CLOSED: Online Consultation on a Theory of Change for the GPEDC (14 March – 15 April 2016)

*PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS CONSULTATION IS NOW CLOSED.  

How does change happen?  Why is progress slow to happen?

An Online Consultation on a Theory of Change for the GPEDC (14 March – 15 April 2016)

PLEASE NOTE: This consultation is open to all interested stakeholders (including developing country governments, development co-operation providers and non-state actors). It will run from 14 March to 15 April 2016 at 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time, and will take place on the Global Partnership Teamworks community site.

All comments should be provided directly through the Teamworks platform. Please note that while the discussion is publicly available, you will be asked to join the Global Partnership community space to provide written input. Directions on how to sign up to the teamworks space can be found here (French / Spanish).

 

Background to the consultation: a note from GPEDC Monitoring Advisory Group Chairperson, Brian Tomlinson

The GPEDC Monitoring Advisory Group (MAG) is a twelve-member body of experts that was mandated in 2015 by the GPEDC Co-Chairs and Steering Committee to review and refine the GPEDC Monitoring Framework in the context of Agenda 2030 and the financing of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Effective development co-operation is recognised as an essential dimension for advancing the SDGs.

The purpose of the Global Partnership is to encourage sustainable change in the institutions, policies and behaviour affecting development co-operation, consistent with the commitments made by all stakeholders in Busan in 2011 and in Mexico in 2014. A renewed and relevant monitoring framework is critical to determining progress, and stimulating policy dialogue, in relation to these commitments and efforts for implementation of the SDGs.

In order to advance its work, the MAG first examined how change is expected to happen through the Global Partnership. The group has developed a possible Theory of Change, outlined in the documents listed below. The consultation document highlights some important challenges, issues and directions in achieving more effective development co-operation through the Global Partnership and aims to explore why there has been progress in some areas since Busan, but limited advances in others.

Through its work on a theory of change, the MAG has identified a number of issues that may be relevant as the Global Partnership looks forward to the Nairobi High-Level Meeting (HLM2) later this year, with respect to proposals for a revised monitoring framework, as well as key considerations that may have implications on the future mandate and working arrangements of the Global Partnership beyond HLM2.

The Monitoring Advisory Group is seeking your views on its Theory of Change work until the end of March. In April we will also seek your views on the relevance, efficiency and usefulness of each of the ten indicators, and our proposals for this framework. 

At its June meeting, the MAG will finalise its advice in relation to the Theory of Change and associated implications for the monitoring framework and possible reflections to inform the revision of the future mandate of the Global Partnership, based in part on your contributions.

-Brian Tomlinson (brian.t.tomlinson@gmail.com), Chairperson, Monitoring Advisory Group  (Read more on the MAG here.)

 

Document for Consultation:

GPEDC Theory of Change: Issues for Discussion - Monitoring Advisory Group (February 2016)

You may also want to consult an earlier MAG discussion paper, 'MAG Theory of Change, an Exposition and Critique' (December 2015).

 

Questions to Guide the Consultation:

a) What are your general reflections on the assumptions and issues raised by the MAG's implied theory of change?  For example, does the MAG’s theory of change adequately explore the links between monitoring effective development co-operation commitments, more effective development co-operation in practice, and the achievement of development outcomes?

b) What are the implications for strengthening the current GPEDC monitoring framework? What factors can strengthen the value-added of this monitoring framework in the context of issues raised by the theory of change?

c) What are the implications of this theory of change for the relevance of the Global Partnership in achievement of Agenda 2030? What are the potential roles of the Global Partnership in promoting behaviour, policy and institutional change in development co-operation in relation to Agenda 2030? 

 

 

Comments

Anna Whitson a UNDP-OECD GPEDC Joint Support Team from United States Thu, May 05,2016

[Posted on behalf of Brian Tomlinson, Chair of the Monitoring Advisory Group]

 

Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation

Online Consultation on a Theory of Change (14 March – 15 April)

Synthesis of Consultation

Please find the complete summary attached below.

Background

The purpose of the Global Partnership is to encourage sustainable change in the institutions, policies and behaviour affecting development co-operation, consistent with the commitments made by all stakeholders in Busan in 2011 and in Mexico in 2014. A renewed and relevant monitoring framework is critical to determining progress and stimulating policy dialogue in relation to these commitments and efforts for implementation of the SDGs.

The GPEDC Monitoring Advisory Group (MAG) is a twelve-member body of experts that was mandated in 2015 by the GPEDC Co-Chairs and Steering Committee to review and refine the GPEDC Monitoring Framework in the context of Agenda 2030 and the financing of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), under which effective development co-operation is recognised as an essential dimension for advancement.  The MAG offers its advice in these areas to the Steering Committee and its constituent stakeholders.

In order to progress its work, the MAG first examined how change is expected to happen through the Global Partnership by developing an implied Theory of Change. The consultation document, ‘GPEDC Theory of Change: Issues for Discussion,’ highlights some important areas for discussion as well as challenges in achieving more effective development co-operation through the Global Partnership. In doing so, it aims to explore why there has been progress in some areas since Busan, but limited advances in others.

The online consultation on a Theory of Change for the Global Partnership took place 14 March-15 April 2016. The outcomes of this consultation will inform the MAG’s meeting in June 2016. At this meeting, the Group will finalise its advice in relation to the Theory of Change and associated implications for revisions to the monitoring framework, including reflections on possible revisions to the mandate of the Global Partnership. The following questions guided the online consultation:  

a) What are your general reflections on the assumptions and issues raised by the MAG's implied Theory of Change?  For example, does the MAG’s Theory of Change adequately explore the links between monitoring effective development co-operation commitments, more effective development co-operation in practice and the achievement of development outcomes?

b) What are the implications for strengthening the current GPEDC monitoring framework? What factors can strengthen the value-added of this monitoring framework in the context of issues raised by the Theory of Change?

c) What are the implications of this Theory of Change for the relevance of the Global Partnership in achievement of Agenda 2030? What are the potential roles of the Global Partnership in promoting behaviour, policy and institutional change in development co-operation in relation to Agenda 2030? 

