OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

The OECD's main objective is to improve the lives of humans worldwide both economically and socially. It offers governments a forum to exchange information and find solutions to joint problems. The International Bureau (IB) supports the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in contributing to the OECD.

© OECD / Victor Tonelli
© Victor Tonelli / OECD


Current developments

Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, the OECD has held various virtual workshops and events, as well as providing data-based analyses in the international education, research and innovation policy area. These are presented on the OECD website on a topic-by-topic basis. The STIP Compass was also supplemented by a COVID-19 information platform (STIP COVID-19 Watch).


The OECD was founded in 1961 by a total of 20 countries. Today it has 37 member countries.

map of OECD countries USA USA Canada Mexico Colombia Chile New Zealand Australiia Japan South Korea Iceland Ireland UK Norway Sweden Finland Baltic States Denmark Poland Germany Switzerland Alpine Area and South Eastern Europe Benelux States France Spain Portugal Italy Greece Turkey Israel

OECD Members | Year of Accession © DLR

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21 of the current 27 EU member states belong to the OECD. This also includes founding member Germany. The European Union also participates in the work of the OECD. Costa Rica is currently a candidate for membership. In addition, the OECD works with key partners. These include Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa. In some cases, these countries already participate in the meetings of the education and research bodies.

The OECD is becoming increasingly globally oriented through dialogue intensification and cooperation with non-member countries throughout the world.

Goals and Activities

Through its analyses and studies, the OECD makes a contribution to dealing with the issues of globalisation and its consequences. The OECD provides a framework for governments to share policy experiences, seek solutions to common problems, identify best practices and work towards co-ordination of national and international policies.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) participates in the OECD member state committees, which are responsible for education and research policy. In these committees, decisions are made on the implementation of projects and studies and the allocation of funds. The results of the projects are discussed and finally released for publication. The International Bureau supports the BMBF's participation in the OECD's committee work by providing its technical expertise.


The increasing importance of education policy work in the OECD was taken into account with the establishment of the Directorate for Education and Skills in 2002. The work programme for the predominantly education policy-oriented projects is coordinated in the Education Policy Committee (EDPC), in which the Federal Government is represented by the BMBF and the Länder by the Education Ministers Conference. The Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) works on its own work programme with educational research projects that include social and economic aspects. It is directed by the CERI Governing Board.

Germany participates in the design and further development of the Education Directorate's flagship publication, Education at a Glance, by participating in the relevant panels.

Germany also participates in PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), the world-renowned international school performance study that measures the competences of 15-year-olds in the core subjects of mathematics, reading comprehension and natural sciences. Germany also participates in the OECD project to determine the competenices of the adult population (PIAAC).

Germany is continuously involved in the OECD projects on vocational education and training, most recently in the 'Workbased Learning' study.

The BMBF represents Germany in the Committee for Science Policy CSTP and participates in the development of the flagship publication 'Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Outlook', which is published every two years. Information on German research and innovation policy is provided to the OECD Secretariat via an extensive questionnaire. The OECD Secretariat evaluates this information together with statistical data and publishes the results in the STI Outlook.

The OECD has developed a digital database together with the European Commission. The STIP Compass (Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Compass) holds information on research policy instruments and measures from currently 56 countries and the EU in a comparable form.