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Building Trust: How the Development Community Can Engage the Private Sector

11. September 2018 - 15:43

Blog originally posted in OECD Development Matters.

Fundamental to my organisation’s success in delivering local impact against several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been developing an ecosystem of global and local in-country partners. And critical to this ecosystem is private sector participation: Corporate partners bring a different lens on what we do, a welcome push for innovation, creative approaches and efficiencies, and a business-like approach and priority to sustainability. Through mutual trust, we are now co-designing new initiatives that lead to positive impact for development and businesses.

I am a strong advocate for engaging the private sector in effective development. The private sector is often a strong and effective contributor to local development in the countries, cities and towns in which its offices are located and where its employees live, generously supporting local services. The challenge now is to extend local purpose and responsibility from “down the street” to a global perspective within the SDG framework. I advocate for this on the Business Leaders’ Caucus of the Global Partnership.

The conditions are aligning for greater peer-to-peer engagement between the private sector and the local and international development community, encompassing government agencies, multilateral agencies, NGOs, social enterprises, foundations, executing agencies and donors. And I observe this growing alignment in several ways:

  • Development partners are reaching out to the private sector because they know that the SDGs cannot be achieved without multi-stakeholder collaboration and an important, perhaps dominant, role for the private sector.

The private sector focuses on skills, techniques, innovation, sustainability, efficiency, flexibility and speed of decision-making and execution – and yes, if the business case is right, financing. Virtually every gathering of development partners has a session on the private sector (yet limited private sector participation), and enlightened development partners are busy recruiting experts in creative finance and who know how to leverage corporate experience. Development partners are taking seriously the need to structure policies and programs that consider the interests of and pressures on business.

  • Encouraging shifts are also occurring within the corporate world.

Enlightened boards and CEOs are basing long-term strategies around a triple social, environmental and financial bottom line. Profit is being balanced with purpose; performance is measured and rewarded by both profit and purpose. Purpose is no longer the purview of arms-length corporate social responsibility (CSR) foundations, but integrated into the very values and behavior of organisations. The importance of the SDGs is recognised for creating new growth markets, and actively participating in international development facilitates an understanding of these markets and cultures, informs new products and services, provides access to tomorrow’s employees, shapes management and staff as global citizens, and builds brand goodwill. See, for example, the SDG Business Forum organised by the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) survey of business and the SDGs, and the growing literature on business and sustainable development. Consider too what the private sector is doing with a growing respect for purpose-led businesses. I applaud Larry Fink, Chairman of BlackRock, for his letter to CEOs calling for “A Sense of Purpose”. IBM encourages the Fortune 500 to assume a stronger role and responsibility for development, as it does through its Corporate Service Corps programme. A sea change seems to be occurring – customers will reward the companies with community purpose and abandon those without one.

However international development investments are not sidetracked to finance the private sector, but rather to incentivise and reduce risk for engaging the incremental capabilities, resources and comparative advantages of purpose-led private sector entities. We must learn to do this from the growing evidence of case studies on how to select wisely and build trust.

Global Partnership case studies in Bangladesh, Egypt, El Salvador and Uganda have shown, for example, that development partners could do more to make a better business case to attract the private sector to engage, and to better target marginalised populations, including in the informal sector. The studies revealed a range of good practices, in particular to support small business owners: Danone and Care, for example, work with small-scale breeders in Egypt to increase their knowledge and equip them with skills to increase production, as well as overall quality milk supply. The Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD), a dialogue platform launched by some of the leading Chambers of Commerce in Bangladesh, has become a solid and inclusive voice in shaping policy in areas where growth is critical for realising the country’s development vision, from disaster risk management to social development. Another example are the Salvadorian Small Business Development Centres, one-stop shops where micro-enterprises and SMEs can find a wide range of services to support them launch or scale up their businesses. They provide easily accessible training, networking and engagement opportunities in partnership with many municipalities, and the support of universities and NGOs.

In our experience, two factors help forge trusted relationships with corporate partners. One, speaking the same language of markets, staff development and retention, and return on investment aligns values and builds a mutual case. Two, arriving with developed concepts and programme structures, an understanding of the gaps, and seeking incremental compatibility helps. In one case, a corporation had designed its programme, but needed local knowledge and “feet on the street” that we represented. In another case, we had the programme model and local knowledge, but needed technology and business advice. Our corporate partner knew that they could learn from how we adapted their technology in countries and cultures that they had not considered.

Informed by these examples and experiences, three strong and practical recommendations lay the groundwork for engagement and trust that development partners and corporate colleagues alike would welcome:

Be prepared; do the research: Building a shared understanding, and ultimately trust, for any new venture requires good research. Approaching the private sector is no different. Shift the lens from the development perspective to the private sector perspective. Learn the language of the business and its industrial sector. Websites, annual reports, speeches, and CSR reports are available to explore businesses with purpose, along with their boards and CEO leadership, strategic plans, recent performance, and shareholder expectations. If the “match” is not evident, move on.