The consultation received 11 contributions from a diverse set of Global Partnership stakeholders. This report synthesises the main points raised by these contributions and identifies areas for further discussion by the MAG.

Key points of discussion

The consultation:

  • Welcomed the MAG’s work on a Theory of Change in the context of the complexity of development co-operation.               

The Global Partnership aims to promote real change in behaviour for all development actors for more effective development co-operation. Change needs to happen at all levels and is influenced by various factors: this complexity suggests multiple theories of change may play out in in various country contexts, not only in terms of countries with dual characteristics (provider and recipient), but also different political contexts in provider and partner country capitals. Nonetheless, the attempt to lay out an implied Theory of Change (ToC) for the Global Partnership was welcomed.

  • Highlighted the need to take account of the implications of the 2030 Agenda.

There is recognition that the context of the 2030 Agenda will impact the Global Partnership’s Theory of Change, which may require a forward-looking Theory of Change that explicitly integrates the SDG review processes. The SDGs will require much more collaboration and integration among all development actors, adding complexity and necessitating deeper analysis of motivations for behaviour change and also what non-state actors (such as civil society organisations, the private sector etc.) expect from the Global Partnership.

  • Noted that an explicit Theory of Change would require further work grounded in a review of the Global Partnership’s process to date.  

While a need for an explicit Theory of Change was acknowledged, its development will need to be carefully considered. If an explicit Theory of Change is to be developed, it should be well-grounded in the empirics and evidence from an internal review of the GPEDC process to date, drawing on lessons from governments and stakeholders and maintaining transparency and inclusiveness in the process. It was also noted that having such a Theory of Change does not automatically mean change will take place.

  • Questioned how the Global Partnership might improve on its promotion of behaviour change. Various views were expressed regarding the role of the Global Partnership and its working methods in promoting behaviour change. These range from benchmarking accountability; preserving accountability in the context of the 2030 Agenda; creating a ‘safe space’ for dialogue; actively promoting policy dialogue on development effectiveness at the country level; mutual learning based on best practices; exploring incentives for change, and linking global and country-level actions to foster better dialogue on effective development co-operation.
  • Elaborated on the implicit Theory of Change’s role in supporting the Global Partnership’s goals and outcomes.

With regard to the implicit Theory of Change, it was noted this ToC is currently limited to the level of goals, objectives and outcomes, with no reference to the activities and outputs that are needed to achieve the changes in behaviors, policies and institutions. Noting the Global Partnership’s inherently complex and diverse context, there is perhaps a need for intermediate outcomes that are achievable and measurable in the medium term. It is suggested, in the short and medium term, this focus would be on improved practices in development c-operation, which results in part from drawing attention to the Busan commitments through country‐led monitoring and high- level multi-stakeholder dialogue, rather than fundamental changes in behaviors and institutions.  On the other hand, it is also important to note that changes in practice are institutionally rooted and are sustained by both corresponding policy and behaviour.

  • Confirmed the Global Partnership’s value-added in an inclusive, well-balanced, grounded and country-led monitoring process.                      

There was recognition of the Global Partnership monitoring framework / approach’s value addition in areas such as country-led monitoring and inclusive approaches to data collection / verification, resulting in an inclusive platform on development effectiveness.  However, it was also noted that in order to strengthen the process, there is need for further engagement of providers’ capitals while ensuring that it is led by developing countries, underscoring the importance of country ownership.

  • Highlighted the need to ensure that the Theory of Change addresses the diversity of development co-operation relationships.                   

The Global Partnership includes diverse stakeholders from unique country and institutional / organisational conditions. It was suggested that the Theory of Change should be clear on its applicability to co-operation actors with dual character (both provider and recipient) or non-state actors with multiple roles as development actors.

  • Emphasised data quality and credibility in the context of an inclusive data gathering and verification process.

Balance is also needed in addressing data issues for improved data quality and credibility. While there were several endorsements for assessing the need for change at providers’ HQ, it was also noted that there should be caution in the ways that the framework strengthens this focus, avoiding providers’ capitals directly reporting to a global process in ways that undermine country ownership. In addition, more attention and investment are needed to create incentives and capacities at the national level for country-led monitoring. The Global Partnership needs to address these capacity issues and mitigate the high transaction costs that data reporting could have for country- level stakeholders.

  • Supported the notion that monitoring must be complemented by processes that ask the ‘why.’

Recognising the complex political landscape and varied country contexts, there is need for the monitoring framework (the ‘what’) to be complemented by ‘why’  questions, explaining why progress is made or is not made, and identifying drivers and barriers.

  • Addressed the need to rebalance power dynamics among various development actors.                   

There is recognition that the Global Partnership can rebalance power dynamics among various development actors, and to this end, there exists a need for the Global Partnership’s working methods to support the strengthening of partner country governments and the diverse development stakeholders at the country level. To this end, there is also a need to address the ‘missing middle’ in provider and partner organisations, and incentivise investment in country-level inclusive policy dialogue and capacities for monitoring. There was also some support for the idea of a ‘partner country caucus’, in order to further explore specific demands from partners and diverse financial flows are able to ensure the effectiveness of co-operation.

Please find the complete summary attached here. 

Attachment(s) Synthesis - ToC online consultation - MAG FINAL.docx
Dr Adeboye ADEYEMO
Fri, May 06,2016
Contributions to the Monitoring Advisory Group’s Proposals for Revisingthe Indicators and Framework
 
The Monitoring Advisory Group  (MAG) of the Global Partnership for EffectiveDevelopment Co-operation (GPEDC) indicators and framework for monitoring effectivedevelopment cooperation in the context of Agenda 2030 is a highly commendablework. The use of the indicators  in theproduction of  2014 Progress Report  and feeding the analysis  into the inaugural High-Level Meeting of the GPEDC in Mexico (2014) further  reinforces the importance of the frameworkbeyond theoretical postulations.
In my reflection, and based on my professional experience,the MAG is in the right direction by seeking experts view on how to strengthenthe framework knowing fully well that no one get it right at the first attempt.A good and useful monitoring framework is always a product of iterativeactivities with an open mind for improvement on the relevance, effectiveness,usefulness and data collection methodology and costs.
In my view the 10 monitoring indicators are relevant,effective and useful in measuring the effectiveness and results of thedevelopment co-operations. On data collection methodology and efficiency ofcollection, this will vary from indicator to indicator and country to country,therefore I cannot make pronouncement on the efficiency of data collection, butit is important to note that the quality of data, its source and credibilityare major determinant of the quality of the monitoring report to be produced.This may require significant investment in capacity building for datacollection and analysis at country level.

