Changing the conversation on aid and investment: Designing a new dialogue framework for Tanzania

The Government of Tanzania and its development partners (DPs) recognise that the development finance landscape is changing rapidly, both globally and nationally. In 2015, Tanzania renewed its focus on its transition to a middle income country and its ambition to become a semi-industrialized nation. For decades, aid accounted for half of the country’s budget. It now stands at slightly above 10%. With Tanzania no longer aid dependent, there is an opportunity and a need for new dialogue.

Tanzania first made use of an independent group of experts to assess challenges in its aid relationship in 1995, with an arrangement later formalised in a now-discontinued Independent Monitoring Group.

Last year, a facilitation team led by Donald Kaberuka, along with Jim Adams, Steve Kayizzi Mugerwa and Mugisha Kamugisha was commissioned to provide options for new avenues for an enhanced dialogue and to discuss, at the highest levels, how to strengthen trust and confidence between Tanzania and international authorities. This ‘dialogue facilitation’ exercise entailed a full review of the existing dialogue structures and relationships, seeking to make them fit for purpose.

The case for reform

All parties are hoping the outcome of the exercise will bring about innovation and fresh ideas to ensure the private sector and non-traditional partners are better involved in and part of development initiatives in Tanzania. New financing instruments are needed to respond to investment gaps in infrastructure and other productive sectors, and to sustain gains in the social sectors. The cost of the Five Year Development Plan II (2016-21) is equivalent to TZS 107 trillion (twice the amount for the FYDP I) and is expected to rely heavily on private sector financing.

Going forward, a renewed dialogue framework should respond to alignment, predictability and transparency concerns in the delivery of Official Development Assistance (ODA). An inclusive ‘development dialogue’ that looks beyond ODA, as articulated in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development, is necessary.

At the first development dialogue workshop in 2016, Servacius Likwelile, then-Permanent Secretary of the Treasury in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, spoke of the Kaberuka Process as an opportunity to examine the broader strategic issues of the aid relationship, and to enable the Government and DPs to discuss and identify obstacles.

“We should not run away from addressing challenges,” then-Secretary Likwelile said.

During the second development dialogue workshop in March 2017, the Honorable Minister of Finance and Planning, Philip Mpango, invited partners to “prepare to invest in a stronger relationship.”

True, effective partnership should include professional, open and constructive dialogue about shared objectives and achievements. It should also prioritise mutual accountability for linking efforts to better results. The credibility of the renewed agenda will depend on the degree to which DPs can deliver on commitments to quality and quantity of development cooperation, and on the ability to scale up innovative approaches for the development of Tanzania.

The Kaberuka Report: recommendations and roadmap

The Kaberuka Final Report of April 2017 makes concrete recommendations for better managing sensitive issues in the aid relationship and establishing effective dialogue for a possible ‘Investment in Tanzania Week’. It identifies capacity development as one of the key priorities, based on a comprehensive review of existing and forthcoming planning and implementation requirements in the medium term.

Rebuilding the momentum of an open and effective dialogue that accommodates country-specific needs, while conforming to mutual accountability requirements, remains an important priority for the coming months.

The Kaberuka Report is creating new opportunities for open dialogue. Since May 2017, the Government of Tanzania and development partners have started to draw on past achievements and recommendations from the Final Report to propose a new Development Co-operation Framework to be endorsed in July 2017.

These efforts support Tanzania’s transition to middle income status, which necessitates a new approach to dialogue with development partners, with new tools, new stakeholders and new ways of attracting funding and driving development.

The Global Partnership’s new work programme – A message from the Co-Chairs

As Co-Chairs of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (the Global Partnership), we are glad to build on the excellent work of our predecessors. The participants of the Second High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership are committed to effective development co-operation as a means to achieve the universal and interrelated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This commitment is laid down in the Nairobi Outcome Document.

The aspirations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development require that the donor-recipient relationships of the past be replaced by approaches that view all development stakeholders as equal and interdependent partners in development. Inclusive partnerships are key in realising the SDGs, with Goal 17 clearly stating the vital role of partnerships in mobilising development resources to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, especially in developing countries.

