Fit for the Road to 2030? – Cross-Regional Dialogue on Good Practices and Monitoring of Effectiveness

What are the key factors that make development coordination structures work, in practice? How can we ensure true country ownership including all relevant stakeholders? How can information systems work better, and is the Global Partnership Monitoring really fit for the road to 2030? These were the guiding questions that set the tone for an international dialogue on effective development co-operation at the country level, and the Global Partnership Monitoring meeting, from 9-11 May in Bonn, Germany.

Representatives from nine pilot countries, practitioners from partner-country governments, civil society organisations, trade unions, and foundations came together to discuss their hands-on experiences in enhancing effectiveness on the ground, and the remaining challenges.

The first part of the workshop marked the conclusion of a pilot approach on effective implementation at country level, conducted since February 2018, in Bangladesh, Cambodia, El Salvador, Georgia, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Rwanda, and Uganda. This meeting was followed by a dialogue on the Global Partnership Monitoring and its practical implications on the ground, where more practitioners and experts joined the discussion with their pilot country representatives.

How to address effectiveness challenges on the ground?

The participating pilot countries shared their experiences in implementing development effectiveness commitments, in an animated and constructive discussion. They identified lessons learnt, and key messages to share with peers, which will feed into a Global Compendium of Good Practices, and inform the Global Partnership Senior-Level Meeting in July 2019.

The group discussions led to valuable insights on how to address effectiveness challenges on the ground:

  • There is a need to focus on where we have “form but not function”. Multiple overlapping coordination fora, information systems, and accountability frameworks are a recipe for failure; as are structures and systems which do not directly connect with national planning and budgeting processes. Country presentations from Kenya and Uganda gave examples for targeted reforms and showed how streamlining and linking are key to delivering results.
  • In terms of transparency, good data is essential to understand needs, see who is doing what to address them, tackle gaps and overlaps, monitor results, and call people to account. Home-grown systems, such as those developed by Cambodia and Myanmar, designed from the ground up to address identified data needs at the country level, have the potential to offer useful lessons.
  • Inclusivity remains a key challenge, especially on how to achieve it in practice while also managing numbers, and ensuring fairness. The usefulness of representative structures with delegates reporting back to their constituencies was highlighted by Cambodia and Uganda.
  • Partner countries are well aware of the need to access new sources of finance, and moving from ‘passive’ to ‘activefor a targeted acquisition of resources. Practical examples of this can be seen in Georgia’s gap analysis, a tool to specify where external support is needed in the national plan, and Rwanda’s promotion of division of labour for a needs-based distribution of support and contributions by development partners.

The Global Partnership Monitoring – Fit for the Road to 2030?

At the monitoring dialogue, participants reaffirmed the relevance of the Global Partnership Monitoring as a globally unique exercise. It generates highly-demanded evidence on the quality and effectiveness of development co-operation in partner countries. Being inclusive, decentralised and country-owned, it represents a key instrument to induce change for more effectiveness on the ground. This relevance was reasserted with a record participation of 86 partner countries in the 2018 monitoring round.

However, the Global Partnership will need to adjust its Monitoring in order to uphold its value in the global landscape of the Sustainable Development Goals. Participants highlighted that processes around data collection – at global and country level – need refinements to enable a successful gathering of meaningful data. Moreover, a need to rethink the concepts of effectiveness, in light of the 2030 Agenda, was raised throughout the discussions:

  • Results need be translated into action at the country level to spur change for greater effectiveness. It will be crucial to foster follow-up processes to make the most of the data.
  • As an increasingly important development context worldwide, the current effort to adapt the Global Partnership Monitoring to fragile situations remains key to producing meaningful data, and ensuring the exercise’s relevance.
  • A specific approach to monitoring the effectiveness of South-South co-operation will be increasingly relevant going forward. Mexico’s pilot approach on adapting the monitoring framework for the specific characteristics of South-South co-operation gave valuable insights on data collection, and usability. The initiative has also been taken up by Chile, South Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The upcoming Senior-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership in July in New York, just ahead of the High-Level Political Forum’s Ministerial Segment, will provide an important opportunity to showcase and further discuss the lessons and solutions formulated at both these events.

One key message, however, remains uncontested – effectiveness will remain a core driver for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. 

A summary report related to the monitoring dialogue is now available here.

Steering Committee Members Endorse Programme and Continue Planning for the Upcoming 2019 Senior-Level Meeting

Hosted by the Government of Uganda, the 17th Steering Committee meeting of the Global Partnership was held on 26-27 March in Kampala, Uganda. Steering Committee members from all over the world, representing diverse constituencies, discussed preparations for the upcoming 2019 Senior-Level Meeting to be held on 13-14 July at United Nations headquarters in New York, in the margins of the 2019 United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

In his opening remarks, HE Mr David Bahati, Uganda’s State Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development stressed that ‘effective development co-operation is critical to deliver the African development agenda’. Mr Bahati reaffirmed Africa’s continued engagement in the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation.