To strengthen the framework and indicators, I have thefollowing suggestions:
1.    
 T1. On Table 1.1 in the 2014 Progress Report, allthe parameters in the shaded row of the framework were described as Indicators.To the best of my knowledge, these are not indicators but OUTCOMES- a desiredor describable change. The indicators are those in the unshaded rows. Indicators reports on outcomes. Forinstance:
 
Outcome 1 : Development co-operation isfocused on results that meet developing countries’ priorities
OutcomeIndicator :  Extent of use of country resultsframeworks by cooperation providers
Baseline(Year) ???
Target(2015) : All providers of development cooperation use country resultsframework

 2. I observed that Outcomes 1-4 do not haveBaseline values but are included for 5-10

3.      3. There is a use of conjunction (and) between engagement and contribution to development inoutcome 2. Outcomes are best described without conjunction as indicatorsmeasures one item only just as in a dash board.  Outcome 2 can be revised as Civil society operates within anenvironment which maximizes its contribution to development. The currentindicator as described now is more of an activity. It can be revised as Extent of enabling environment for CSO tomake contributions.

4     4. For outcome 3, watch out for the use ofconjunction as in engagement and contribution. Again the Outcome can be revisedas Contribution of the private sector todevelopment.
The outcome indicator described as (athree-dimension index providing a measure of the quality of public-privatedialogue) is somewhat ambiguous.

5.       5. Theindicator for  Outcome 4 also talk ofmeasure of state…. The question is what would be used to measure that state ofimplementation of the common standard by co-operation providers? This proposedindicator is also somewhat ambiguous

6.       6. Thereis also the use of conjunction in Outcome 9, between strengthened and Used. As it can be seen in this case,there are two indicators (a) and (b). (a) will be a good measure of  an outcome like Developing countries’ systems are strengthened for effectiveinstitutions  and (b) will be a goodmeasure of an outcome like Use ofdeveloping  countries’ systems  for effective institutions. I prefer thelater i.e use of developing countries’ systems for effective institutions,because it is only a strengthened system that can be effectively used.
 
 
Adeboye ADEYEMO, PhD (Econs)
Principal Consultant in  Capacity Building, M&E and Program Management

 
Qminimax Consulting Ltd
Bethel House
Beside ECO Bank
Ojoo, Ibadan, Nigeria
E-mail: boyeadeyemo@yahoo.com
Skype: adeboye-adeyemo
Cell: +234  8097808804 /8131894473

Capacity for Development Results


On Thursday, May 5, 2016 6:22 PM, "notification@unteamworks.org" <notification@unteamworks.org> wrote:


Anna Whitson a UNDP-OECD GPEDC Joint Support Team from Cameroon
Wed, April 27,2016

[Please note that the below comments were received via e-mail before the deadline for providing commentary to the discussion and that the consultation remains closed.]

Posted on behald of: 

Dieudonne Takouo, Specialist in Evaluation of Development Partnerships Effectiveness, Yaounde-Cameroon

 

Contribution to Online Consultation on the Global Partnership”s Theory of Change

a)      I suggest that those links highlights the importance of embedding a strong culture of systematic evaluation of policies, strategies and programmes into all the institutions of the partner countries. This evaluation mechanism, which must be fully operational, is an essential dimension of an effective mutual accountability system functionning under the umbrella of a strong governmental leadership for the achievement of the development impact through development co-operation. It is also vital for the effectiveness of development co-operation to go beyond “better co-ordinated and seek solutions jointly” and emphasize “harmonized development interventions”.

b)     The main factors able to strengthen the value-added of the monitoring framework are as follows :

-          The existence of a strong, robust and fully operational evaluation mechanism embedded into all the institutions of the partner country;

-          The regularly improved governance at all levels.

c)      The potential roles of the Global Partnership in promoting behavior, policy and institutional change in development co-operation in relation to Agenda 2030 are as follows :

-          Encourage the government of the partner country to popularize the Rome/Paris/Accra/Busan/Mexico process among all the development actors : private sector, trade unions, parliaments, political parties, civil society, public institutions, foundations, development co-operation providers, etc, so that they can easily understand and endorse the principles and commitments associated to this process;

-          Encourage the creation of multi-partner committees in all the development sectors (rural development, health, education, environment and climate change, etc) whose roles will be to foster mutual accountability in all those sectors, reflect on how to improve the contribution of those sectors to the development outcomes, and to enhance the harmonization of development interventions in the different sectors.

Ellen Kelly
Mon, April 18,2016

Comments from the European Commission on the GPEDC Theory of Change:

 

We welcome the opportunity to comment on the GPEDC Theory of Change.  The European Commission broadly agrees with the implied theory of change.  There are several particularly useful elements, which are described in detail below. 

 

As overarching comments on the approach, we have a few specific points:

  • We should avoid the presentation of the GPEDC as an entirely standalone structure.  We need to reinforce the links with the 2030 Agenda as much as possible at this stage, and possibly take the implementation of this agenda as the starting point for GPEDC rather than the other way around.

  • The GPEDC monitoring and Agenda 2030 follow up and review processes provide much of the basis for these links.  Concrete links between the indicators should be emphasised as much as possible (e.g. Follow up Addis Ababa Action Action (AAAA) para 58, SDG proposed indicator 17.16.1) (to be explored further in the ongoing review of the GPEDC monitoring framework)

  • The links with the UN system must also be reinforced at the institutional level, particularly the "complementary" relationship between GPEDC and the UN Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), as described in the AAAA.  The theory of change should include strong wording on this specific relationship.

