Hosted by the Zayed Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, and attended by representatives of international and UAE development organizations
Abu Dhabi, 28 September 2011: The UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (OCFA) today convened a round-table discussion on quality standards for evaluating development projects. The event was hosted and chaired by the Zayed Foundation, and attended by senior representatives from UAE donor organizations, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), African Development Bank (ADB), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Discussions focused on the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC)’s Quality Standards for Development Evaluation, which aim to improve the mechanisms for assessing the effectiveness of development projects around the world. OCFA is currently working with the IDB and the ADB to produce an Arabic-language version of these standards, with the aim of supporting Arab donors to ensure that the best possible assistance is provided to those in need.
In his keynote speech, H.E. Sultan Al Shamsi, OCFA’s Executive Director, said, “The translation and endorsement of the Arabic version of DAC standards is the result of excellent cooperation between the OECD, the African and the Islamic Development Banks and OCFA. This represents a milestone in our efforts to support and enhance the work of donors from the Arab world, and we look forward to their publication in the coming months”.
During the event, participants reviewed the DAC standards, examined their relevance to the UAE foreign aid context, and explored how they could be usefully introduced to aid actors in the region. While UAE donor organizations outlined their current systems for assessing development projects, participants also drew on the experience of the Islamic Development Bank and African Development Bank of improving their own evaluation mechanisms.
“Meetings such as this play an important role in strengthening the relationship between leading players in the UAE’s foreign aid sector and their international counterparts,” Mr. Al Shamsi continued. “They also serve as a platform for interaction and knowledge sharing, and today’s discussions have proven to be a solid foundation for future collaboration”.
H.E. Salem Al Dhaheri, Director General of the Zayed Foundation, said, “We are very pleased to host this round-table as it is an opportunity to discuss and review our evaluation mechanisms, and we are grateful to colleagues from the IDB, ADB and OECD for sharing their experiences. The availability of the DAC standards in Arabic will be a valuable resource as we continue to develop our monitoring and evaluation processes, as they will help us to ensure that we are in line with international best practice.”