Study on the use of partner countries’ system – difficulties encountered and recommendations for the future

Country or Region: EU and EU member states

Sector: Development cooperation and Country Systems

Client: DEVCO, European Commission

Date: January 2019 – December 2019

Increase of the use of partner countries’ system in the delivery of development co-operation (in support of activities managed by the public sector). The European Commission, DEVCO A2, commissioned the “study on the use of partner countries’ system – difficulties encountered and recommendations for the future” with the aim to analyse trends in the use of country systems by EU Member States and the European Commission over the past decade and formulate 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 presents an assessment of the factors affecting the use of country systems, identifies the bottlenecks and obstacles encountered in using partner countries’ systems and, finally, presents a set of recommendations on how to increase the EU and EU Member States’ use of country systems.

The team of experts has 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 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 scope of the study comprised the following research areas:

  • Review and document the theoretical and practical understanding among the EU and Member States of the “Use of Country Systems” concept and identify commonalities and differences in what constitutes both “use” and “country systems” and in the rationale for increased use of country systems.

 

  • Review the extent to which the EU and Member States currently use country systems of partner countries when delivering development co-operation, in which form (budget support, programme for results, investment support, programme and project assistance, basket funds…) and the trends in their use of country systems over the last decade.

Make recommendations on how the EU and Member States can use their engagement in the Global Partnership and the OECD-DAC to strengthen the willingness and demand among providers and receivers of development cooperation to promote increased use of country systems through addressing the range of factors in both receiver and provider contexts, that are constraining progress.

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