 

Detailed comments:

  1. The use of the monitoring framework to incentivise behaviour change.  The purpose of monitoring and accountability mechanisms are to contribute to change processes.  This should be at the forefront of considerations in terms of use of monitoring results and the revision of the framework.  The data needs to be presented in the right way in order to effect change.

  2. We agree with the strengths that the GPEDC monitoring framework can contribute to the SDGs:

    • An inclusive platform on development effectiveness

    • Country-led monitoring

    • Inclusive approach to data collection and verification.

However, we do not feel that the review to strengthen the monitoring framework can yet be seen as a strength as the results are not yet clear. 

  1. The acknowledgement of specific political economy realities for providers and partner countries is important “irrespective of seemingly shared commitments, norms and principles for effective development cooperation.”  We feel that this tension has led to some of the current challenges in the GPEDC in terms of the simultaneous attempt to bring in new actors and deepen implementation of commitments.  A recognition of these differing contexts and priorities should lead us to consider and explore the idea of differentiated commitments for different providers of finance, different financial flows and different contexts.

  2. The idea of a “partner country caucus” to prepare for the Nairobi HLM.  This would help to better articulate the changing demands of developing countries in relation to their development partners, which would in turn inform the responses and commitments of those partners.  This should also link to point 3 above – partner countries should explore what their specific demands of different partners and different financial flows are, given political realities.

  3. We strongly agree with the proposal that a revised monitoring framework would involve provider headquarters more directly.  This would help with issues of methodological consistence and data quality, as well as helping to drive change in HQ.

 

We feel that the issue of data quality and credibility is not sufficiently stressed in the theory of change.  Data needs to be of high quality and comparable in order to be credible and legitimate.  Currently there is the danger that methodological inconsistencies and gaps in data provision undermine the credibility of results, and therefore the usefulness of the monitoring framework. 

 

 

Tadeo Berjon a Director for In ternational Development Cooperation Planning and for the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperatio from Mexico
Fri, April 15,2016
  • Mexico recognizes the relevance of having a clear and common understanding on how the principles of  the GPEDC aim to contribute to achieve transformative results. We consider the MAG’s proposal accurately captures the TOC implied in the political agreements regarding the expected effect of more effective development cooperation as a result of behavior and institutional change and effective monitoring and assessment. We highly appreciate that the document rightly stresses how context plays a key role in achieving development expect outcomes.
  • We would like to see a clearer relationship between the principles of effective development cooperation and the implied TOC. The principles are at the core of the Global Partnership, and should have a more explicit role in the document.
  • The GPEDC’s multi-stakeholder character makes it unique in terms of inclusiveness, regarding the dialogue and participation of parliaments, civil society, private sector, etc.  We therefore welcome the suggestions regarding the need for strengthening institutional channels through which Steering Committee members can effectively represent their constituencies.
  • We believe that the implied Theory of Change is applicable in general to the diversity of development cooperation relationships. Yet, the language used still evokes mostly net donor-net recipient relationships.  In this regard, it is critical to be clear on how the TOC also includes cooperation partners with dual character (both recipients and providers). We would like to suggest including this as a recommendation in Section C.
  • It should also be taken into consideration that “effective monitoring and assessment” is one of the two critical components of the implied TOC. Therefore, the design of indicators has a role in fostering the expected change (incentive). If the indicators are not fully relevant for all development cooperation contexts, the monitoring and assessment won’t contribute/lead to the expected change.
  • We would like to highlight the importance of the recommendation made regarding the learning function of the monitoring and assessment process. If the Monitoring and assessment process focuses mostly on accountability and doesn't pay enough attention to learning, the GPEDC members won’t be able to take full advantage of the knowledge generated by the process to effect behavior and institutional change (for example, information about the conditions that catalyze change).
  • For section C, in order to have a more realistic appraisal of the scope of the TOC,  we would like to suggest a clearer acknowledgment of the assumptions of causality (that is, an "assumption" as opposed to a "verified objective fact"), particularly between the moment of “improved engagement between multiple actors” and the moment of "improved development outcomes on the ground”.  Better development outcomes depend on numerous variables and dynamics, such as on adequate design and implementation of the development intervention.
  • Regarding the point raised on why change is not happening as expected, we would like to emphasize that, given the Global Partnership's inherently complex and diverse context (both at the global and national levels) and expected outcome (measurable behavioral change that leads to concrete results), expectatives on time-frames might need to be adjusted.
George Monari a Private Equity Partner from Kenya
Fri, April 15,2016

 

General Reflections on Assumptions and Issues raised by MAG’s implied ToC

 

The implied Theory of Change gives a commendable approach to outlining a proper illustration of how the desired changed is to presumed to happen in the particular context. Although in as much as it attempts to point the prerequisite conditions that must be in place for the change to occur, it underestimates the role of how the political framework and proper incentives will act as agents of change. Furthermore, it should better capture that the incorporation of commitments made by the relevant stakeholders inside their organization might be crucial to the overall success of the desired change. However, the inclusivity of all the stakeholders in the negotiation of the global norms sets a good pace for each development stakeholder to fulfil the commitments.

 

Strengthening the Monitoring Framework

 

It is great to see a monitory framework that is making significant progress in the implementation of development co-operation. The Monitory Advisory Group should be instrumental for the proper adoption of the Busan commitments. Emphasis should be put on measurement of implementation so that the principles agreed upon in Busan can come to fruition. There should also be constant dialogue to champion for participation in the Global Partnership. A key aspect of the Monitory Advisory Group in its mandate would be the balance between the diversity of each different member stakeholder and their inclusion therein in the achievement of goals set.

 

Implication of the implied ToC in the Global Partnership in achievement of Agenda 2030

 

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set by the International Community in September last year requires much collaboration and integration. The implied ToC will play a key role in sustainable change in the context of Agenda 2030 since implementation of the SDGs is dependent on co-operation. A potential role that the Global Partnership should play would be to benchmark accountability in change with respect to the Busan commitments.  

