The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an international organization that aims to promote policies to improve the social and economic well-being of all the peoples of the world, cooperating to respond to economic, social, environmental and good challenges. government .
This organization was created in 1960 and is based in Paris. It is the successor to the European Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECE), which was created to administer aid from the United States and Canada through the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after the Second World War. However, the purposes for which the OECE was created are also in force in the current OECD.
The OECD’s main objective is to promote policies to improve social well-being, cooperate to respond to economic, social, environmental and good governance challenges, the challenges accentuated by globalization and, in turn, make better use of the opportunities that arise from it. More specifically, the OECD’s objectives are as follows:
- Achieve the strongest possible expansion of the economy and employment, and increase the standard of living in the member countries, maintaining financial stability and thus contributing to the development of the world economy.
- Contribute to healthy economic expansion in developing and non-member countries.
- Contribute to the expansion of international trade.
The OECD was founded by twenty member states (dark blue on the map below) and later others have been incorporated, (light blue on the map) such as Japan (1964), Finland (1969), Australia (1971), Mexico (1994), Chile (2010) or Israel (2010).
In 2018, 36 member countries were part of the OECD and we can see them represented on the following map:
OECD areas of activity
As we mentioned earlier, the OECD does not only focus on economic issues, it also deals with social or good governance issues. As examples of its fields of action we could name employment, education, gender equality, agriculture, energy, industrial policy or the fight against corruption, among others. Specifically, the OECD carries out its work through three types of actions:
- Analysis and studies on the public policies of the Member States. Based on the verified data, best practices are proposed and new international standards are established.
- The organization can establish binding commitments for the States in certain matters with the adoption of conventions. It can also adopt guidelines, recommendations or declarations that are not binding, but that integrate a set of standards that serve as a reference for the countries.
- Prepare external auditreports . These reports, called “Peer Reviews”, on the public policies of the Member States.
The OECD is specialized in what the same organization calls ‘Directorates’. These directions are something like departments that work on different topics. At its birth they were only economic, however, over time, new directions have been born. Below are the 14 OECD addresses or departments with their respective codes in parentheses:
- Public administration and territorial development (GOV)
- Financial and Business Affairs (DAF)
- Science, technology and industry (STI)
- Cooperation with non-member countries (CCNM)
- Economy (ECO)
- Employment and social cohesion (ELS)
- Statistics (STD)
- Environment (ENV)
- Agriculture (AGR)
- Tax affairs (CTPA)
- Commerce (ECH)
- Development (DCD)
- Education (EDU)
- Energy (AIE) (AEN)
- Entrepreneurship (CFE)
The codes that appear in parentheses are 3 or 4 letter keys. The acronyms come from English. For example, AGR comes from Agriculture or ENV from Environment.
Although in the previous points, taking as a source the body itself, we have summarized and declared the most important of the OECD, we have decided to add a section of characteristics. In this section, some points discussed above may be repeated, but in some way, they are the ones that, in our opinion, best gather the most relevant aspects. The characteristics of the OECD are as follows:
- It is an international organization
- Its objective is to promote social welfare globally.
- OECD members can increase or decrease.
- It not only focuses on economic issues, but also on social and governmental issues.
- It is made up of 14 departments or work areas.
- It is currently made up of 36 member countries and has 5 key partners.