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Modernization of the French international solidarity policy: where are we at?

Published 14 May 2021 in Analysis

Evaluation of the implementation of MP Hervé Berville’s recommendations

In 2018, the President of the French Republic mandated MP Hervé Berville with a mission to modernize France’s official development assistance (ODA) policy. Released in August 2018, the report A common world, a future for all (in French, English summary here) presented the results of this mission: 36 proposals aimed at adapting France’s international solidarity policy to current challenges.

Two and a half years after the publication of the ‘Berville report’, at a time when the COVID-19 is a stark reminder of the interdependencies between world regions and the critical role of international solidarity, MP Hervé Berville has commissioned Focus 2030 to assess the progress made in the implementation of his 36 recommendations.

Focus 2030 has just published the results of this assessment: Modernization of French official development assistance: where are we at? The report takes stock of the actions undertaken by the French government and its operators since 2018 to modernize France’s development and international solidarity policy, with regards to the proposals of the Berville report.

Read the full report (in French) or keep reading to discover the main takeaways.

Main takeaways

Interviews with key actors, completed by desk research, revealed that 7 of the 36 proposals have been fully implemented across various areas: private resource mobilization, funding for innovation, civil society inclusion, and a clearer strategy.

Besides, 7 of the 36 proposals have been largely implemented, of which 3 should be fully implemented by mid-2021, as France is expected to adopt a new programming bill on inclusive development and combating global inequalities. Five of these seven proposals aimed at reinforcing the strategic and accountability frameworks of French ODA.

In addition, one third (12) of the proposals have been partially implemented, either not reaching the targets set by the Berville report (9/12) or expected to be implemented over a longer time period (3/12). The purpose of six of those 12 proposals was a more rational institutional organization, while three proposals aimed at a larger ODA resource mobilization.

Finally, 10 of the 36 proposals have not been implemented. Of these, the competent authorities deemed eight too similar to existing mechanisms or not compatible with the applicable legal provisions and were discarded. The other two proposals were deemed relevant but not implemented due to a lack of resources. The majority of these 10 proposals (6) aimed at a better citizen engagement in the definition and implementation of French ODA.

Further reading

Modernisation de la politique française de développement : où en est-on ? Understanding development aid (an overview) Increase of Development Aid in 2020