The value proposition: Armed with a defined concept or programme design, development goals and impact, and research, develop a business proposition for engagement that integrates value not only for development against the SDGs, but also for the private sector organisation that speaks their language and aligns with their purpose. For example, this could be market knowledge in a particular country that could scale to the region, cultural insights that could influence creativity in product design or upskilling of employees. Be explicit about the assets and value that the development partner offers to reduce risk and ensure success – be it previous experience, proven expertise or funding.

Efficiency and effectiveness: If one factor can destabilise a peer-to-peer relationship with the private sector, it is the threat of bureaucracy. Be up front about decision-making and where decisions are made, by whom and at what pace. Be clear about reporting requirements, monitoring and evaluation frameworks. It is all part of the shared understanding and no surprises that build trust.

The evidence is unfolding of the incremental benefits that accrue by developing an ecosystem that includes peer-level private sector engagement. Guidelines must follow to harness the opportunities and offset any concerns, and I applaud the Global Partnership for its leadership in advancing such guidelines.

Learn more on this timely topic at the Global Partnership event ‘Reinvigorating Effectiveness for the 2030 Agenda’ in Paris on 11-12 September 2018.

Kategorien: english

Balancing Scope with Accountability – A Challenge for Development Effectiveness

7. September 2018 - 16:25

Back in the early years of this century, a phrase started circulating which has since become one of those constant pieces of development jargon. Rather than just calling for more aid, campaigners and recipient governments started insisting that it be better aid as well.

‘More and better aid’ became one of the central planks of the Make Poverty History campaign in 2005. It was a recognition, in an era of criticism and reflection on the impact of aid spending, that not all aid works, and that some aid can do harm if spent unwisely.

In the same year, government representatives met in Paris. While campaigners banged drums, researchers, practitioners and bureaucrats got down to the complementary work of spelling out what ‘better aid’ would look like. What emerged was the ground-breaking Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Ground-breaking not only for its substance but, remarkably in hindsight, for the fact that donor governments actually submitted themselves to exacting standards on which they would be publicly held to account. This seldom happens. The drumming helped.

The next six years, were, perhaps, the heyday of the ‘aid effectiveness’ movement. There were, of course, many problems with Paris’ attempts to corral the complex reality of aid into a set of targets and indicators – everyone had their own bone to pick with them, from an over-focus on process to a lack of focus on politics and a failure to properly respond to changing contexts both nationally and internationally.

Nevertheless, the principles encapsulated in Paris became common currency and, crucially, the mechanisms set up to monitor them actually did their job reasonably well for a time, with donor governments altering policy based on feedback, facilitated by an impressive bureaucracy at the OECD. The setting up of multi-stakeholder mutual accountability committees in many recipient countries, and of aid effectiveness units within donor agencies, were among a number of important signs of progress.

That was then. Fast forward to 2018 (via major meetings in Accra, Busan, Mexico City and Nairobi, and hundreds of smaller meetings besides) and two main things have happened. First, the focus on better aid has become hardwired into the international development community. Perhaps the most telling demonstration of this is the number of impact evaluations now being carried out, many of a detailed, often randomised, nature. Before Paris these were few and far between – today they are par for the course.

And second, the language of aid effectiveness has evolved into a focus on ‘effective development co-operation’ or ‘development effectiveness’. This reflects the broadening out from an obsession with aid to an understanding that with all forms of finance, resources need to be harnessed to further global progress, whether public, private or philanthropic, both domestic and international.

I wrote a book (still available!) about the need to assess with more nuance the complex impacts of aid, and much of my writing since has been on the importance of transforming the development sector to better reflect a new twenty-first century global reality – so in many ways I am pleased with these two evolutions.

But there are some aspects of the ‘old-fashioned’ aid effectiveness work that appear to have been lost. As I walked out of the Busan conference centre in 2011, I asked an old-hand, someone who had helped draft the Paris Declaration, for his assessment of the meeting. His response was blunt and disappointed: ‘Paris is dead’. I thought at the time he was being a bit melodramatic, but I soon began to see his point. By expanding the scope of the effectiveness agenda, to cover more sectors, more themes, more geographies, it soon became impossible to maintain that process of holding the powerful (donors et al) to account for their spending decisions.

Sure, the Paris indicators were limited and flawed, but they were slowly pushing aid spending in the right direction. Advocate and recipients were able to use them to balance out the political and media pressures that so often determine aid spending. In modern bureaucracies, clear targets, backed up by data and evidence, have power.

And it is not only the process of Paris that has been diluted over time. The main substantial centre of the Paris analysis, in my view, was ownership – that annoying word that isn’t quite right but we know what it approximates to. It turns out that after all the research, we know less about what makes aid effective than we would like to – and debates continue. But one thing we do know, because the research and practice are as one on this issue, is that when recipients are involved in aid (from planning to implementation to evaluation), development interventions are far more likely to work.

But while ‘impact’, ‘effectiveness’ and ‘results’ are now at the heart of every keynote speech on aid and development, ‘ownership’ and ‘participation’ are no longer the buzzwords they once were when everyone was still reading Robert Chambers.

So, when we look at the development effectiveness landscape in 2018, we see some steps forward, some steps back. And these are the issues on which I will be grilling my panel at the Global Partnership on Effective Development Co-operation’s meeting in Paris in this coming week. Is the effectiveness agenda making real progress? Is the development community empowering the less powerful to hold the more powerful to account? How can we balance the need for evolution, to reflect a changing context with a steadfastness to evidence-based principles?

