Focus Area 3: Monitoring, review and accountability for development cooperation

Monitoring and review processes help countries and their development partners reach commitments together. Regular and inclusive monitoring and review of development cooperation can build trust and promote mutual learning. It can bring about better results for sustainable development.

Crossing multiple dimensions and actors, these processes are anchored in the many local and national initiatives that hold officials answerable for how development cooperation is provided and used. Such processes are vital to assess and ensure the quality, impact and effectiveness of development cooperation, responsive to context-specific country needs.

The Role of the DCF

The Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) maps and analyses the progress in monitoring, review and accountability of development cooperation. It puts strong emphasis on knowledge sharing and mutual learning among all stakeholders.

The two-year preparatory process for the biennial High-level Meeting of the DCF features innovative analytical work and guidance, and action-oriented policy discussions on advancing the monitoring and review of development cooperation at all levels. This is fundamental to achieving the high aspirations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of financing for development.

The Role of the UNDESA

The biennial Report of the Secretary-General on “Trends and progress in international development cooperation” provides the basis for discussion in the DCF. Produced by UNDESA, the report draws on the deliberations and analytical work throughout the preparatory process. This includes the series of DCF Policy Briefs focused on key issues of development cooperation, like monitoring, review and accountability, as well as the DCF Accountability Survey.

DCF Global Accountability Survey

Since 2008, UNDESA undertakes biennial surveys for the DCF on progress in national mutual accountability and transparency, in collaboration with UNDP. The DCF Accountability Survey serves to monitor, review and document the evidence on the state of play in development cooperation on the ground in the responding countries, which structure their assessment around ‘mutual accountability enablers’, like national development cooperation policies and transparent and accessible information. The Survey exercise encourages engagement of all relevant domestic actors and intended beneficiaries, as well as external partners in development cooperation. Survey results are assessed in comprehensive studies that encourage learning and inform global monitoring. 

The 2017/2018 Survey is underway! Participating countries will have received a link, if not please contact

Links to other processes

The DCF analytical work and deliberations generate practical recommendations for policy makers and practitioners at all levels. The work of the DCF informs the global reviews by the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) and the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development (FfD).


DCF Accountability Survey

DCF Analytical Work

UN platforms for monitoring and review

Youth and civic engagement in development cooperation

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