Trade, foreign policy, diplomacy and health

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The OECD brings together 30 member countries sharing a commitment to democratic government and the market economy. With active relationships with some 70 other countries, nongovernmental organizations and civil society, it has a global reach. Best known for its publications and its statistics, its work covers economic and social issues from macroeconomics, to trade, education, development, and science and innovation. The organization aims to:

  • Formulate, coordinate and promote policies designed to encourage economic growth and maintain fiscal stability in member countries.
  • Stimulate and harmonize its members' efforts to provide financial and technical aid for developing countries.
  • Contribute to the expansion of multilateral trade conducted on a non-discriminatory basis.

The forerunner of the OECD was the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC), which was formed to administer American and Canadian aid under the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. Since it took over from the OEEC in 1961, the OECD has aimed to build strong economies in its member countries, improve efficiency, hone market systems, expand free trade and contribute to development in industrialized as well as developing countries.

The Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD) is one of 12 directorates in the OECD. The DCD is often referred to as the DAC Secretariat because one of its functions is to support the work of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). DAC is one of the key forums in which the major bilateral donors work together to increase the effectiveness of their common efforts to support sustainable development. The DAC concentrates on how international development cooperation contributes to the capacity of developing countries to participate in the global economy and the capacity of people to overcome poverty and participate fully in their societies, and therefore plays an important role in defining international health policies. Members of the DAC are expected to have certain common objectives concerning the conduct of their aid programmes. To this end, guidelines have been prepared for development practitioners.