In addition to the question of resources, implementation of the 2030 Agenda also calls for collective efforts to improve the quality of our co-operation. In this context, the Global Partnership offers a unique, multi-stakeholder platform to support effective and inclusive co-operation on the ground. Since it was founded, the Global Partnership has brought together a great variety of development partners in and outside governments, including civil society, foundations, academia and the private sector, for open and fruitful dialogue. It has held two successful high-level meetings in Mexico City and Nairobi, and it has produced two Global Monitoring Reports tracking progress on enhancing the quality of development partnerships at country level.

In light of our shared commitment to effective development co-operation, the Steering Committee has agreed on a two-year work programme. This programme was adopted at the 13th Steering Committee Meeting in Washington, D.C. last month. Based on the Nairobi Outcome Document, the programme sets out strategic priorities and related activities for 2017 and 2018:

Enhancing support to effective development at country level: Supporting countries in mainstreaming effectiveness principles and ensuring that country-led evidence informs policy debates on all levels. This includes multi-stakeholder dialogues at country level in order to share good practices and lessons learned.

Focus on evidence and monitoring: Knowing that in order to make progress we will need evidence that encourages accountability, the Global Partnership will update its monitoring framework so as to reflect the challenges inherent in the 2030 Agenda and include diverse development actors. This also implies a revision of monitoring indicators in order to make them applicable for the SDGs.

Sharing knowledge: Scaling up innovative development solutions at a faster pace, driven by champion countries, partners and non-state actors, to serve as a ‘go-to’ platform for knowledge exchange, good practice and peer-to-peer learning.

Scaling up private sector engagement leveraged through development co-operation: The Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) has shown that development cannot be financed exclusively through Official Development Assistance (ODA) – we need more sources of development financing and more stakeholders who are committed to sustainable development. One way of achieving this is by attracting inclusive business investments that generate shared benefit for business strategies and development goals, and by helping development partners adapt their practices and instruments to ensure transparency and accountability.

Learning from different modalities of development co-operation: Enhancing exchanges between North-South, South-South and triangular co-operation partners, gathering together options to scale up impact and learn from each other.

It is an ambitious work programme but one that is strategically designed for the equally ambitious tasks ahead. We invite everyone to join us in realising its implementation.

[Editor’s note: read the Global Partnership’s 2017-2018 work programme in English, French and Spanish.]
Abul Maal A Muhith, Honourable Finance Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany and Matia Kasaija, Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development of Uganda are the Co-Chairs of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation.

Partnering to achieve the SDGs: Lessons learned from monitoring civil society’s engagement in development

At the next High-Level Political Forum – the apex of global follow-up and review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – in July, forty countries are expected to engage in Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of their own progress at national and sub-national levels. As per the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its guiding principles, follow-up and review should be: voluntary and country-led, taking into account different national realities and capacities; open, inclusive and participatory; and supportive of reporting by all relevant stakeholders.

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (the Global Partnership) applies similar principles to its monitoring exercise. The Global Partnership is a unique, multi-stakeholder platform to support the delivery of effective development co-operation for the realisation of development efforts, including the SDGs. Its ten-part monitoring framework tracks progress in the implementation of effective development co-operation commitments. The Global Partnership monitoring process is voluntary and country-led and a number of its indicators require a multi-stakeholder monitoring approach, including Indicator Two, which tracks civil society’s ability to “operate within an environment which maximises its engagement in and contribution to development.”

The Global Partnership conducted its last monitoring round in 2015/16. Meanwhile, the Task Team on CSO Development Effectiveness and Enabling Environment (Task Team) conducted a stock-take of the country-level experiences with the multi-stakeholder monitoring approach of Indicator Two. Given the similarity of the guiding principles, lessons learned from the monitoring framework’s Indicator Two could also be informative for SDG follow-up and review, particularly for countries engaging in VNRs in 2017. We’ve selected three main recommendations coming out of the stock-take, which could also be relevant to SDG follow-up and review.

