OECD Report Calls for New Approaches to National Development Plans, International Cooperation
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OECD's 2019 edition of the Perspectives on Global Development report examines development strategies in the context of shifting global wealth.

The report identifies three distinct periods of change since the 1990s, analyzes the current status of shifting wealth, compares the development trajectories of early industrializing countries with those of the today’s emerging economies, and investigates new challenges with which developing countries must grapple.

New strategies, the report emphasizes, should more deliberately target all dimensions of development, and be multilateral, place-based, multisectoral and participatory in nature.

29 November 2018: A report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) examines development strategies in the context of shifting global wealth. Launched at the Sixth OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy, the report considers how these shifts affect developing countries, with a focus on China’s increasing economic power and the implications for addressing new development challenges.

Titled, ‘Perspectives on Global Development 2019: Rethinking development strategies,’ this edition of the report recalls that emerging economies’ growth has outpaced that of OECD countries since the 1990s, which has reshaped the global macroeconomic landscape. Thus, the report focuses on four areas:

  • Analyzing the current status of shifting wealth;
  • Comparing the development trajectories of early industrializing countries with the today’s emerging economies;
  • Unpacking the post-World War II development paradigms that have dominated mainstream thinking and practices; and
  • Investigating challenges with which developing countries must grapple, and understanding the implications for these countries’ development strategies.

The report identifies three distinct periods of change since the 1990s: the opening of China, India and the former Soviet Union to world markets; the global financial crisis which “saw pervasive convergence of poor countries” and rapid urbanization, particularly in Asia; and the more recent slowing of shifts in wealth, due in part to the global recession and China’s shift “from a manufacturing and export-led economy to one based on services and consumption.”

Few countries’ development plans show awareness of megatrends and the challenges and opportunities these trends present.

OECD notes that economic growth does not necessarily couple with well-being. In this context, the report highlights challenges that many countries appear to be facing in their national development plans. While such plans are designed with principles of social inclusiveness and environmental sustainability in mind, the report explains, that few plans “show awareness of mega trends and the challenges and opportunities” these trends present. Challenges include familiar issues such as the potential slowing of global economic growth, increasing trade protectionism and weakening governance structures, as well as new ones, including stronger global rules, increased interdependence, heightened human mobility, and the threat of climate change. Thus, the report cites a need for new strategies that more deliberately target all dimensions of development.

New strategies and trends include South-South cooperation and innovative means of social protection, each of which call for context-specific development strategies that are multilateral, place-based, multisectoral and participatory in nature. While strategies featuring these elements have historically shown to be most effective, Mario Pezzini, OECD, noted during the launch that resources and political will are still needed, and that “the multidimensional process of development requires a new vision for global co-operation.”

The ‘Perspectives on Global Development’ report series has been tracking shifts in global wealth and their impacts since 2008, when the economic output from developing economies first exceeded 50% of global output. OECD’s 6th World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy took place in Incheon, Republic of Korea, from 27-29 November 2018. [Publication: Perspectives on Global Development 2019: Rethinking Development Strategies][OECD press release]


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