Jonathan Glennie is the Director of the Ipsos Sustainable Development Centre. He is also a writer and researcher on international development and co-operation. He is a visiting fellow at the International Development Institute at King’s College London, and has worked at the Overseas Development Institute, Save the Children UK and Christian Aid, among others.

Kategorien: english

Highlighting Myanmar’s Effective Development Co-operation Policies & Plans

27. August 2018 - 16:36

Myanmar is on track to graduate from its Least Developed Country (LDC) status by 2025. As one of two remaining LDCs in the Association of South East Asian Nations (the other being Laos), what progress has Myanmar made in the realm of development effectiveness (DE)?

Working towards Development Effectiveness (DE) – the idea of bringing as many relevant partners around the table to use resources as effectively as possible –  is high on Myanmar’s priorities this year with the development and launch of new policies, plans and frameworks towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

One such initiative is the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP), the draft of which was presented at the Development Effectiveness Roundtable in February 2018, followed by a consultation process on the plan with INGOs, civil society organisations, development partners and the private sector.

With 3 pillars, 5 goals, 28 strategies and over 250 action plans, the MSDP faciliates local developmental needs and the global sustainable development agenda by aligning MSDP action plans with global SDG targets.

Looking back, Myanmar’s commitment to DE began in 2013. For the first time, the Government of Myanmar set forth principles on development effectiveness with the 2013 Nay Pyi Taw Accord for Effective Development Co-operation, a country-level localization of established development co-operation principles. The Nay Pyi Taw Accord’s commitments, informed by aid effectiveness principles have been operationalized through annual action plans. To this end, government and development stakeholders met annually at the Myanmar Development Co-operation Forum (MDCF) three years in a row from 2013-2015, and through the Development Effectiveness Roundtable in Feburary 2018.

The aid effectiveness agenda has also now been strengthened with the establishment of the Development Assistance Co-ordination Unit (DACU) in 2016. This was followed by a new Myanmar Development Assistance Policy (DAP) in 2018, a national-level policy which provides an overarching framework to guide the delivery of development assistance, highlights areas for priority investment and seeks to strengthen effective and inclusive partnerships in development. The Government of Myanmar also established 10 Sector Co-ordination Groups (SCGs) along with other co-ordination bodies (on peace process funding; and the rule of law and justice sector) to support alignment of development assistance with strategic sector and issue priorities.

Financing of these plans remains central to the efforts of the government and development partners, and to this end, the Government has also partnered with UNDP on the development of a Development Finance Assessment, outlining key building blocks in Myanmar’s development financing landscape.

Myanmar also continues its commitment to promote inclusive and transparent assistance. Building on Myanmar’s formal endorsement of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) in 2014, the country uses an IATI compliant, publicly accessible, Aid Information Management System (AIMS), known as ‘Mohinga’ which enables the government to share information on development finance flows with a wider range of development stakeholders, public and private, within the region and beyond.

Engaging for the first time in 2016 and again in 2018, Myanmar participates in the monitoring exercises of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC), measuring the country’s progress against the effectiveness principles as agreed to at the 2011 Busan Forum.

GPEDC monitoring, AIMS, DACU, DAP, SCGs, MSDP, DFA – these plans and co-ordination structures show that Myanmar’s government and stakeholders are taking aid effectiveness seriously to ensure that resources are used as efficiently as possible to tackle the country’s challenges, achieve the SDGs and eventually ensure that no one is left behind.

Kategorien: english

Impact Investments & Private Sector for the SDGs: The Case of Australia

7. August 2018 - 22:47

This blog is based on Episode 9 of the Good Will Hunters Podcast, with Giles Gunesekera, Director of the Global Impact Initiative.

I recently interviewed Giles Gunesekera, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Global Impact Initiative. The Initiative works with businesses to create bespoke impact investments, intended to generate a positive financial return as well as a positive social return. The investments are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, for several key reasons.

Much like a “to do” list for the world, the Sustainable Development Goals function as a set of unquestionably important objectives for the common future of humanity and the planet. Each of the Goals has a combination of quantitative and qualitative targets. The use of quantitative targets enables the SDGs to be written in a language which investors are familiar with. Identifying specific benchmarks of success, means that each of the SDGs can be measured objectively, accurately and observably. It is for this reason that the impact-investing strategies pioneered by the Global Impact Initiative are predicated on the SDG benchmarks.

Australia has been a slow adopter of the SDGs, however there has been an upsurge in momentum throughout the past year, particularly in the lead up to the recent High Level Political Forum held in New York. Australia was one of the 47 countries to conduct a Voluntary National Review into progress on the SDGs.

Impact investment, using capital for social good, has the potential to revolutionise Austrailia’s approach to achieving the SDGs. Australia has the fourth largest retirement savings market in the world, with close to $2.6 trillion AUD in superannuation. Gunesekera refers to this as “lazy capital” that is often not being invested in a way which aligns with the values of the investor. Capital such as this can be invested in organisations that are working towards achieving the SDGs, thus enabling a positive financial return alongside tangible and observable social progress.

