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

On March 19-20, 30 Global Partnership Initiative (GPI) representatives gathered in Bonn, Germany to renew and strengthen their engagement to the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation’s (GPEDC) mandate on 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 present at the workshop included Advancing the CSO Enabling Environment and CSO Development Effectiveness, Effective Triangular Co-operation, Effective Institutions Platform, Future International Co-operation Policy Network, International Aid Transparency Initiative, Managing Diversity and Reducing Fragmentation, New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, Results & Accountability, and Support to Tax Inspectors Without Borders.

Representatives from organisations – AMEXCID, NEPAD Agency, European Commission, 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 hand 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 the effective co-operation mandate.

Willem Fourie from the South Africa Sustainable Development Knowledge Hub, a new GPI, called for a need to increase 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.

Click here to access the full list of GPIs supporting the Global Partnership mandate.

Business & Development Actors Partnering to Reach the SDGs Together – Insights from Global Partnership Bangladesh Workshop

Realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 requires resources from all actors – public and private, domestic and international. A Technical Workshop on Private Sector Engagement (PSE) explored how the government, businesses, civil society and the development community can work together in practical ways to create “shared value” for business profit and development impact.

Embracing this shift-change in development co-operation, participants agreed on how different partners can align their interests and foster trust to use development co-operation in innovative ways to work with the private sector and scale up much-needed solutions to Bangladesh’s development challenges.

The workshop was held as a first in a series of country-level consultations in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 4-5 February 2018, hosted by the Ministry of Finance, together with the ICC Bangladesh, with support of the Government of Germany and under the aegis of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC).

A case study based on a mapping of over 240 private sector engagement projects in Bangladesh with development co-operation support – focused on finance, agriculture, manufacturing and energy – served as background for the discussions. Policy recommendations on effective private sector engagement focused on engaging the business and development community in more inclusive, government-led policy dialogue, and more structured knowledge sharing and learning to align interests, strengthen trust and build capacity around a range of specific national priorities. Emphasis was placed on generating greater poverty impact of PSE through development co-operation, with a focus on supporting micro-, small- and medium-enterprises, greater transparency and accountability as well as a focus on data, results and impact, social dialogue, climate change, and gender equality.

The Global Partnership 2017-2018 Work Programme aims to guide the development community on how to adapt policies and approaches to engage the business sector on the SDGs. It works towards mutually agreed guidelines for effective private sector engagement through development co-operation.

The event was attended by around 60 representatives from the Government of Bangladesh, many development partners, small and medium enterprises, large domestic and transnational firms, business associations, civil society organizations, trade unions, parliamentarians, foundations, and research and development institutes. It encouraged greater peer learning on effective PSE through development co-operation with participating neighbouring countries India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Similar case study reports are being carried out in Egypt, El Salvador and Uganda in 2018 to generate mutually agreed global guidelines for effective private sector engagement through development co-operation.

For more information on the Technical Workshop, please click here.

To read more about the GPEDC’s Private Sector work please see here.

Paving the way for the SDGs – Highlights from the Busan Global Partnership Forum

The Fourth Busan Global Partnership Forum was convened by the Republic of Korea on 21-22 November 2017, on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Second High-Level Meeting (HLM2) of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation. The Forum provides a valuable vehicle for policymakers and development practitioners to review progress made since 2011 and discuss how the Global Partnership can concretely support achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

Over 130 practitioners from 35 countries were in attendance in Busan, where they discussed the Global Partnership’s renewed mandate and linkages to the 2030 Agenda. Key messages from the 2017 Busan Global Partnership Forum include:

Translating commitments into country-level action. There is a shared understanding that decisions and commitments made at the global level, including the Nairobi Outcome Document, need to translate into practical action by all stakeholders at the country level, ensuring effective use of resources in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Against the backdrop of the evolving development co-operation landscape, effective development co-operation remains crucial in supporting implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Participants reiterated their commitment to the effectiveness principles, and highlighted the need to reinvigorate political momentum for effective development co-operation; strengthen operationalisation of the principles at the country level; and intensify engagement with non-traditional actors to facilitate learning and sharing of knowledge, in order to scale up the impact of development co-operation in the context of the SDGs.

Participants welcomed efforts made to strengthen the Global Partnership’s monitoring framework and improve its relevance for the SDGs follow-up and review. This will require a heightened focus on outcomes, building on complementary sources to gather qualitative and contextual information.

Global Partnership Initiatives play a key role in facilitating effective development co-operation, including at the country level. Participants urged the Global Partnership to make better use of the evidence generated by GPIs and better facilitate the sharing of this knowledge.

The private sector plays a crucial role in implementing the 2030 Agenda. Participants called for the examination of conditions under which private sector engagement can be leveraged through development co-operation to deliver shared value for both those most in need and the private sector.

Participants also stressed the need to promote high-level political support and strengthen linkages with UN institutions and processes, including providing inputs on effectiveness to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, Financing for Development follow-up, and ensuring complementarity with the UN Development Cooperation Forum.

Going forward, the Global Partnership will intensify communication with all stakeholders and continue to explore meaningful ways to engage the variety of partners, including Southern partners and private sector, to deepen mutual learning and promote effective and complementary contributions to the 2030 Agenda.

Read the outcome report of the 2017 Busan Global Partnership Forum.