Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Founding Year: 1961

Staff: 2500

Budget: €374m (2017)

Angel Gurria (Secretary General 2006-2021)

The OECD is arguably the world’s largest think tank produces 250+ reports per year on ‘what works’ and databases with societal and developmental indicators. It promotes policies that improve the economic and social well-being of people to create better lives and a stronger, cleaner, fairer world. The topics include agriculture, fisheries, development assistance, economic management, education, employment, governance, new technology, and various country studies.


  • Restore confidence in markets and the institutions that make them function.
  • Re-establish healthy public finances as a basis for future sustainable economic growth.
  • Foster and support new sources of growth through innovation, environmentally friendly ‘green growth’ strategies and the development of emerging economies.
  • Ensure that people of all ages can develop the skills to work productively and satisfyingly in the jobs of tomorrow.


  • Development Centre – Helps developing countries and emerging economies find innovative policy solutions to promote sustainable growth, reduce poverty and inequalities, and improve people’s lives.
  • The Nuclear Energy Agency – A specialized agency within the OECD that facilitates co-operation among countries with advanced nuclear technology infrastructures to seek excellence in nuclear safety, technology, science, environment and law.
  • The International Transport Forum – A think tank for transport policy and that organizes the Annual Summit of transport ministers.
  • International Energy Agency – An autonomous body within the OECD framework that works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 30 member countries and beyond.
  • Financial Action Task Force – An inter-governmental body established in 1989 and hosted by the OECD, with the objective to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
  • The Sahel and West Africa Club – An international platform hosted by the OECD that promotes regional policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people in the Sahel and West Africa.

Current Projects:

  • Response to the Coronavirus –  “Compiling data, analysis and recommendations on a range of topics to address the emerging health, economic and societal crisis, facilitate co-ordination, and contribute to the necessary global action.”
  • Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) – “A platform for synthesising and generating knowledge and policy expertise around migration and development issues.”
  • Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development: Case Studies and Policy Recommendations (IPPMD)-  the project is “being conducted in ten developing countries with significant emigration or immigration rates” to “provide policy makers with evidence of the untapped development potential embodied in migration and the role of a range of sectoral policies in realising this potential.



  • OECD Environment Outlook to 2050: The Consequences of Inaction (2012, 350p.) – Looks into potential futures to find out what demographic and economic trends might mean for the environment if the world does not adopt more ambitious green policies; and also looks at what policies could change that picture for the better.
  • Social Impact Investment 2019 – Looks into the social impact investment approaches globally, comparing regional trends, and assesses its prospects, with a special focus on data issues and recent policy developments. Provides four sets of recommendations on financing, innovation, data and policy for delivering on the “impact imperative” of financing sustainable development.
  • Better Life Index – An interactive database and data visualization that allows you to compare well-being across countries, based on 11 topics the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life.
  • OECD Economic Outlook (2021) – An analysis of the major global economic trends and prospects for the next two years.

Note:  OECD is frequently referred to as the club of 34 “rich countries,” but, increasingly, it is far more than that, e.g.: it has relations with >70 non-member economies and collects data especially on the BRICS. Its numerous authoritative reports are addressed to government officials, but deserve to be considered by scholars in general and anyone interested in sustainability and non-military aspects of security. The problem is in identifying the many gems in this cornucopia of policy studies. (MM)

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals

  Organization Type

  Geographic Foci


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