3rd Trade Union-DAC Forum 2017

The 3rd joint forum between trade unions and the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD was held in Paris on the 21st of March 2017. The theme of the forum was the role of the DAC in the changing development landscape and in pursuit of achieving the Agenda 2030. Bringing together the major development donors, the DAC plays an important role within global development policy-making. The findings of the TUDCN’s recent research on donor support to the Decent Work Agenda were discussed.

The forum opened with a session on the role of the DAC following the adoption of major recent international agreements (2030 Agenda, COP21, Addis Ababa Action Agenda). Chaired by DAC Chair Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, it highlighted the DAC’s major role in determining standards for the effective use of development funding. The panel discussion highlighted the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships in ensuring a results-based approach. Panellists paid particular attention to the role of social dialogue in achieving sustainable development.

The second session, chaired by ITUC Deputy Secretary General Wellington Chibebe, focussed on the DAC’s role in tracking SDG implementation. As the determinant of official development assistance (ODA), the DAC is a major custodian of development data and statistical expertise. How donors allocate and track resources is highly relevant to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The ongoing modernisation of ODA was discussed with a focus on the inclusion of Private Sector Instruments. Trade unions called for the utmost caution in integrating Blended Finance and Development Finance Institutions, given that serious questions are being raised as to their development effectiveness (see for example The development effectiveness of supporting the private sector with ODA funds).

Finally, the findings and recommendations of the joint TUDCN and ODI research, entitled How do donors support the Decent Work Agenda ?, were discussed. It was highlighted that, while donor countries recognise the importance of employment within the development process and include it among their development priorities, their approach remains imbalanced. The DAC’s role in tracking support to the four pillars of the Decent Work Agenda can promote a more balanced approach to employment support and ensure greater policy coherence.

The meeting documents are available here. A full report will be available shortly.