1. Work with focal points and encourage intra-stakeholder group coordination

For the monitoring of Indicator Two – which called for the engagement of national government, civil society organizations (CSOs) and development co-operation providers – the Global Partnership recommended stakeholder groups to each work through a focal point to help coordinate stakeholder participation and inputs to the monitoring. The stock-take confirmed the value of working with focal points for inter and intra-stakeholder group coordination. However, it also found that the value could be further enhanced by broadening engagement across and within various stakeholder groups, including outside of capital cities. Moreover when working with this method, it is crucial that the roles and responsibilities of the focal points be clearly outlined.

2. Make sufficient time and resources available for multi-stakeholder processes

Probably unsurprising is that multi-stakeholder processes are challenging and resource heavy. It is therefore important to initiate the process early and to secure sufficient human and financial resources. Time is needed for sensitization, to get stakeholders on board, and to identify focal points. Meanwhile, effective multi-stakeholder dialogue requires building a common understanding of the subject matter and the objective at hand.

Important to keep in mind is that the ability to conduct more robust multi-stakeholder processes can be limited by capacity constraints such as insufficient financing, shortage of personnel and lack of experience and awareness. In its 2016 Monitoring Report, the Global Partnership compared the countries reporting and receiving external support with those that did not receive external support. It found that amongst countries with no external support, only 59% reported on Indicator Two. This figure increased to 92% for countries that did receive external support. Further, the stock-take found that experience and know-how was an issue for state and non-state actors alike. Consideration should thus be given to country-level capacity development and financing to design and implement effective multi-stakeholder processes for follow-up and review of the SDGs.

3. Organize follow-up to discuss the findings

When it comes to monitoring – whether of the SDGs or the Global Partnership’s development co-operation indicators – the interest and value lies not only in the numbers, but in knowing where the ship is sailing in order to adjust course accordingly. One of the broader aims of the Global Partnership’s monitoring exercise is behaviour change. This does not necessarily come out of the monitoring exercise itself, but rather out of follow-up based on the monitoring results. Participants of the Indicator Two monitoring were interested in follow-up steps, including multi-stakeholder dialogue on the findings. Given that countries are to engage in annual reviews of the SDGs, consideration could be given to convening, institutionalizing and maintaining ongoing multi-stakeholder dialogue on particular SDGs. Similarly, consideration could be given to reflection in single stakeholder groups on country reports, including the implications for their own practices as well as actions needed to make progress.

Overall, the Global Partnership monitoring is relevant for SDG follow-up and review in light of the multi-stakeholder process, but also in terms of its content. The Task Team’s stock-take found, for example, that stakeholders deemed Indicator Two relevant for SDGs 16 and 17 on inclusive societies and accountable institutions, and partnerships for sustainable development respectively. Countries could build on the Global Partnership’s monitoring framework to inform follow-up and review of these two SDGs (as well as others, like SDG 5). This would also be in line with 2030 Agenda’s guiding principle that follow-up and review should build on existing platforms and processes.

To conclude, engaging in and organizing a multi-stakeholder monitoring exercise is anything but easy. However, participants of Indicator Two monitoring found it worthwhile from the perspective of collective interest in making progress. The same can be said for the SDGs. Inclusion – and more specifically the principle of leaving no one behind – is a cornerstone of Agenda 2030. It calls for multi-stakeholder engagement throughout SDG design, implementation and follow-up and review. After all, this is “an Agenda of the people, by the people, and for the people and this, we believe, will ensure its success.”

Interested in more information? You can hear stakeholders speak about their experiences with the multi-stakeholder process of monitoring Indicator Two in the summary video of our side event at the Second High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership in late 2016. You can also read the summary or full report of the Task Team’s Stock-take of Indicator Two monitoring.

About the Author:

The Task Team on CSO Development Effectiveness and Enabling Environment is a multi-stakeholder body that seeks to advance the role of civil society in development. Its participants come from three stakeholder groups: governments that provide development cooperation, recipient governments and civil society organizations (CSOs) affiliated with the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE). The Task Team leads Global Partnership Initiative 2 (GPI-2).