During the 2017 UN General Assembly, the UN Global Compact discussed the emergence of case studies on how the SDGs should be institutionalized in businesses. The Global Compact, known as the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, encourages businesses globally to institutionalize the SDGs in their internal processes and frameworks. Impact investment provides an innovative means of doing this, by enabling companies to simultaneously focus on financial return and investment in the global goals.

Given that the majority of financial capital resides in the private sector, and not the charitable or philanthropic sectors, it is vital that businesses actualize the impact they can have on achieving the SDGs. The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation too believes that given the scale and scope of the SDGs, the private sector needs to be involved.

To this end, the Global Impact Initiative has launched an impact investment strategy focused on women and girls, the first of its kind globally. Naturally, the strategy aligns with SDG 5 on achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls.

I wrote an article recently for the Lowy Institute Interpreter, on the increase in B-Corp Certification in Australia, particularly in the wake of the Royal Commission into financial services. Increasingly, businesses want to distinguish themselves, through independent certification, as being social and environmentally responsible. Impact investment in the SDGs presents another opportunity for businesses to continue with their core mandate of generating profit, whilst simultaneously considering the interests of non-financial stakeholders and being part of the global effort to achieve the world’s most important to-do list.

Whether through creative capitalism, the green economy, sustainable corporations or social business, there is no question that the private sector can, and does, have an unrivaled impact on the achievement of the SDGs.

Kategorien: english

Sustaining Peace and Shared Prosperity: The Question of Fragile States

31. Juli 2018 - 10:25

This research article was originally posted on SAGE journals.

State fragility as a global challenge and global efforts to tackle it

The last decade has observed an increased number of violent conflicts that have further resulted in the loss of human lives and a level of displaced people not seen since World War II. According the latest peace index of 2017, the economic cost of violence in 2016 was US$14.3 trillion or 12.6 % of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). The containment of violence in 2012 alone costs US$9.46 trillion or 11% of world’s GDP. The recent study on Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict conducted jointly by the World Bank (WB) (2018) and the United Nations (UN) considered conflict as the biggest obstacle to development. Recognizing the central role that states play in development, the study emphasized the need to prevent conflict as well as inclusive investment in development, in order to ensure resilience.

Wars, conflict, and natural disasters leave behind a legacy of state fragility that characterizes among others, social disintegration, weak institutions, broken service delivery, and ruined infrastructure. Bringing all this back to a normal situation takes decades and huge investment. Nearly 1.4 billion people live in countries that have been in conflict recently and that still suffer from the legacy. Lasting peace is an indispensable need of these people who constitute nearly one third of the world population.

Established in 2010, the g7+ is a voluntary inter-governmental organization of 20 countries that have been affected by conflict and fragility. The main objective of the g7+ is to build peaceful societies through promoting country-led dialogue, sharing experiences, and advocating for reforms to the way that the international community engages in conflict-affected states. Progress in social and development targets in these countries have been far below average. These crises have not only reversed development gains in these countries if there were any but have also had a heavy human toll. Dealing with periods of instability, g7+ members have learned lessons and gained experiences that have rarely been documented or acknowledged. These lessons have proved useful for peers within the g7+ group. The g7+ Foundation has been established to document the stories by both leaders and citizens that can be used to share with other countries.

Despite the stigma of fragility that is associated with the identity of these countries, their people and state institutions demonstrate remarkable resilience as they survive in the face of tremendous challenges caused by conflicts and fragility. This contradicts the perception of passivity that many in the global community have of these countries when it comes to defining their vision and national strategy for development. In other words, they have often been subject to policies (humanitarian, security, and development) that are formed with little or no consideration of their context and ownership. Intervention in the areas of security, humanitarian, and development has been merely reactive to the consequences of fragility rather than solution to the root causes.

However, agreement on the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile Situations, by the g7+, development assistance committee donors, and civil society groups, offered a new opportunity for the so-called fragile states to decide their own destiny with international support. The New Deal, which was endorsed in Busan in 2011, is the first internationally agreed framework that recognizes the indispensable nexus of peace, effective state institutions, and development – a phenomenon that has recently found a central space in international discourse on peace, security, and development. The New Deal principles and the lived experiences of the g7+ countries were the reference point for the g7+ and its partners to advocate for a stand-alone goal on peace, justice, and effective institutions within the Agenda 2030 – the adoption of which is considered as the most inclusive global agenda since the establishment of the UN.

The New Deal has changed the narrative on fragility. The principles of the New Deal were based on the practical experiences of countries that have been able to break the vicious circle of conflict and fragility. Recognition of the unique context and ownership of the countries over their challenges and solution thereof are at core of the successful realization of the New Deal principles. The International Dialogue for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS) has been a unique platform that has facilitated a frank and in-depth dialogue among the g7+, donors, and civil society groups on the specific challenges facing countries in fragile situations. With the establishment of the IDPS, the so-called ‘fragile countries’ are expected to manifest their priorities at the global level.

