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Praise for Sweden's development aid

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14:51 CEST+02:00
Sweden's development aid policies received generally high marks in a review published on Thursday by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“Sweden has played a constructive, and often leading, role internationally in ensuring development co-operation quality,” the organization wrote in its evaluation.

According to the OECD, Sweden spent $4.73 billion on overseas development assistance in 2008, or 0.98 percent of its gross national income.

The figure makes Sweden the most generous donor country as a proportion of its economy.

However, the OECD wants to see Sweden do more to fight poverty and continue efforts to “overhaul, rationalize and clarify” its development aid policy framework.

“Though Sweden, more than most donors, has national policies and actions consistent with its development objectives, this has been difficult to implement in practice,” said the OECD.

The OECD praised the progress made since Sweden last underwent a peer review in 2005, including plans to reduce the number of countries receiving Swedish aid from 67 to 33 over the next three years, as well as efforts to focus on fewer development aid priorities.

But the report is critical of the government on several points, urging Sweden to “avoid producing excessive additional guidelines and guidance documents” related to overseas development assistance policy.

The OECD also recommends that Sweden find a suitable organisation to “provide independent monitoring and evaluation” and submit their findings to the Riksdag.

Sweden would also be well served to place greater emphasis on poverty reduction.

The OECD also stressed the importance of Sweden's current role as president of the European Union for drawing attention to the importance of international development goals.

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