Attachment(s) A Look at the Implied ToC for the GPEDC.docx
Christoph Jansen from Germany
Fri, April 15,2016

Germany's comments /posted on behalf of BMZ:

-       The MAG formulated criticism towards the anticipated Theory of Change is very relevant, since some of the underlying assumptions on causalities cannot be verified easily. 

-       This applies especially to the assumptions on Behaviour change. In order to reach a real change of behaviour through the Global Monitoring, investment and political attention around an international process including a progress report and intensive dialogue is required - still the mentioned context of Realpolitik will often lead to decision-making which is not evidence-based despite the knoweledge and commitment. Other important prerequisites would be to professionalise data to become acurate and relevant.  Creating incentives as well as capacities by adopting implementation initiatives at the country level and  support by the GPEDC at partner country level would benefit a potential theory of change approach.  

-       The challenges described need to be emphasised. Indeed, the core challenge is to elaborate how the GPEDC and its constituencies can promote a real change in donors´ and partner countries´ behaviour considering the fact that often adhoc Realpolitik defines donor and/or country level policies, funding and programming.

-        Strong positioning is needed: If the agenda of the GPEDC – which still has not been openly accepted by new donors due to the perception it was largely formulated by DAC donors –  is meant to be universally valid, such Theory of Change (albeit defined by a mixed group of consultants) cannot just be imposed on new donors or other actors such as the hard to be representatively involved private sector even not fully on some DAC donors supposingly.


Jacqueline Wood a "Senior Policy Advisor, Task Team on CSO Development Effectiveness & Enabling Environment" from Canada
Fri, April 15,2016

Task Team response to online consultation on proposed GPEDC Theory of Change  

a) What are your general reflections on the assumptions and issues raised by the MAG's implied theory of change?  For example, does the MAG’s theory of change adequately explore the links between monitoring effective development co-operation commitments, more effective development co-operation in practice and the achievement of development outcomes?

The theory of change (ToC) presents logical links between the activities and action and development outcomes. A minor edit could be, at the 3rd level, “Improved and effective development cooperation by, and to engage, multiple actors.”

Critical of course are the assumptions, particularly in this case about context, which the Context section of the ToC articulates well. That said, there seems to be an assumption, and an important one at that, that the international agreements referenced in the left-most column of the ToC are always translated into appropriate action. Whereas, there is sometimes a step needed of “translating” those agreements and what they entail for actions and practice. Really, this is more than an assumption but a key part of what the GPEDC and some Global Partnership Initiatives try to do. Adding a level to the ToC would not likely be a solution to this issue given standard ToC logical levels from activities to outcomes. Perhaps there is a way to reflect such translation and awareness-raising at the activities level, as happening in parallel to the “Appropriate/relevant activities and actions based on international agreements”?

 Regarding context at the global level, it is indeed worth questioning whether the process “has lost momentum and global drivers”. This may be true and is unfortunate, despite efforts made since Busan to broaden the relevance to varied development actors.

Thus, in response to the second question: “b) What are the implications for strengthening the current GPEDC monitoring framework? What factors can strengthen the value-added of this monitoring framework in the context of issues raised by the theory of change?” – The issue arises as to how to make the GPEDC and its monitoring framework yet more relevant to varied development actors. A Partner Country Caucus may help build momentum and pressure for change, but such an approach only targets one actor.

As regards the Actions and Recommendations #6, 2nd bullet – The idea to better balance responsibilities for and thus potentially the understanding of expectations for behaviour change across actors is a welcome idea. However, it is welcome with a caveat that a more complex or cumbersome monitoring exercise is unlikely to be welcome, if indeed momentum is already a challenge.

The ideas under the 3rd, 4th and 5th bullets (creating “safe spaces” for dialogue; improving the progress report; highlighting differing performance) are good ones.

c) What are the implications of this theory of change for the relevance of the Global Partnership in achievement of Agenda 2030? What are the potential roles of the Global Partnership in promoting behaviour, policy and institutional change in development co-operation in relation to Agenda 2030?

It may be that some momentum has been lost over the past two years as attentions have focused more on reaching agreement on Agenda 2030. Given this, and the above, the GPEDC would do well to continue to position itself in relation to Agenda 2030 follow-up, monitoring and review. That effort has been made in this regard in relation to SDG 17.16 on multi-stakeholder partnerships is welcome. The GPEDC may consider additional creative offerings, for example:

-       Positioning Indicator Two as a complementary indicator for the target 16.10 element on fundamental freedoms and the target 17.17 element on civil society partnerships

-       Proposing a thematic review of effective development cooperation

Megan Gerecke a Consultant, World Health Organization, Department of Country Cooperation and Collaboration with the UN System from Switzerland
Fri, April 15,2016

The WHO's Department of Country Cooperation and Collaboration with the UN System welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the e-consultation on a GPEDC’s Theory of Change. Below are the WHO’s replies to the three specific questions asked. The responses focus on the implications of the TOC for providers of development cooperation like the WHO.

Q1

As the MAG’s current theory of change is implied rather than explicit, by definition it does not adequately explore the links between monitoring effective development co-operation commitments, more effective development co-operation in practice, and the achievement of development outcomes.

As aptly described in the Exposition and Critique paper, the implied theory of change (pp1-2) makes assumptions that cannot be taken as a given. In relation to providers of development cooperation like the WHO, the paper outlines that the adoption of global norms may not translate into (i) awareness among all staff; (ii) willpower to implement changes among decision makers and (iii) the development of needed staff capacities for new ways of working. It raises the concern that “country-focused monitoring created an unbalanced approach in which aid providers seemingly have fewer responsibilities for active participation and change” and that incentives must also be created at headquarters and communicated to country offices (p. 3). In addition, it suggests that sustained change is dependent on institutional and human resource policies, enabling conditions, mutual accountability and mechanisms for collaboration within stakeholder groups. It argues that behaviour change cannot be taken as an automatic result of international agreements, but rather that such change occurs in response to broader political incentives to be more strategic and deliberate in directing development resources at the country level.

