The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) conducts periodic reviews of the individual development co-operation efforts of DAC members. The policies and programmes of each DAC member are critically examined approximately once every five years. The objectives of DAC peer reviews are to improve the quality and effectiveness of development co-operation policies and systems, and to promote good development partnerships for better impact on poverty reduction and sustainable development in developing countries. Greece joined the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in 1999; this DAC peer review is the country’s fourth (2002, 2006, 2011).
In the period since the last peer review (2011), Greece has experienced two significant crises –a severe and protracted economic downturn, and a refugee and migrant crisis– both of which have significantly impacted its development co-operation. The severe economic recession brought about significant cuts to Greece’s national budget – including Official Development Assistance (ODA). However, Greece has maintained its commitment to development co-operation. It met its commitments to European Union institutions and other multilateral organisations. It also mobilised resources and its population to provide significant support to asylum seekers and refugees, and adapted its domestic policies to create conditions for peaceful co-existence between refugees, asylum seekers and the Greek population.
As the economy recovers and Greece considers stepping up its development co-operation, this review recommends a number of steps that the government might take. The main Peer Review’s recommendations are:
– Build a new vision for development that is supported by stakeholders with a keen interest in development, such as civil society organisations, the private sector and academics, and by the broader public.
– Update the law governing development co-operation and create a focused, whole-of-government approach, including to Greece’s multilateral partners.
– Determine its comparative advantage in a particular sector of humanitarian response.
– Restructure the Directorate General of International Development Cooperation-Hellenic Aid to meet its policy, programming and corporate objectives.
– Document the results achieved with ODA.
– Establish an Evaluation Unit and more efficient and effective systems to manage Greek ODA.
Τhe full text of the Report, as well as the Memorandum submitted by Greece, are accessible on DAC’s website: http://www.oecd.org/dac/oecd-development-co-operation-peer-reviews-greece-2019-9789264311893-en.htm.