Monday, 27 May 2019 06:53

Making Development Co-operation More Effective: Country-Level Evidence and Action to Accelerate Progress

 

2019 Forum on Financing for Development

SIDE EVENT SUMMARY

Making Development Co-operation More Effective: Country-Level Evidence and Action to Accelerate Progress

CONTEXT

Achieving the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) and realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires not only more resources from all actors, but also a more effective use of these resources and a strong commitment to making partnership and co-operation more effective and impactful as a ‘whole of society’ effort. The agreed development co-operation effectiveness principles1 remain vitally important to improve impact and drive quality of partnership and co-operation for sustainable development.

 

In this light, a side event co-organised by Bangladesh, Germany, Honduras, Malawi and the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE), in collaboration with the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC), brought together more than 60 participants from governments, civil society and other multi-stakeholder partners. Speakers reflected on preliminary results of the 2018 Monitoring Round of the GPEDC, which provides country-level evidence on progress in implementing effective development co-operation commitments at the country level and is supported by an OECD-UNDP Joint Support Team.

 

The scope and magnitude of the GPEDC monitoring has never been higher, demonstrating the political support and relevance of this exercise. The 2018 round assessed over 3,300 development co-operation interventions, involved over 110 different development partners and collated information related to the delivery of approximately US$ 59 billion in disbursements across 86 countries receiving development co-operation. Furthermore, participants discussed what action is needed to further improve the quality, effectiveness and impact of development co-operation, as called for in the AAAA.

To watch a video recording of the side event, click here.

For more information on the event, incl. concept note and speaker list, click here.

To read the news article about the event, click here.

KEY MESSAGES FROM SIDE EVENT DISCUSSIONS

 -          Participants agreed that, considering the ambitious 2030 Agenda and the time left to achieve the SDGs, a more effective use of resources to maximize impact and results of development co-operation is more critical than ever. 

-          Assistant Secretary General Ulrika Modéer highlighted UNDP’s role in supporting countries on development effectiveness, including through support to the GPEDC, and reminded participants of the need to use and leverage ODA in the most effective way to achieve the SDGs. She further pointed out the need to bring effectiveness discussions back to the national levels both in partner and provider countries and emphasized the GPEDC’s unique role in this context.

-          Mr. Jorge Moreira da Silva, Director at the OECD’s Development Co-operation Directorate, which together with UNDP supports the GPEDC and its monitoring exercise, demonstrated the vital role of Global Partnership evidence and data to inform policy making at all levels. Mr. da Silva presented preliminary monitoring results for development partners, signalling that they are well aligned to national priorities at strategic level, but less so at technical level. He remarked that while medium-term predictability of development co-operation over the 2-3-year period is increasingly at risk, there is slow, but steady progress on the use of country systems with about half the disbursements to the public sector currently channeled through national public financial management systems. Moreover, there is progress to further untie aid for the development partners in the countries that participated in the monitoring exercise. Mr. da Silva concluded by pointing to the need for capacity support at country level to strengthen monitoring and evaluation functions and processes, and a focus on results and transparency, both in provider and partner country governments.

-          All participating partner countries confirmed that the GPEDC monitoring process provides essential data and evidence to drive dialogue and behavioural change towards more effective development co-operation. The multi-stakeholder data collection process of the GPEDC monitoring at the country level in itself helps to spark discussion and to build political momentum for enhancing effectiveness. Emphasizing this point, the Honduran Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Ms. Norma Allegra Cerrato shared her country’s successful experience in setting up a multi- stakeholder roundtable that serves as a dialogue platform on effective development co- operation and was established in direct follow up to Honduras’ participation in the 2016 Monitoring Round.

 -          Partner countries agreed that the main challenges are bringing global debates on development effectiveness to the country level, including for development partners and ensuring sufficient capacities for engagement on the ground. Bangladesh, which has participated in all past Monitoring Rounds and currently serves as a GPEDC co-chair, shared its rich experience in this regard. H.E. Mr. Monowar Ahmed, Permanent Secretary in the Economic Relations Division at the Bangladeshi Ministry of Finance called upon development partners to follow through with the implementation of effectiveness commitments, increase the use of national systems and address coordination and knowledge gaps between capital and country offices to smoothen the monitoring data collection process at the national level.

-          H.E. Ambassador Ligoya, Permanent Representative of Malawi to the United Nations, and current chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group applauded the record number of 43 LDCs, including Malawi, that participated in the monitoring exercise. He noted that ensuring efficient and effective use of development co-operation is integral on the road to achieving the 2030 Agenda. Drawing on monitoring results, His Excellency pointed out that LDCs are leading in ensuring inclusiveness in their joint assessments of development co-operation. Overall, participating LDCs conduct regular, inclusive and transparent assessments more often than other countries and also use results of joint reviews for domestic reporting on SDGs more frequently. While in LDCs development partners align their strategies well to sector and sub-national plans, there is room for improvement to make these frameworks more operational. To this end, His Excellency remarked that LDCs need to improve statistical systems to adequately track implementation of country-led development strategies and pointed to the critical role of ODA for capacity development support.

-          Germany, as a co-chair of the GPEDC, emphasised its strong commitment to the effectiveness agenda, along with several other DAC donors present at the event. Dr. Uta Bollhoff, Deputy Director-General at the German Federal Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development pointed out the need to “make the most of every dollar invested” and stressed the uniqueness of the GPEDC as multi-stakeholder forum that provides the necessary space to discuss crucial development effectiveness issues. Dr. Bollhoff shared positive monitoring results for Germany, in particular in the areas of predictability of development co-operation and untying aid. She also acknowledged the need to further strengthening the use of country systems and to developing a targeted monitoring approach for fragile and conflict-affected states, a key deliverable that the Global Partnership is working towards.

-          Participants raised concerns that in many countries an “aid effectiveness” architecture that focuses only on governments and traditional development partners prevails. In light of the evolving development co-operation landscape adjustments are needed to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are systematically engaged in line with a whole-of-society approach. The 4th Co-chair of the GPEDC, Mr. Vitalice Meja, from Reality of Aid Africa, representing the six non-executive Steering Committee members in the Global Partnership leadership, indicated that the GPEDC, as a truly multi-stakeholder platform, is well placed to lead the way and support these shifts to more holistic approaches to development co-operation. He also pointed out the critical role of CSOs and the private sector as well as the need for strong accountability mechanisms.

-          Participants welcomed the GPEDC’s upcoming Senior-Level Meeting (SLM), to be held on 13 and 14 July 2019 in the margins of the UN High Level Political Forum in New York, as an excellent opportunity to deepen the discussions about effectiveness as an essential driver for inclusive growth and sustainable development. The SLM will also allow to explore effectiveness challenges and priorities for the future, informed by the results from the monitoring exercise.

 

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