Country or Region: EU and EU member states

Sector: Development cooperation and Country Systems

Client: DEVCO, European Commission

Date: January 2019 – December 2019

VJW international is pleased to announce the completion of the ‘Study on the use of partner countries’ system – difficulties encountered and recommendations for the future’. The study was commissioned by The European Commission, DEVCO A2, with the aim of analysing trends in the use of country systems by EU Member States (MS) and the European Commission in the decade from 2006 to 2017and formulating recommendations to increase of the use of partner countries’ systems in the delivery of development cooperation in support of activities managed by the public sector. This study successfully assessed the factors affecting the use of country systems (UCS), identified the bottlenecks and obstacles encountered in using partner countries’ systems and, finally, presented a set of recommendations on how to increase the EU and EU Member States’ use of country systems.

Our team of experts on the use of country systems by EU MS in development cooperation analysed the performance of MS and the EU regarding UCS during the period 2006–2017, focusing on selected EU MS that had consistently reported and provided data on their UCS in the Paris and GPEDC global monitoring rounds (GMR), namely: Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. This analysis was extended to EU institutions.

The study found a clear decreasing trend for UCS after 2010, in both absolute values and relative to public sector support, total bilateral aid and country programmable aid (CPA). This decreasing trend applies across donors both in absolute and relative terms; yet, the trend’s magnitude is higher in the case of MS and the EU. The study finds that multilaterals show a better UCS performance, in both aggregate absolute and relative values, than do the EU and MS. This trend applies to all EU MS, except Austria, Luxembourg and France, where UCS is either relatively stable or increasing slightly.