Steering Committee members underscored the need for the Global Partnership Senior-Level Meeting to drive home the message that effectiveness, in collaboration with the Financing for Development process, is fundamental to achieving the 2030 Agenda. The representative of Bangladesh, one of four Global Partnership Co-Chairs, highlighted that if ‘financing’ is the fuel, ‘effectiveness’ is the car; the destination, is the 2030 Agenda. In other words, SDG implementation and development impact cannot be sustainable if resources are not spent effectively.

To this end, members deliberated on the substantive content, evidence and tools on ‘effectiveness’ that will be showcased at the Senior-Level Meeting. Following a day and a half of in-depth discussions, members agreed on the overall programme, objectives and sessions for the Senior-Level Meeting, and set a plan of action for delivering a successful meeting in July.

The Steering Committee took decisive action on numerous pending issues. Among them was the decision to permanently create a fourth Co-Chair position (previously in a pilot phase) to represent the six non-executive Steering Committee members, elevating the Global Partnership to a key global body in development co-operation with a truly multi-stakeholder leadership.

Furthermore, the results of the Global Partnership’s third monitoring round, which will be captured in a progress report, will underpin the SLM by providing a robust evidence base to guide discussion on where progress has been made and where unfinished business remains.

The Committee also agreed on the key principles for effective private sector engagement in development co-operation, to be launched at the SLM, which aim to make private sector partnerships more effective and geared towards sustainable development outcomes.

The Global Compendium of Good Practices and Knowledge-sharing Platform, alongside initiatives to apply effectiveness in different contexts – including a tailored approach to monitoring effectiveness in fragile and conflict-affected situations as well as South-South Co-operation contexts, will also be shared at the SLM.

In closing, looking forward and beyond the SLM, members actively engaged and discussed the need for an inclusive, engagement process to tap into the development co-operation community and source ‘emerging effectiveness issues’ that will inform the Global Partnership’s work beyond July 2019. More details on this process are forthcoming.

Please find here all relevant background materials and meeting presentations. Read the summary of the event here.

Read more about the upcoming Senior-Level Meeting here.

Follow the discussions at @DevCooperation #SLM2019 #GPEDC #DevCoop

Reinvigorating Effectiveness for the 2030 Agenda: Gearing Up for a 2019 Senior-Level Meeting

On 11-12 September, over 190 governments and development partners from 80+ countries gathered in Paris for a Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) event entitled Reinvigorating Effectiveness for the 2030 Agenda.

Alex Thier, Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute, kickstarted the event, with representatives from governments, civil society, the private sector, trade unions, think tanks, parliaments and more, with a keynote address asserting that – in the SDG era – “the effectiveness agenda is more important than ever”.

Noel Gonzalez, Director-General for Planning from the Mexican International Development Cooperation Ministry saw the meeting, and the GPEDC as a whole, as “an opportunity for the development community to learn from each other, inspire each other and see how we can fulfill our global responsibility together”. Janet Longmore, CEO of the Digital Opportunity Trust, meanwhile, reflecting after the event, described the critical role of the private sector in extending “local purpose and responsibility from ‘down-the-street’ to a global perspective within the SDG framework”.

By the end of the two-day workshop, three key messages came out of the discussions:

1. Effectiveness is and should be instilled in national policies and practices.

 There was a clear consensus that while the SDGs capture the international community’s global commitment and ambition, they will be achieved at country level – through collective efforts under national leadership.

At the meeting, representatives from over 50 partner countries presented clear examples of how, with the third monitoring round on-going, they are forging ahead with effectiveness at country level, instilling the effectiveness principles into national policies and practices. Rwanda shared how they use the Global Partnership monitoring exercise to strengthen national coordination mechanisms and hold inclusive dialogue on development co-operation. Cambodia demonstrated how they have institutionalized global monitoring indicators into national systems to capture and track all development resources in the country, while Costa Rica spoke about its new national development strategy that will provide a framework for effective development partnerships.

2. The effectiveness agenda must adapt to different contexts and types of co-operation.

With an increasingly challenging political climate for multilateralism and effectiveness, to stay relevant and ensure maximum impact, the agenda has to adapt. This includes exploring new financing modalities beyond traditional approaches, including South-South Co-operation and private sector engagement, and refining monitoring efforts to be increasingly relevant in fragile and conflict-affected situations, as well as middle-income contexts.

3. The GPEDC’s comparative advantage stems from its multi-stakeholder nature, and lessons learnt from the country level.

Participants emphasized that the greatest strength of the GPEDC is its ability to bring all actors together on equal footing and ‘under one tent’. As one participant put it, “the GPEDC is part of the ‘magic triangle’ of development”: on the one side the common objectives embodied by the SDGs – the “what” we want to achieve: on another, the financing required for development – “how we will fund our efforts”; and the third: the effectiveness of development co-operation – “how we will work together” to achieve the greatest impact. Participants agreed that the GPEDC is a critical vehicle for advancing and supporting the implementation of political commitments for more effective development co-operation.

The Paris event has helped set the course for the GPEDC’s upcoming Senior-Level Meeting in July 2019, set to take place in the margins of the 2019 High-Level Political Forum.

Read the detailed session summaries or the overall summary. You can also access all other event-related materials here.