Agreement on the New Deal was a ground-breaking event that created considerable expectations for the long-waited reforms in the development and peacebuilding architecture of international, regional, and national actors. The adoption of SDG16 within the Agenda 2030, the twin resolutions (2282-2016) of the UN General Assembly, and Security Council, respectively, the sustaining peace agenda and the recent launch of the above-mentioned study by the WB and UN, confirm the relevance of the New Deal principles. In fact, its principles are expected to help in advancing the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) at country level in countries affected by conflict and fragility. While the SDGs are a universal agenda, its implementation is local, particularly in conflict-affected countries, and hence, the New Deal has a role to play. However, the full potential of the New Deal principles has not yet been realized. There could and should be more obvious results in effective peacebuilding, statebuilding, and development cooperation. As the independent evaluation of the New Deal study observed, political processes have been missing to identify ‘what needs to happen and how’, since it was expected to bring about transformative change in the behavior of development and humanitarian actors (Hearn, 2016). The study further suggests that the g7+ has become an influential voice on the global stage. Hence, there has been an unprecedented opportunity to lift the profile of the principles of the New Deal.

The adaption of the global frameworks related to peacebuilding and statebuilding (some of which were mentioned above) seems to have started bringing together peacebuilding, humanitarian, development, and even private investment actors in regard to fragility and conflict prevention. This has shown the need to tackle fragility at its roots, which of course will require radical reform in the way these actors have worked so far. This will require close coordination and joint actions. However, the tendency of actors to get carried away by a new framework at the cost of fully working out what they have committed to has hindered progress in realizing the aspirations of the New Deal. Emerging themes change global discourse in the same was that a news story will remain in the headlines until replaced by something new. For example, after the launch of the New Deal, there was a lot of energy around it. There was equal inspiration on the sides of donors and g7+ countries. But as time passed by, we see progress only on the technical aspect of the New Deal as is found by its first Monitoring Report in 2014 (IDPS, 2014). In other words, it seems to be falling out of fashion, whereas it has a pioneering role in the international system and policies related to conflict and fragility. I am afraid that this might become a global norm of endorsing a new framework and agreeing on principles without attempting to realize the potential of what we have committed to. Thus, the IDPS is in need of consolidating its potential and be utilized for political dialogue rather than purely technical discussion among the g7+, donors, and civil society.

Need for realization of the New Deal principles

We are all terrified by the prospect that more than half of the world’s poorest people will be living in fragile and conflict-affected countries by the end of 2030, the timeline set to achieve the SDGs. The downfall in the global economic outlook, coupled by the breakout of emerging conflicts, is a warning that we may run out of resources to respond to the consequences of these conflicts. Hence, there are no more options left except tackling the conflicts at their roots so that all people can live in peace and prosperity. There is a need to shift from a reactive approach to a more pro-active one, meaning pursuing long-lasting solutions.

First, it is clear that building sustainable peace and stopping human suffering is an urgent priority for all nations. Given the contagious nature of conflict and violence, it is a collective responsibility. The current refugee crisis that has been the result of conflict and fragility has affected Europe is enough to show that crisis in one part of the world will have impact beyond the boundaries of its origin. We might be able to contain the immediate impact of violence, but we cannot tackle the root cause without addressing the grievances that drive these conflicts. Pursuing country-led dialogue and reconciliation is the most affordable option to address those grievances. If the UN is serious about making its ‘sustaining peace agenda’ a reality, it should facilitate and support all possible tracks of diplomacy to stop ongoind wars and conflicts first. There are countries and champions of peace whose experience can inspire us. Despite meager resources, the g7+ group has identified its own champions of peace to promote dialogue and reconciliation through peer-learning and ‘fragile-to-fragile cooperation’.

Second, sustaining peace requires strong and capable state institutions to deliver basic services (such as security, justice, and social protection) to their citizens. The delivery of these services is the ultimate responsibility of the states themselves. States need to assume this responsibility, which may further manifest their legitimacy – crucial for sustaining peace. Those countries that were fortunate enough to have their own resources at their discretion such as Timor-Leste, for example, were able to consolidate peace. If Timor-Leste had to only rely on foreign aid to settle the IDPs (internally displaced people) during the 2006 crisis, it would have taken much longer to resettle the IDPs given the tendency of international actors not to vest ownership into hands of the leaders and people of conflict affected countries to manage the aid provided. The New Deal demands investment in the foundation of the state as articulated within the peacebuilding and statebuilding goals. While country context and ownership is a determining factor of successful transition, countries emerging from immediate conflict need resources at their discretion. Donors do provide aid to these countries, but the plans to allocate it are made in their capitals rather than in the capital of the recipient countries. Yes, those plans made by donors seem to be aligned with broader and global objectives of eradicating poverty, but that alignment rarely happens at the operational level where the National stakeholders can monitor whether the objectives of their National strategies have been achieved or not. A recent study by Oxfam on aid effectiveness in Afghanistan found that alignment of donors’ from a donor’s perspective, alignment is achieved by spending money in sectors that fall within National Priorit Programs, through whicever mechanism they see fit, whereas the government identifies alignment as spending in ways that can easily monitor and attribute to their priority needs, essentially through their institutions and procedures (March 2018). Countries need to identify their national vision, a ‘one vision’ that could be agreed upon by all stakeholders.

