10 April, 2019

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

By Ms. Laura Elena Carrillo Cubillas
Executive Director of Mexican Agency for Development Co-operation (AMEXCID)

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.

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