The Issues for Discussion paper highlights that the monitoring exercise “is still mostly a technical and working level exercise, largely unrelated to creating political incentives at the highest level. Getting the indicators “technically right” is not the main issue. The critical issue is using the monitoring findings and generating appetite at the highest level for mutual dialogue to incentivize behaviour change.” In addition it stress that the “why question” for lack of progress should be further explored.

The WHO acknowledges these issues are important to consider.

Q2

The Exposition and Critique paper reaches the conclusion that (4.1) an explicit TOC is needed, (4.3) that the political economy should be better taken into account, (4.4) that GPEDC needs to engage more effectively with middle levels of organizations, and (4.5) that more clarity is needed about whether GPEDC monitoring is to evaluate relative performance or establish mutual accountability and generate examples of best practice. [numbering is drawn from the original paper].

The Issues for Discussion paper concludes that (i) a revised framework should seek data and assessment of change not only at country level, but also at the level of providers’ headquarters, and from CSOs and other development actors associated with GPEDC; (ii) the Steering Committee, with the support of the JST, should provide leadership in creating “safe spaces” to discuss the “why question” – identifying not only the barriers to behaviour change, but also engaging the right people across their own organisations (drivers of change) and identifying incentives for institutional and political drivers to overcome these barriers in implementing the principles for effective development cooperation”,  (iii) in addition to a global synthesis, country and provider profiles should be produced, and (iv) there should be consideration of a range of options for drawing attention to the differing performance of individual development cooperation actors in realizing the principles and commitments of Busan, including but not limited to rankings.

The WHO acknowledges that points 4.3, 4.4 and (ii) are important to consider.

Regarding point 4.1, the WHO would caution that – as in the case of monitoring – the development of an explicit theory of change does not automatically mean change will take place. If an explicit theory of change is to be developed, it should be well-grounded in the empirics of the process to date – i.e. it should draw lessons from governments and stakeholders that have participated in monitoring. It will be important to focus on key action areas (e.g. areas where progress is slow or potential for change high). Theorizing on too many aspects will confuse rather than clarify.

Regarding points 4.5, (i), (iii) and (iv), the WHO acknowledges that global syntheses and country-specific statistics may not motivate change among development providers. The WHO would recommend:

  • Prioritizing process that establish mutual accountability and generate examples of best practice, rather than rankings of relative performance. Rankings may not give a fair picture of a provider’s intentions to work in accordance with the Busan commitments. To stimulate change, assessments could feed into evaluations of effectiveness at the international (e.g. MOPAN) or domestic level.
  • The current indicators will not necessarily yield useful provider profiles. Attention to provider inputs and processes will be needed, particularly to governance structures, rules and procedures, and organizational constitutions. Providers should be asked to highlight challenges regarding mutual accountability, both within their organizations and on the part of countries they cooperate with.
  • It is important to recognize that quantitative monitoring is time-intensive and can overlook important issues. The adoption of new indicators (and the maintenance of existing ones) should be approached cautiously and consideration should be given to how useful indicators are compared with alternatives (e.g. qualitative assessments, narratives on innovative practices).

Q3

While there are obvious links to the 2030 agenda, as neither paper explores these links the WHO will abstain from commenting on this topic.

Hannelore Beerlandt a AgriCord, Programme Operations Officer from Belgium
Thu, April 14,2016

AgriCord is an initiative of professional farmers’ organizations and their cooperative businesses from countries in Europe, Canada, Africa and Asia, bundling their efforts for strengthening their colleagues in developing countries.  

  1. A.      Who are ‘the countries’ and what ‘aid’ are we talking about ?

From the context description by the Monitoring advice group to the GPEDC as well as in the Theory of change, it is not clear how non-traditional actors can engage, and what they can expect of the GPEDC. While the TOC’s objective is defined as ‘to engage multiple actors’, the context description and indicators focus on ‘countries’ which are reduced to ‘governments’ (of partner and donor countries). It would also be very helpful to illustrate and show ways  to make aid more effective, and related advantages or incentives for different stakeholders.

 Aid is defined in rather narrow terms and reduced to financial flows between governments. Complementary
flows, such as advisory services, peer to peer exchange and impact investments by the private sector are also important.

 Concretely, we propose:

-        to rank ‘providers for development’, rather than to rank ‘countries for aid’.

-        to assess incentives of certain stakeholders (apart from measuring progress of the current indicators only).

-        to include role of non-traditional actors as complementary and relevant drivers

 B.       Accountability of government and private sector are key factors to this change process

The concepts of transparency and accountability deserve higher attention. For Farmers’ organizations, the issue of accountability of governments and private sector is considered as crucial. An example is the Access to Seeds index which measures the commitment of the private seed sector to the needs and opportunities of
smallholders. Farmers’ organizations are involved in this process which contributes to increased accountability of the private sector. Only when accountability stands central, development initiatives will effectively
contribute to the SDG’s.

Edite Singens a Camões IP. - Institute for Cooperation and Language from Portugal
Thu, April 14,2016

Global Partnership Monitoring Review

Public consultation on Theory of Change

Portugal comments

 

 

  • Portugal understands the reflections put forward, nevertheless the ToC document tries to tackle issues that go beyond the monitoring itself. Reflections rose deal with reshaping of policies, relationships and management systems and structures amongst donors and partners.
  • Any reflection on these issues should link with other on-going process, e.g. the debate that took place regarding the “Agencies for the future”, the recently informal DAC senior official meeting on “Fit for the Future Project” and other discussions that are taking place in several fora.
  • An initial stage in our opinion is that in order for monitoring results influence behavior, many of monitoring fragilities must be solved first, such as: some indicator’s methodology, as the Transparency indicator;  the number of effective participants that are able to finish the process (many fragile States); members subject to monitoring exercises without considering it advantageous or credible; a more robust and credible process, supported by awareness and global political attention;  developing countries with most difficulties in gathering the data being strongly supported during all the process.
Edite Singens a Camões IP. - Institute for Cooperation and Language from Portugal
Thu, April 14,2016