Third, one of several challenges that countries affected by conflict and fragility face is fragmentation at every level. This fragmentation is widened further by uncoordinated, misaligned, and parallel projects and programs by donors. The use of project implementation units (PIUs) established to implement donors’ projects is a synonym for ‘government’ within a government. Each PIU is managed outside the structure of the relevant ministry. One of the immediate impacts of such arrangements is the distortion of salaries, and brain drain of capacity. For example, in Sierra Leone, there were 295 projects in the ministry of finance, agriculture, and health using PIUs in 2014 (Independent Evaluation Group, 2014: 50). One can imagine how difficult it can be for the government to consolidate one strategic direction in the presence of several other plans run by different actors.

In addition, a huge portion of aid is channeled outside the government system and national budget. According to the New Deal monitoring report of 2014, there has not been significant progress in honoring the commitment to using the existing country system. Budget support as a percentage of official development assistance in 21 fragile states fell from 3.5% to 1.5%. Bypassing the national budget when delivering aid means that governments and their parliaments have little or no control on the spending of the aid money. In other words, it undermines accountability and transparency. The preamble of many aid programs in conflict-affected countries promise to build state capacity, but fragmented, uncoordinated, misaligned, and unharmonized aid projects with short-sighted goals perpetuate aid dependency in these countries.

Fourth, investment in infrastructure (both physical and soft) has a leveraging impact on the potential of countries to reduce aid dependency. According to the WB’s (2011) World Development Report 2011, Conflict, Security, and Development, a lack of economic opportunities and high unemployment are key sources of fragility. Private companies create 90% of jobs worldwide. However, challenges facing private sector development in conflict affected countries include, among others, a lack of security, lack of sufficient infrastructure, and risks associated with the perceived corruption. The only industry that has attracted investment is the extractives and telecom sector. Nevertheless, in many countries, these constitute a tiny portion of overall GDP. Multi-lateral institutions usually have a ‘demand-driven’ approach to supporting the private sector. The stigma and perception of associated risks scares away potential investors. Given the significant potential for conflict-affected countries to attract private investment (local and foreign), help is needed to create a market for investment rather than waiting for one to emerge. Infrastructure is needed to connect these countries to regional and international markets. While policies to bring about investment climate reforms are not always easy for the governments of conflict-affected countries to implement, donors should help governments to overcome the most critical problems that get in the way of increased investment. Such kinds of support is really an investment in prevention.

Given the complexity of challenges of fragile situations that require flexible tools and resources, the above suggestions may seem like a wish list. However, the unanimous adaption of Agenda 2030, followed by an unprecedented level of support to the sustaining peace agenda of the UN Secretary General, can be a reason for optimism. We have options to tackle fragility and stop and/or avoid conflicts. Alongside the benefits of globalization, such as the widespread uptake of technology, transport, and regional integration, we are also facing the increasing interconnection and contagious nature of conflicts and crisis. In other words, they are no longer a problem limited to one particular country or territory but have become a shared challenge. This has been evident in the recent influx of refugees into Europe. History has taught us that whenever a challenge has become global, then no single country, rich or poor, well-armed or unarmed, and big or small, can tackle it alone. This is a hard reality we have to face. Thus, I hope that we are united in tackling conflicts and fragility from their roots and helping to build peace, resilience, and hence, enjoy ‘shared prosperity’.

About the Author

Habib Ur Rehman Mayar is Deputy General Secretary of the g7+ Secretariat and Executive Director of g7+ Foundation. He has served in the Secretariat since 2013 and leads on policy and advocacy for better engagement in fragile situations. Mr Mayar was Head of the Aid Coordination Unit in the Ministry of Finance, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, before joining the g7+ Secretariat. He was involved in discussions on the Paris Declaration, Accra Agenda for Action, and the Busan Partnership and participated in the negotiations on the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States.

Kategorien: english

UAE Workshop Trains Regional Countries & Development Partners for the GPEDC’s 2018 Monitoring Round

26. Juli 2018 - 12:28

On 11 July, the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation (MoFAIC), with support from the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC), led a two-day technical workshop for 26 regional countries and development partners, training them for the GPEDC 2018 monitoring round.

A country-led process, the GPEDC’s biennial monitoring exercise brings together bilateral and multilateral organisations, the private sector, civil society and parliaments, among others, to monitor effective development co-operation commitments at the country level, tracking progress against ten indicators to ensure that all development efforts are in line with four internationally-agreed principles for effective co-operation.

The workshop provided an opportunity to i. establish a dialogue between countries and development partners on ways to strengthen their joint collaboration, ii.discuss the tools and guidance that both would need to successfully engage in the monitoring process, and iii. understand the usefulness of the monitoring results.

Participants realized that concerted efforts by all at the country level was crucial in making development co-operation effective and using limited resources efficiently. To this end, multi-stakeholder platforms and dialogues are an important aspect of working together. In this context, the monitoring process was seen as a useful entry point to strengthen platforms for multi-stakeholder dialogue.

