20 November, 2013

‘Country focused’ Seoul Workshop covers strategies, best practices for effective development co-operation

By Global Partnership

Seoul_storyRepresentatives from thirty governments, civil society and international organisations met in Seoul on 18-19 November to share experiences and challenges in implementing the Global Partnership principles of effective development co-operation in their countries.

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation helps 160 governments and more than 45 international organisations work better together to end poverty.

With two years since the Busan High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness and less than six months to the first High Level meeting of the Global Partnership in Mexico, this workshop is great opportunity take stock of how development co-operation is changing where it matters most – at the country level’ said Shin Dong-ik, Korean Deputy Foreign Minister.

As the host of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, we feel a strong responsibility to support developing countries in their efforts to lead development co-operation at home. With this in mind, we would like to host an annual meeting to cover country-level implementation’ he added.

Hosted by Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNDP’s Seoul Policy Centre, the two-day ‘Busan Global Partnership workshop’ helped participants make sense of the reality of development co-operation on the ground and exchange experience, facts and data on the implementation of the Busan commitments.

Developing countries, donors and a range of organisations endorsed the commitments at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness that was held in Busan, Korea in 2011. They aim to improve the quality of development co-operation by ensuring developing countries lead their own development, boosting the impact of development co-operation and ensuring all involved in development work together in a transparent and accountable way.

Alvaro Pinto-Scholtbach, Director of the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre, called for open, honest exchanges and cited the diversity of actors as a real strength of the Global Partnership:

The diversity of countries and actors here today reflects one of the Busan Global Partnership’s greatest assets; that it brings everyone together to boost the impact of development co-operation’ he said.

Tajikistan, Madagascar, Honduras, Vietnam, Tanzania, a range of other countries and civil society organisations shared their experience in making development more effective.

We have plans in place for our development’ said Mary Jarvis-Yak, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic planning of South-Sudan – the world’s newest nation.

As long as donors listen to us, forums like this and the upcoming meeting in Mexico mean that the Global Partnership is valuable to South-Sudan’.

On April 15-16 2014, Ministers and development leaders will meet in Mexico for the first High Level meeting of the Global Partnership to stock of international progress in meeting the Busan commitments and discuss key topics related to effective co-operation. The Seoul workshop is expected to feed into the discussions in Mexico.

At the Seoul workshop developing countries also called for donors to meet their commitments.

If donors [channel resources through] our country systems more, we will improve them’ said Andrea Shepard Stewart, Manager of multilateral technical co-operation in Jamaica’s Planning Institute.

There are too many missions coming in from donors. Almost one every week, saying the same things. We need to cut them down’ she added.

A session on donor’s efforts to meet the Busan commitments included presentations from the United Kingdom, European Union and Finland with comments from a range of developing countries. Anthony Smith, Head of International Relations for the UK’s Department for International Development Chaired the session:

We’ve had a great discussion on some very practical issues faced by donors and developing countries today – and I will take the recommendations home’ he said.

The most important thing for us is results, to convince Parliament and the public that money is being well spent’.