Making Development Co-operation More Effective: Member States and Partners Discuss Emerging Evidence from 86 Countries

On 17 April, during the UN Financing for Development (FfD) Forum, more than 60 participants from governments, civil society and other multi-stakeholder partners came together for a side event on ‘Making Development Co-operation More Effective: Country-Level Evidence and Action to Accelerate Progress’.

Co-hosted by the governments of Bangladesh, Germany, Honduras, Malawi and the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE), during the event participants shared their own experiences and discussed preliminary evidence on how 86 countries and more than 100 development partners are making progress in meeting agreed commitments around more effective development co-operation.

Panelists discussed the 2018 monitoring round, the scope and magnitude of which has been higher than ever, looking at over 3,300 development co-operation interventions and collating information related to the delivery of approximately US$ 59 billion in disbursements.

H.E. Ambassador Ligoya, Permanent Representative of Malawi, applauded the 43 Least Developed Countries, including Malawi, that participated in the exercise, noting that ‘ensuring efficient and effective use of resources is integral on the road to achieving the 2030 Agenda’.

During the event, partner countries re-confirmed that monitoring at the country level provides essential data and evidence that helps drive dialogue and behavioural change towards delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more effectively together.

Results show that almost all partner countries reported that they have a national development strategy in place, and that these are increasingly oriented towards the SDGs. Moreover, the multi-stakeholder data collection process is in itself seen as a useful tool that can help spark discussion and build political momentum around how best to achieve the SDGs at the local level.

Partners also discussed what action is needed to further improve the quality, effectiveness and impact of development co-operation. To this end, Dr. Uta Bollhoff, Deputy Director-General from Germany discussed the need for developing a similar monitoring approach for fragile and conflict-affected states, a key deliverable that the Global Partnership is working towards.

The main challenges identified included a lack of capacity to have meaningful and sufficient multi-stakeholder engagement opportunities on the ground. Mr. Vitalice Meja, former Co-Chair of CPDE, called for building dialogue structures and mechanisms so different stakeholders can contribute, discuss and reach consensus on national development priorities.

In response, H.E. Mr. Monowar Ahmed, Secretary at the Bangladesh Ministry of Finance and H.E. Ms. Norma Allegra Cerrato, Honduras’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs shared their countries’ successful experiences in setting up broad multi-stakeholder dialogue platforms on effective development co-operation.

Complementing the 2019 FfD forum’s call for mobilising more resources for meeting the ambitious 2030 Agenda, the side event discussions stressed the importance of more effective use of available resources for development, and a more inclusive dialogue around how to achieve this. There was consensus in the room that, in light of the timeframe and ambitions of the 2030 Agenda, further efforts in this regard are more critical than ever. Improving the effectiveness of development co-operation was also prioritised and referenced in the final Financing for Development Outcome Document, adopted by hundreds of member states this month.

The Global Partnership’s work from 2017 to 2019 will culminate in the upcoming Senior-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership (13-14 July 2019, New York) which takes place in the margins of the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF). The meeting represents an important opportunity to showcase key evidence and tools on effectiveness. Deliberations at the SLM will further draw on monitoring results in the form of a global monitoring progress report that the Global Partnership will release ahead of the meeting.

With this, the SLM will make links between progress on effectiveness and individual SDGs under review during the 2019 HLPF, to demonstrate how more effective partnerships can have a long-lasting impact on SDG achievement.

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

For more information on the event, click here.

A Unique Approach to Monitoring the Effectiveness of Development Co-operation: Lessons from Mexico

Mexico has evolved into an emerging economic power and one that is becoming a champion for South-South Co-operation (SSC) engagements in Latin America. We recognise that innovative partnerships that respond to unique country contexts are key for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and also acknowledge the increased importance of SSC in eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development, but also encourage efforts to strengthen the effectiveness of this co-operation modality.

Established in 2011, the Mexican Agency of International Co-operation for Development (AMEXCID) has been tasked with addressing issues related to international development co-operation. Focusing particularly in Central America and the Caribbean, Mexico shares successful experiences, strengthens capacities and exchanges resources with developing countries in the region, while at the same time works with partners to strengthen Mexico’s own institutional capacities. Mexico has taken an active role in SSC, particularly in enhancing the transparency as well as systematisation and analysis of information. One such example is the quantification of Mexico’s international co-operation which is an annual exercise, as part of the National Database of International Development Co-operation (RENCID).

Mexico’s seat in the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC)’s 25-member Steering Committee as one of two representatives of recipient and providers of development co-operation also speaks to its key position as a dual characteristic partner. Mexico has also served as one of three Co-Chairs of the GPEDC Steering Committee from 2014 to 2016 and continues to engage and share its lessons and expertise with this global network.

As part of the 2016 monitoring round of the GPEDC, Mexico examined the applicability of Global Partnership monitoring indicators to its context as a dual provider and recipient of development co-operation. Building on this work, Mexico is now leading the effort to develop an approach to monitor the effectiveness of SSC.

The first step in developing an approach to monitor the effectiveness of SSC was to develop a pilot framework. Mexico, with the support of the Government of Germany and UNDP, used the pilot framework to conduct a national data collection exercise during the 2018 Global Partnership monitoring round. This process culminated in a multi-stakeholder workshop to discuss the monitoring results, as well as to reflect on the monitoring process.

The workshop, with Argentina, another dual characteristic country, and El Salvador and Honduras (recipients) along with the participation of civil society, the private sector, local governments, and donor countries pointed to several areas of progress and opportunities:

The main takeaways from Mexico’s monitoring exercises showed that, although advances have been made, there is room for improving our results-oriented approach in co-operation projects, including monitoring and evaluation indicators and targets. Moreover, it is essential to allocate a budget in accordance with the goals and scope expected of the Mexican policy of international co-operation. This has to be accompanied by comprehensive multi-stakeholder training programs on South-South Co-operation with sub-national actors. This is key to promoting multi-stakeholder partnerships to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as to enhance and make more visible the relevance of the gender perspective in Mexican co-operation.

These initial results were presented by the Government of Mexico at a side event during BAPA +40. The event brought together different representatives from other countries participating in this country-led work to develop an approach to assess the effectiveness of SSC and discuss why this is important. The recommendations emanating from this event will be useful for middle-income countries and countries with dual roles in international development co-operation. Given the multi-stakeholder nature of the proposed solutions, civil society organisations, the private sector and donor countries can equally benefit from these ideas.

As we look ahead and plan for the historic GPEDC 2019 Senior-Level Meeting (13-14 July, New York) hosted in the margins of the 2019 High-Level Political Forum, Mexico aims to expand the effectiveness network by adapting effectiveness to respond to such context-specific challenges. Mexico believes that effectiveness is synonymous with the 2030 Agenda and with that in mind, increased effectiveness of SSC can help to strengthen Mexico’s contribution to the achievement of the SDGs in Mexico and beyond.