Regional countries and development partners were keen to share ideas on how they could strengthen their co-operation to monitor and deliver on development projects more effectively together. Government representatives from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania, Pakistan, Sudan, and Yemen shared their experiences in implementing and monitoring effective development co-operation efforts. At the same time, the Arab funds and donors present shared their successful partnerships in delivering complex infrastructure projects in the region. The Islamic Development Bank also shared Multi-Development Banks’ joint efforts in assessing and improving the quality of countries’ procurement systems.

National and peer development partners present included representatives from UAE’s development cooperation system and the Gulf Coordination Council, namely the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, Arab Monetary Fund, Dubai Cares, Emirates Red Crescent, Etisalat UAE, Ewa’a Shelters for Victims of Human Trafficking, Islamic Development Bank, Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, Noor Dubai, OPEC Fund for International Development, Saudi Fund for Development , UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, United Arab Emirates University and Yahsat – Al Yah Satellite Communications Company.

Click here to find out more about the Global Partnership’s 2018 monitoring round.


Kategorien: english

Global Partnership calls for evidence to support more effective development co-operation

24. Juli 2018 - 20:00

Through its 2017-2018 Programme of Work, the Global Partnership is providing enhanced support for more effective development co-operation at country level.  Given its reach as an international network of policy-makers and practitioners, across government, civil society, trade unions, local governments, parliamentarians, the private sector, philanthropy and others, the Global Partnership is well placed to identify common constraints to effectiveness and support the sourcing and sharing of evidence-based solutions.

As such, the Global Partnership is launching a call for evidence to draw on the experience of country-level practitioners in delivering on the effectiveness principles – the opportunities and challenges they have encountered, the solutions and approaches they have found useful and the situations where progress has been difficult to achieve – to enrich the global evidence base of good practices and help provide tailored and actionable solutions based on country context and stakeholder group.

The Global Partnership’s multi-stakeholder Steering Committee endorsed the concepts for a Global Compendium of Good Practices and a Knowledge-Sharing Platform on effective development co-operation, during its 15th meeting in Washington (April 2018). Both of these tools will showcase the results of this call for evidence, and will be crucial components of the Global Partnership’s efforts to drive global progress and support countries in strategically managing diverse development co-operation resources, highlighting effective practices to deliver on national development targets.

This public call for evidence is open to all Global Partnership stakeholders, including Steering Committee members and their constituents, national and local governments, development partners, Global Partnership Initiatives, civil society organisations, the business sector, multi-lateral organisations, United Nations agencies, philanthropic organisations, think tanks and academia, among others.

 Read more about how to participate in English, French or Spanish.

Kategorien: english

The Global Partnership Launches an Interactive Dashboard to Explore Monitoring Results

18. Juli 2018 - 15:58

Today, the Global Partnership launches its Monitoring Dashboard – an interactive data visualization tool that showcases results from its voluntary and country-led monitoring process.

The Dashboard allows users to generate interactive displays and explore results for all countries and organisations that reported to the 2014 and 2016 monitoring rounds. Users can:

  • View the results of a specific country or development partner
  • Compare results of countries or development partners within a similar region or context
  • Discover how other countries or organisations are implementing effectiveness commitments
  • Explore progress in different areas of effective development co-operation by viewing performance over time

The Dashboard includes data from the 2014 and 2016 Global Partnership monitoring rounds, as well as data for comparable indicators from the 2005, 2007 and 2010 Paris monitoring process. 2018 data is expected to be added later this year, upon completion of the third round of Global Partnership monitoring.

Explore the Dashboard>

Share the Dashboard>

Learn how to navigate the Dashboard>

Here are 10 things you need to know about the Dashboard>

What is Global Partnership monitoring?

The Global Partnership monitoring framework is comprised of 10 indicators that track progress in areas related to the four internationally-agreed effective development co-operation principles: country ownership, a focus on results, inclusive partnerships and transparency and mutual accountability to one another. Areas of focus include strengthening developing countries’ institutions, increasing the transparency and predictability of development co-operation, enhancing gender equality and supporting greater involvement of civil society, parliaments and the private sector in development efforts. Monitoring results inform multi-stakeholder dialogue and promote accountability between all partners, in order to spur development impact and support achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Global Partnership monitoring complements the follow-up and review processes of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Its data contributes to the measurement of SDG target 17.16 on monitoring multi-stakeholder partnerships for development effectiveness, SDG target 5.c.1 on public allocations for gender equality, SDG target 17.15.1 on respecting countries’ policy space and leadership.

Kategorien: english

Stakeholders Embrace Country-Level Frameworks & Resilient Partnerships: 2018 UN High-Level Political Forum

17. Juli 2018 - 20:13

Today, in the margins of the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, the governments of Bangladesh and the Republic of Korea co-hosted a Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation side event on Enhancing the global partnership for sustainable development: Country-level frameworks for resilient, multi-stakeholder partnerships.

Attended by over 100 participants, the event brought together stakeholders from various circles including government, civil society, the private sector, academia and UN agencies to discuss good practices and progress on institutionalising multi-stakeholder frameworks at the country level to increase the effectiveness of co-operation and support achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In today’s evolving international landscape, development challenges are increasingly complex, persistent and interlinked. As such, achieving sustainable development for everyone, everywhere, calls for strong, equal partnerships between all stakeholders. Participation of civil society organisations, the private sector and other local development partners in all phases of development policy-making, planning and implementation helps ensure that resources are used effectively, capitalising on the comparative advantage of every stakeholder group and sharing resources, technology and knowledge.

