24 March, 2018

A Network of ‘Think Tanks’: Achieving Effective Development Co-operation at the Local Level

By Global Partnership

On March 19-20, 30 Global Partnership Initiative (GPI) representatives gathered in Bonn, Germany to renew and strengthen their engagement with the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation’s (GPEDC) in support of multi-stakeholder co-operation towards country-level implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The GPIs directly contribute to two of the core functions of the GPEDC: they offer catalytic support to the implementation of the Busan commitments at country level, and they are a mechanism for exchanging knowledge and lessons learned on implementation of the development effectiveness principles.

These voluntary initiatives are led by different types of development actors (e.g. national governments, international organisations, civil society organisations, the private sector). As the ‘think tanks’ of the GPEDC, GPIs are a vibrant, substantive community of 27 partnerships working on 9 diverse areas – from tax capacity to resource mobilization – issues either closely linked to the GPEDC or contributing to specific areas of development effectiveness. The workshop encouraged each GPI to share its role as a true agent for implementation, sharing policy-relevant lessons and discussing innovative partnership models.

GPIs and development partners represented at the workshop included Advancing the CSO Enabling Environment and CSO Development Effectiveness, Civil Society Continuing Campaign for Effective Development, Promoting Effective Triangular Co-operation, Effective Institutions Platform, Future International Co-operation Policy Network, International Aid Transparency Initiative, Joint Programming on Managing Diversity and Reducing Fragmentation, New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, Results & Mutual Accountability, Study of Donor Support in Large Scale Refugee and IDP Movements, Strengthening Comparable Tax Statistical Indicator, and Support to Tax Inspectors Without Borders.

Representatives from organisations – AMEXCID, NEPAD Agency, European Commission, German Development Institute (GDI), OECD, UNDP – and the Global Partnership’s Steering Committee –  Germany, Mexico, El Salvador, Canada, were also present.

In her opening remarks, H.E. Mrs. Florence Eugenia, Ambassador of El Salvador to Germany quoted Benjamin Franklin saying “we must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately”, re-iterating the need to work together towards sustainable development especially by tracking and achieving progress in the four development co-operation principles.

Ms. Jacqueline Wood of the GPI Civil Society Task Team also mentioned that the GPIs are key to the “how” of achieving the SDGs as they are a network of networks working closely at the local level to implement principles of effective co-operation.

Another participant, Willem Fourie from the South Africa Sustainable Development Knowledge Hub, called for more face-to-face engagements such as that provided by this workshop. He also said that evidence-based policy making is founded not only on these strong relations, but also access to and use of high-quality evidence, for example that provided by GPEDC’s monitoring process. “You can’t have results if you don’t have local data. You can’t have mutual accountability if you can’t have access to open data.” Through GPI networks and resources, GPEDC has the opportunity to go “global light, country heavy” – in other words supporting country-led, on-the-ground co-operation towards achieving the SDGs.

The workshop was held in the margins of the Global Festival of Action which gathered 1,000+ delegates from all walks of life including students, practitioners, organisations and companies – a true multi-stakeholder forum. GPI delegates from Results & Accountability, CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness, Tax Inspectors Without Borders, New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States and Effective Triangular Co-operation presented their initiatives at the Festival.

To access the full list of GPIs supporting the Global Partnership, click here.

Watch full coverage of the GPI session at the Global Festival of Action here.

For GPI projects and updates, read our GPI bi-annual call for reporting summary here.