The OECD seeks to fulfill its missions by concentrating on seven major areas: the monitoring, collection, analysis, and collection of data; assisting constituent and corresponding governments; promoting employment, education, and social welfare; promoting sustained economic development without harming the environment; assisting in financial matters relevant to its mandate; promoting efficiency and fairness in governments and business; and fostering innovation.
The OECD is one of the largest hardcopy and online publishers in economics and public policy and maintains an innovative online library of statistical databases, books, and periodicals, as well as providing online consultations. Key OECD publications include: OECD Economic Outlook; OECD Fact-book; OECD Economic Surveys; Going for Growth. The OECD assists constituent and corresponding governments by sharing comparative policy experiences, solutions to common problems, and effective practices and policies. The OECD also seeks to harmonize national and international policies and to coordinate their implementation. The OECD promotes employment, education, and social welfare by advocating policies that foster: equal access to education, accessible quality health care, social inclusion, employment, and the introduction of information technologies to the world's impoverished. The OECD is not a source of funding source and does not grant or lend money.
The OECD promotes sustained economic development without harming the environment by advocating policies that foster: the application of science and technology; creating markets based on sound environmental practices; and decrease over-consumption, pollution, and waste. The OECD also sponsors for its member states discussions on energy issues through the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA).
The OECD Environment Directorate provides governments, policymakers, academics, businesses, and interested parties with the statistical database necessary for evaluating economic and development growth and how this growth or lack thereof relates to governmental policies and innovations. Country performance reviews, policy analyses, modeling, projections, and cooperative approach analyses are examples of the information available. This allows governments and interested parties to compare policy experiences and initiatives so as to improve their own domestic management and international cooperative efforts by learning from the positive and negative policy and practice experiences of others.
The OECD seeks to provide member states and developing countries greater access to financial services. The OECD promotes best practices in the international financial arena, facilitates greater access to financing through investment policy reforms, analyzes the effect of domestic tax structures on domestic markets and labor, and seeks to provide better insurance and pension options for aging populations.
The OECD promotes efficiency and fairness in governance, administration, and management, by encouraging fair competition ethical practices, citizen-participation in policy-making, and fair tax structures. The OECD encourages companies to manage themselves more effectively, discourages corruption, and seeks to make weak public administration more effective. The OECD encourages its committees to mutually examine and evaluate governmental performance through peer reviews.
The OECDs current regional initiatives concentrate on Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa with special attention given to relationships between OECD member states and West Africa. The OECDs Support for Improvement in Governance and Management (SIGMA), a joint venture with the European Union, helps addresses management and governance issues in Central and Eastern Europe. The OECD also assists Brazil, China, and Russia on these issues programs individualized to each country.
The OECD also maintains relationships with various international assemblies, organizations, and bodies, such as the Council of Europe, the Economic Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the International Labour Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the International Atomic Energy Agency. The OECD cooperates with many United Nations agencies and coordinates the European Conference of Ministers of Transport. The OECD fosters innovation in biotechnology, information and communications technologies, and evaluates the improvement in these areas by setting benchmarks keyed to each country.
The OECD is funded by formalized assessments on its member states that are based on the size of the member's economy. The United States assessment pays for 25 percent of the OECD budget, with Japan paying the second largest assessment. Special projects approved by the OECD Council are funded by contributions designated for the specific programs. The OECDs budget is determined biennially and is audited by the Office of the Auditor-General under the auspices of the OECD Board of Auditors, comprised of four members of national audit offices of member states. The Board certifies the audit to the Council, which, assuming there are no problems, approves the management of OECD.
SEE ALSO: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); International Energy Agency (IEA); OECD Annex I Expert Group on the UNFCCC; OECD Climate Change Documents.
Richard M. Edwards University of Wisconsin Colleges/ Milwaukee School of Engineering
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