However, the state of play from the last round of Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) shows that many countries face challenges in consolidating effective multi-stakeholder engagement, particularly facilitating meaningful stakeholder participation and maintaining collaborative relationships. The GPEDC’s monitoring framework, which measures country-level progress in this domain, also underscores similar challenges.

In his opening remarks, H.E. Ambassador Cho Tae-yul, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN, emphasized that one of GPEDC’s unique features is its multi-stakeholder platform, calling the national-level monitoring framework “a demonstration of how stakeholders and partners engage in development co-operation in the era of SDGs by measuring their development impact at the national level.” Bangladesh’s Minister of Finance, H.E. Mr. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, also recognised that to leave no one behind and meet global promises by 2030, we need to effectively engage all relevant stakeholders in development policy- making, planning and implementation, much like Bangladesh’s own local consultative processes and spaces for open dialogue and coordinated policies.

The side event generated evidence-based dialogue, with a wide array of panelists presenting including Ministers from the Dominican Republic and Egypt, representatives from the governments of Honduras, civil society (CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness), private sector (Center for International Private Enterprise), and multi-lateral institutions (World Bank). The discussions led an honest debate around how country-level, multi-stakeholder partnerships can help implement the SDGs and how they might be reflected in VNRs.

Joining 46 other countries who have reported to this year’s VNR process and having also participated in the GPEDC’s 2016 monitoring round, Egypt spoke to the importance of aligning development partners’ programmes with country frameworks and national priorities. Dominican Republic also appreciated the GPEDC’s monitoring process in that it allows for countries and development partners to thoroughly assess their yearly progress in effective development co-operation. Honduras also announced its ongoing plans to participate in the GPEDC’s 2018 monitoring round.

During the event, practitioners from civil society, banks and private sector embraced multi-actor partnerships. Ms. Jaehyang So, a representative from the World Bank, stressed that sharing country best practices, like GPEDC aims to do with the Global Compendium and Knowledge-Sharing Platform, is important in identifying opportunities for collaboration. Additionally, Dr. Kim Bettcher, representing the private sector, mentioned that more progress can be made with promising initiatives, such as the GPEDC’s business leader caucus, and potential SDG funding opportunities amounting to around US $12 trillion.

In a recent blog, H.E. Ms. Hyunjoo Oh, Director-General of International Co-operation of the Republic of South Korea, supported such events, calling them ‘inclusive, unique and evidence-based’ as they explore context-specific opportunities for successful development partnerships – the key to achieving the global goals for everyone, everywhere.

For more information on the event, click here.



Kategorien: english

At Home & Abroad: Korea’s Ongoing Support for Effective Development Co-operation

17. Juli 2018 - 18:06

We are united by a new partnership that is broader and more inclusive than ever before’ Busan Outcome Document

Busan, Republic of Korea (RoK), the country’s second largest metropolis and home to over 3.5 million people, is also the birthplace of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC).

Endorsed by more than 160 governments and 50 organisations, the principles listed in Busan Outcome Document of the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in 2011 – country ownership, a focus on results, inclusive partnerships, and transparency and accountability to each other – form the foundation for effective development co-operation.

As the Director-General of International Co-operation, I can say with confidence that Korea has stayed true to these commitments, both at home and abroad, including through its role as host of the annual Busan Global Partnership Forum and Learning and Accelerating Programmes. These fora are inclusive, unique and evidence-based events which bring together policy makers and practitioners to share country experiences and explore the enabling factors and context-specific challenges for successful development partnerships. With plans to host another Learning and Acceleration Programme in late 2018, Korea continues to place itself as a key knowledge-sharing partner for more effective development co-operation.

Beyond knowledge-sharing, RoK, as a development partner, also takes part in the GPEDC’s monitoring exercise, a country-led process that monitors partner countries’ and development partners’ progress in achieving the aforementioned principles. We have made significant efforts to increase medium-term predictability of development co-operation. RoK has reported on a number of areas, including in-year and mid-term predictability of aid on budget, use of country Public Financial Management (PFM) and procurement systems, and untying of aid.

RoK’s remarks at the recent GPEDC side event in the margins of the 2018 High-Level Political Forum reinforced Korea’s commitments for 2030 and beyond. To achieve the 2030 agenda, it’s critical that Korea, as well as other development partners, strengthen linkages between global processes and country-level implementation, at both political and operational levels, and engage with diverse development actors, including the private sector and civil society, to leverage their innovative capacities and resources.

At home, the country continues to see multi-stakeholder partnership models as key to achieving the global goals. In 2016, it conducted a Voluntary National Review (VNR) of its progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals entitled, ‘From a Model of Development Success to a Vision for Sustainable Development’. We analysed Korea’s enabling environments, prospects, challenges and opportunities for achieving the goals, including through the lens of effective co-operation.

My country’s continuous commitments, within and abroad, to promote effective development co-operation is applaudable and continues to grow. Through helping foster local and global partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals, we will continue to lend our support towards generating development impact, and ultimately, leaving no one behind.

Kategorien: english