UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) co-hosted an ‘Expert Meeting on the Transformation of the Republic of Korea (ROK)’s Development Cooperation’ together with the ROK’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). The meeting brought together representatives from relevant government organizations, civil society, academia, research institutions, and international organizations to exchange diverse insights on the ROK’s development cooperation. As part of MOFA’s development cooperation week, it commemorated the ROK’s ten-year anniversary as a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC). The event took place on November 23rd, 2020.


Despite having been engaged in development cooperation for several decades, it was the ROK’s accession to the OECD-DAC in 2010 that symbolized its official transformation from a recipient to a provider of Official Development Assistance. Indeed, this was also reflected in its position within other international organizations; the UNDP Country Office in the ROK was closed in 2010, and replaced with a Policy Centre in the following year. As such, the workshop served as an opportunity to reflect on how the ROK’s development cooperation has evolved over the past decade. In doing so, it sought to aggregate lessons on how the ROK could build on areas of progress in and overcome challenges to its development cooperation approach as it enters the Sustainable Development Goals’ Decade of Action.


Building on the background paper that was published and disseminated prior to the event, this hybrid meeting facilitated three panel discussions on the ROK’s bilateral cooperation, multilateral cooperation, and contributions to global debates. Subsequently, the meeting concluded with a panel discussion on the future of development cooperation and the implications for the ROK.

For a detailed description of the meeting, please read the outcome report here.


UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) has been working with its ROK counterparts on various aspects of the effective development cooperation agenda since 2011 – starting from the High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan. Since then, USPC has supported various initiatives regarding the implementation of effective development cooperation principles at the country level as well as policy research in relevant areas. In recent years, USPC has played a convener role to provide a neutral platform for expert dialogue, bringing together experts and “process actors.”


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