Belgium's presence in the field
The 18 partner countries of governmental cooperation were selected on the basis of their degree of poverty, aspects of good governance and Belgium’s potential for providing meaningful support. The precise criteria for selecting countries are set out in the law on international cooperation, which limits the maximum number of recipients to 18 partner countries. The list of chosen countries is contained in a Royal Decree (Royal Decree of 26 January 2004).
In view of this targeted policy, DGD has since stopped donating funds to a number of countries, but it is continuing to respect and see out all previously arranged bilateral commitments.
The aim is to remain able to sustain cooperative relations with these countries in the long term. Such relations are governed by multiannual Indicative Cooperation Programmes (ICPs) negotiated with the country in question. In a bid to boost efficiency (in keeping with the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness), agreements on how tasks are to be distributed are also concluded between the respective donors active in the partner country. On that basis, Belgium intends to focus its government cooperation on a maximum of two sectors. This approach has been applied in all new ICPs concluded since 2008, with the exception of those set up with Central African countries to which Belgium offers more comprehensive aid.
The government’s programmes are monitored by the relevant Belgian embassies' development cooperation attachés and are implemented by Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC).
BTC is represented in the partner countries by ‘resident representatives’ who are responsible for overseeing the implementation of programmes and projects. Project experts and participants are recruited by BTC from among these representatives.
The 18 partner countries