Global Partnership Monitoring Review

Public consultation on Theory of Change

Portugal comments

 

 

  • Portugal understands the reflections put forward, nevertheless the ToC document tries to tackle issues that go beyond the monitoring itself. Reflections rose deal with reshaping of policies, relationships and management systems and structures amongst donors and partners.
  • Any reflection on these issues should link with other on-going process, e.g. the debate that took place regarding the “Agencies for the future”, the recently informal DAC senior official meeting on “Fit for the Future Project” and other discussions that are taking place in several fora.
  • An initial stage in our opinion is that in order for monitoring results influence behavior, many of monitoring fragilities must be solved first, such as: some indicator’s methodology, as the Transparency indicator;  the number of effective participants that are able to finish the process (many fragile States); members subject to monitoring exercises without considering it advantageous or credible; a more robust and credible process, supported by awareness and global political attention;  developing countries with most difficulties in gathering the data being strongly supported during all the process.
Attachment(s) ToC_public consultation_Portugal.pdf
Edite Singens a Camões IP. - Institute for Cooperation and Language from Portugal
Thu, April 14,2016

Global Partnership Monitoring Review

Public consultation on Theory of Change

Portugal comments

 

 

  • Portugal understands the reflections put forward, nevertheless the ToC document tries to tackle issues that go beyond the monitoring itself. Reflections rose deal with reshaping of policies, relationships and management systems and structures amongst donors and partners.
  • Any reflection on these issues should link with other on-going process, e.g. the debate that took place regarding the “Agencies for the future”, the recently informal DAC senior official meeting on “Fit for the Future Project” and other discussions that are taking place in several fora.
  • An initial stage in our opinion is that in order for monitoring results influence behavior, many of monitoring fragilities must be solved first, such as: some indicator’s methodology, as the Transparency indicator;  the number of effective participants that are able to finish the process (many fragile States); members subject to monitoring exercises without considering it advantageous or credible; a more robust and credible process, supported by awareness and global political attention;  developing countries with most difficulties in gathering the data being strongly supported during all the process.
Attachment(s) ToC_public consultation_Portugal.pdf
Farida Tchaitchian Bena a Policy and Advocacy Coordinator from France
Wed, April 13,2016

Hello,

Below and attached is the contribution to the consultation on GPEDC's Theory of Change from the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness. Thank you for your attention,

 

Farida T. Bena

Policy and Advocacy Coordinator (GPEDC)

CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness

 

====================================================

The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the e-consultation on a GPEDC’s Theory of Change. We are grateful for the work carried out by the Monitoring Advisory Group (MAG) on GPEDC’s Theory of Change, which we see as a fundamental pre-requisite to both producing a better monitoring framework and revising the scope of GPEDC as a whole. Below our CPDE’s replies to the three specific questions asked.

 

Question a) What are your general reflections on the assumptions and issues raised by the MAG's implied theory of change?  For example, does the MAG’s theory of change adequately explore the links between monitoring effective development co-operation commitments, more effective development co-operation in practice, and the achievement of development outcomes?

 

The MAG’s discussion paper finds that GPEDC’s Theory of Change is implied and that it may not be realistic to expect GPEDC stakeholders to agree on an explicit theory. It also argues that some of the assumptions embedded in GPEDC work go beyond its actual change capability. This raises a number of issues that remain unresolved within the alliance.

 

CPDE questions the effectiveness of maintaining an implicit Theory of Change for three main reasons.  First, while we understand the political sensitivities around the need to ensure consensus, keeping the theory implicit will not bring the clarity and vision that we need to make GPEDC work. For years GPEDC has been mired in ambiguity and vagueness – part of it because no-one knows how exactly the alliance is supposed to work. A more detailed understanding of the GPEDC’s ultimate objective is needed. What does “more effective development co-operation in practice” look like, what do we mean by “improved development outcomes”? What does this mean for different stakeholders? Is there a common understanding? This work on the Theory of Change would be an opportunity to clarify the objective of the GPEDC, which is still unclear to many stakeholders. Keeping the Theory of Change implied will only reinforce the status quo and make it harder for GPEDC to justify its added value in the global development scene, particularly in relation to the UN.

 

Second, leaving GPEDC’s Theory of Change implicit will impact on any revisions to its mandate and ways of working, allowing for arbitrary interpretations of what GPEDC is about, what it can and should do. The MAG’s paper raises too many questions for GPEDC members to leave unanswered. To the extent possible, GPEDC should try to articulate its theory by seeking agreement at least on the main components, including those factors that may be beyond GPEDC’s ability to control.

 

Third, the implied nature of GPEDC’s current Theory of Change does not reflect those principles of transparency and accountability that GPEDC purports to promote. No systematic efforts have been made to seek a deeper understanding of the factors at play in ensuring better development co-operation, nor do we know what is missing when change does not happen. Under these circumstances, revising GPEDC’s mandate and ways of working would be premature, drawing from neither a theoretical foundation nor empirical evidence that the way forward proposed would be better than what we have.

 

CPDE therefore supports an explicit Theory of Change based on a preliminary internal review of GPEDC, in line with the proposal made by GPEDC’s knowledge hubs group at the last Steering Committee meeting in Malawi. The review would allow us to reflect on the overall work carried out by GPEDC since it was first launched in Busan over four years ago. For this assessment to be credible, it will need to be run by a delegated representative group of GPEDC members reporting to the Steering Committee based on agreed terms of reference. The review will look at GPEDC activities, achievements and ways of working, while addressing some of the issues raised by the MAG in its documents.

