Þórir Guðmundsson has submitted a report to Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the organisation of development cooperation, peacekeeping and humanitarian and emergency assistance with a view to reinforcing effectiveness and efficiency within the area, prepared by him on the minister's request. In preparing the report, he conversed with nearly 200 people in Iceland and abroad and, in addition, the general public and experts had the opportunity to submit comments.
“Mr Guðmundsson's proposals are based on extensive professional work, providing a good overview of Iceland's activity in the field of development cooperation, peacekeeping and humanitarian and emergency assistance. The report also contains an overview of the activities of other countries in this area and how we can utilise their experience to make further improvements to our work,” says Mr Sveinsson.
The report includes a proposal to organise development cooperation in one place, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and for Iceland to sharpen its focus and reduce the number of partner countries in order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its contributions. Moreover, there are proposals to establish a committee of parliamentarians on development cooperation, strengthen the Council on International Development Cooperation and reinforce supervision of projects by introducing performance management in all areas of Iceland's development cooperation.
In the run-up to Iceland's membership to the OECD's development cooperation committee, a group of the committee's experts proposed that the Icelandic authorities assess the organisation and arrangement of development cooperation based on how effectiveness and efficiency might be maximised, considering the small size of the country. Similar analyses and proposals are prepared regularly in Iceland's countries of comparison and are a sign of good administration.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs says it is important that the authorities review regularly how effectiveness in development may be increased further in order to make sure that tax-payers' money in Iceland is best spent.
“I encourage those interested in cooperation development and those who work in this area to familiarise themselves thoroughly with Mr Guðmundsson's report and exchange views on his proposals,” says the minister. “I myself will read it in more detail in the weeks ahead before making a decision on the next steps to be taken.”
The report can be found here.