Strengthening Capacity for Development Co-operation in the Slovak Republic and other Emerging Donors
A team of researchers from the Center for Policy Studies at CEU, represented by Andrew Cartwright, Anna Selmeczi, Marton Leiszen and Alexandra Lazau-Ratz, was present at the conference to take notes of Slovakia’s efforts to strengthen its development co-operation programme and systems.
The aim of the conference:
The conference was organized in response to OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Special Review of the National Programme for Official Development Assistance (NP ODA) of the Slovak Republic for 2012. The Special Reviews, which draw on the DAC Peer Review methodology, provide critical, helpful and respectful insights to support a country’s own efforts to strengthen its development co-operation programme and systems, including its role and obligations as a member state of the European Union.
The session focused on how the Slovak Republic is using and building on the findings from its Special Review as it sets the future orientations for its development co operation.
Summary of the conference:
The opening speech was delivered by State Secretary Mr. Peter Burian who emphasized that the DAC review was an important and necessary step to help improve Slovakia’s development co-operation strategy. He discussed the current status of the implementation of the recommendations while pointing out the progress as well as the shortcomings of the process. Mr. Brian Atwood, Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee congratulated the country and its leaders for their demonstrated commitment to improve the national aid strategies and welcomed the measures taken to respond to OECD recommendations. At the end of his speech he warmly invited the Slovak Republic to place its candidature for DAC membership. Mr. Peter Hulényi, Director of the Department of Development Assistance and Humanitarian Aid, tackled three clusters of DAC recommendations and detailed the measures introduced by Slovakia to respond to them.
The roundtable discussion on future orientations for the Slovak Republic’s development co-operation was moderated by Mr. Michael Ward, Senior Policy Analyst, Evaluation and Engagement Division of OECD. The discussants of the panel debated several issues, including the Slovak ODA amount, the prevalence of bilateral and/or multilateral partnerships, and the organizational structure and management of the state funds. At points their views converged. Other times the different professional backgrounds and experiences led the participants to stress different aspects of the development work as being the most relevant ones. Ms. Zuzana Fialová, Chairman of the Slovak NGDO Platform, stressed that developing Slovakia’s profile can only be achieved through real donor experience using bilateral development programs to build capacity of the NGO sector. She argued that because of the disproportionately low amount of Slovak Bilateral ODA compared to ODA provided through multilateral channels Slovak NGOs are under-financed and hence cannot gain enough field experience to build necessary capacities. In contrast, Mrs. Renate Hahlen, Deputy Head of Aid and Development Effectiveness and Financing Unit of the European Commission, defended multilateral aid. She encouraged NGOs to first, advocate for the increase of the ODA amount for both bilateral and multilateral programs and second, maximize their aid work by specializing in one field within the accessible budget. Mr. Daniel Hanspach, Emerging Donors Policy Specialist from UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre, argued that multilateralism can be effective as it can lead to trilateral agreements and targeted bilateral help.
One key conclusions of the conference mentioned by both the civil society representative Ms. Zuzana Fialová and the government counterpart Mr. Peter Hulényi was that coherence in policy is needed to achieve effective aid
- Ms. Ingrid Brocková, Ambassador and Special Representative of the Slovak Republic to OECD
- Mr. Peter Burian, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic
- Mr. Brian Atwood, Chair, OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC)
- Mr. Peter Hulényi, Director, Department of Development Assistance and Humanitarian Aid, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic
- Representative of Mário Virčík, Director, Department of International Relations, Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic
- Ms. Zuzana Fialová, Chairman of the Slovak NGDO Platform
- Mrs. Renate Hahlen, Deputy Head of Unit, Aid and Development Effectiveness and Financing Unit, Europe Aid, European Commission
- Mr. Daniel Hanspach, Emerging Donors Policy Specialist, UNDP Europe and the CIS, Bratislava Regional Centre
- Mr. Frans van der Straaten, Regional Coordination and Partnerships, World Bank Institute
- Mr. Michael Laird, Senior Policy Analyst, Review, Evaluation and Engagement Division, OECD
Conference Agenda (Download)
DAC Special Review of the Slovak Republic (Download)
Copies of the OECD reports on the Special Reviews of the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovenia are also available.
DAC Special Review of the Czech Republic (Download)
DAC Special Review of Poland (Download)
DAC Special Review of Slovenia (Download)
For more information about Slovak Aid and ODA priorities, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.