urgency of investing in other global public goods, such as biodiversity and adaptation or mitigation of climate change to ensure their adequate provision which will help avoid similar or worse crisis.
Develop strategies and contingencies for international crisis co-ordination. Development co-operation actors have an opportunity to learn from co-ordination shortcomings and develop strategies and contingencies for responding to global challenges, shocks and crises.

Delivering on an agenda that results in more integrated cross-sectoral programmes, builds country systems, increases development financing, steps up action on global public goods and improves co-ordination would put the development co-operation community on track to support a strong, resilient, green and inclusive recovery.

More information:

Scroll to Top