30 November, 2016

KOICA Learning and Acceleration Programme provides peer learning opportunity for developing countries

By Dan Coppard
Director of Research, Analysis and Evidence , Development Initiatives

This October, KOICA hosted its GPEDC Learning and Accelerating Programme (LAP) for developing country stakeholders at the working level.  Held yearly, the LAP aims to familiarise the participants with GPEDC and provide practical training to support them in implementing the Busan principles and commitments in-country.

The 2016 LAP offered a series of interactive learning workshops and provided a ‘safe space’ for working-level participants to discuss development effectiveness priorities and challenges, share ideas and solutions, and build relationships, with plenty of time for peer learning and discussion. The 2-day event was attended by 25 participants from 24 countries in Africa, Asia and Central Europe, including participants from fragile and LDC contexts (such as Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). It was facilitated by a Senior Adviser of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, with the support of KOICA and Development Initiatives.

The four LAP modules focused on:

  • Exploring and understanding GPEDC 2nd Round Monitoring outcomes (led by the Joint Support Team)
  • Improving the quality of public financial management systems (The Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI);
  • Engaging the private sector to achieve sustainable development (The Partnering Initiative)
  • Increasing usage of country-owned results frameworks by providers of development co-operation (Global Partnership Initiative (GPI) for Results and Mutual Accountability)

Each module was complemented by interactive discussion and personal reflection, using individual Learning Action Plans. This encouraged participants to apply lessons learned, and discuss challenges and solutions with peers.

Mr SeungChul Lee, of KOICA, said: “Aside from the module content, the most important thing KOICA wanted to achieve with LAP this year was space plenty of interactive discussion and peer learning, as this can be the most effective way for participants to identify solutions to country-level challenges they are facing. The 2016 participant group were very  constructive, sharing their experiences and coming up with ideas for how to improve the situations in their countries.”

An LAP participant, Ms Lesly Sanchez from Honduras, said: “I think the LAP workshop made us reflect and consider future actions to improve development in our own countries, especially middle income countries like Honduras which face particular challenges, but also how to strengthen the relations between different actors to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals; as every single country wants to improve the lives of millions of people. Through our discussions we recognised that there is a need to improve coordination between government institutions, build stronger institutional and human capacity, improve and invest in data collection and analysis, and for stronger political leadership. We also need the full commitment of donors to follow our national priorities.”.

Key takeaways from the Learning and Accelerating Programme

LAP participants agreed that country context matters:  each country is different. However, common priorities for their future development cooperation partnerships emerged. All identified national political leadership as an essential ingredient for development. Many countries are still experiencing development partners ‘shying away’ from country systems, but some are implementing reforms so development partners can re-engage, including in their public financial management systems (for example, improving their procurement processes).

Stakeholders such as the private sector, civil society, and emerging donors are priority for engaging in development efforts, but their involvement must be structured around national priorities of partner countries. Country results frameworks can be a useful tool, although to ensure their impact, support for enhancing capacity in building dialogue with key partners, and greater alignment of donor efforts around country priorities to reduce fragmentation, is needed.

More detail on the key takeaways from each of the modules can be found in the Outcome Report of the Busan Global Partnership Forum and LAP, here.

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