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Making Reform Happen Aart de Geus OECD Deputy Secretary General. Policy reforms can be key to prosperity. Realising the right policy reforms successfully can contribute to the growth and well being of our societies

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Making reform happen aart de geus oecd deputy secretary general

Making Reform Happen

Aart de Geus

OECD Deputy Secretary General


Policy reforms can be key to prosperity
Policy reforms can be key to prosperity

  • Realising the right policy reforms successfully can contribute to the growth and well being of our societies

  • “Good” reforms can help unleash growth potential and will move economies and societies forward

  • This makes the CAPACITY OF GOVERNMENTS TO REALIZE REFORMS a comparative advantage in the global economy


But achieving reforms is not easy
…but achieving reforms is not easy

  • Progress in policy reform has been uneven across countries and sectors (eg: compare labour markets, pensions, education or tax reform): this may be due to difficulties in implementing reforms

  • There are key factors that mediate between policy design and its realisation: resistance from special groups, administrative capacity, timing, communication etc.

  • Context matters: reform processes may differ depending on resource endowment, political systems, cultural background, and policy objectives

    Evidence shows that taking into consideration the “political economy” concerns can help to Make Reform Happen


Why oecd
WHY OECD?

  • Ministers discussed the need for OECD to further work on the area of policy reform (MCM 2006, 2007, 2008)

  • As a forum for governments to compare and exchange policy experiences, answers and identify good and not so good practices, OECD can provide good data and evidence base analysis

    • We have many key stakeholders in reform at OECD, including CoG (Centers of Government Network), and Social Partners (BIAC/TUAC)

    • We can provide a horizontal/multidisciplinary viewthrough our specialised Committees and Directorates working in different fields of public policy and our EDRC working on country studies


Edrc study successes and failures
EDRC study: successes and failures

  • EDRC reviews 10 countries, on reform cases that were successful and less successful (2009)

  • The countries involved are: Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, United States

  • 20 cases were selected, varying from retirement reforms to labour market and product market reforms

  • The richness of findings provides some general lessons on political and economic cycles, communication and consultation, dealing with opponents





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