 

As a series of following steps, CPDE also recommends the delegated group use the findings from the review to inform an explicit GPEDC Theory of Change, which we currently lack. The findings from the assessment could also be used to agree on a few principles that will guide the revision of the GPEDC mandate at a later stage. As these steps are likely to take most of 2016, CPDE suggests the HLM2 outcome document go as far as include a reference to these principles while the actual revision of the mandate itself would take place in the first half of 2017, in parallel with the revision of the global monitoring framework. This timeline would be more feasible and allow for better sequencing than if GPEDC tried to reform itself by HLM2. In this regard, CPDE wishes to recall that there is no mandatory deadline by which a revision to GPEDC’s mandate needs to take place. For now CPDE therefore recommends following GPEDC’s current mandate and ways of working until the pre-conditions described above - internal review, explicit theory of change and basic principles for revising the mandate – are met.

 

CPDE is willing and available to contribute to these exercises. In the meantime, we are also eager to continue working together on other important issues that need tackling, such as the revision of the global monitoring framework and the positioning of GPEDC vis à vis the SDG agenda and AAAA.

 

Finally, we wish to highlight a few specific issues that need tackling in GPEDC’s refined Theory of Change:

-          Recognising that the policy changes occurred in both donor and national capitols thanks to the whole aid and development effectiveness agenda is key to better capturing progress. Policy changes are likely to be observed over a longer period of time than the timespan adopted by GPEDC’s current Theory of Change so we need to find a way to recognise the early precursors to Busan more visibly;

-          It would help if the Theory of Change made a distinction between donor national politics and partner country national politics. Without an explicit mention of each, many will understand the Theory of Change to apply only to developing country contexts. Without a clear distinction between how the Theory of Change can be adapted in different national contexts, we can easily lose the important exploring of the role development actors have played in leveraging the Busan agenda to reform development co-operation policies in developed/donor countries;

-          The incentives for change deserve deeper exploration in the context of GPEDC. As the MAG noticed in its summary document, these incentives remain weak although they play a critical role in moving the Busan agenda forward;

-          The context analysis presented by the MAG focuses on governments (partner countries and donor countries). The Theory of Change will need to build on a deeper analysis of what non-state actors (CSOs and private sector) expect from the GPEDC and how they engage. This should be reflected in a detailed power analysis – as the MAG highlights, power dynamics have not been examined so far. 

-          We also highly support the MAG’s call for the establishment of a partner country caucus. We believe that ultimately, demands for development effectiveness need to come from partner countries, but it seems that so far they have not fully used the GPEDC as a platform to raise their voices and demand change. The GPEDC will need to reach out to these players more proactively to achieve this. 

 

 

Question b) What are the implications for strengthening the current GPEDC monitoring framework? What factors can strengthen the value-added of this monitoring framework in the context of issues raised by the theory of change?

A major way to strengthen the current monitoring framework is by complementing monitoring (the “what?”) with evaluation (the “why?”). The MAG clearly highlights an important bottleneck in advancing progress: the monitoring exercise only gives an indication of the “what” (i.e. a snapshot of progress in implementing the commitments), but does not look into the “why” (i.e. explaining why progress is made or is not made, identifying drivers and barriers). While the “what” is by definition what a monitoring framework should focus on, it seems crucial that the monitoring exercise be complemented with evaluation efforts. A key part of this evaluation should also be aimed at producing a qualitative assessment of development outcomes. How has GPEDC actually impacted on the lives of people and planet? We support the recommendation of creation “safe spaces” to discuss these questions. The GPEDC could build on its GPIs to do so (e.g. GPIs on Results and Mutual Accountability).   

 

In addition, according to the MAG, some of the emerging issues raised by GPEDC’s Theory of Change and requiring further clarity relate to behaviour change, engagement with new players like civil society and parliamentarians, as well as non-traditional providers like upper middle-income countries, and the interaction between global discussions and country-level action.

 

CPDE believes an explicit, better structured Theory of Change will enhance GPEDC’s global monitoring framework and help tackle these issues. In particular:

-          Revising the framework should clarify the role played by traditional providers in ensuring accountability of their performance, both at HQ and on the ground. While the current monitoring framework rightly focuses on developing country leadership, CPDE supports the MAG’s idea of assuring better balance in reporting performance from donors and recipients alike through the monitoring framework. Indeed, not enough attention is paid to policy reform at donor HQ level. At the same time, as we move forward it will be important that the spirit of country ownership – which underpins the whole monitoring exercise - be preserved. In the current framework, partner countries – through their national coordinator – are in a leading position: they coordinate the monitoring exercise in their country and all stakeholders (particularly donors) are accountable to them. If the monitoring framework were to move towards a process whereby the donor HQs directly reported to a global process (the JST), partner countries would lose their central position in the set-up. In order to improve the current framework’s efficiency, we see several leverages: i) incentivise donors to improve the channels of communications between their HQs and country offices in order for country offices to provide accurate and timely data to partner country governments, ii) provide more support to partner countries to enhance their role in the process, iii) make the monitoring exercise less burdensome.  

-          Highlighting inclusiveness as GPEDC’s distinctive trait will naturally strengthen the monitoring framework. The growing contribution of new providers, such as civil society, to monitoring efforts will provide a fuller picture of the impact of development co-operation in developing countries. GPEDC should further encourage this contribution by helping institutionalise policy dialogue at country level.

-          Better articulating GPEDC’s knowledge sharing function can help attract non-traditional providers such as middle-income countries to discuss accountability and monitoring on their own terms. While expecting these players to adopt the global monitoring framework may not be realistic in the short term, including them in a broader conversation on accountability can promote a useful initial dialogue and lesson exchange.

-          Enhancing the linkages between global and local can help foster better dialogue on effective development co-operation performance. In practice, stronger synergies can take the form of regular discussions on the monitoring process among key country-based development actors. This step has multiple advantages, including: ensuring that global discussions on effective development co-operation are followed up on at country level; helping make power dynamics – particularly those between providers and recipients – more equitable on the ground; promoting inclusiveness in practice by gathering all relevant development actors in-country; highlighting specific issues or situations where global-level action can help improve the effectiveness of development cooperation in-country; supporting country-level implementation and monitoring efforts of the Busan commitments more closely; promoting a stronger role and an enabling environment for civil society at country level, particularly in those contexts where civil society space is at risk; and promoting broader national efforts on human rights, gender equality, decent work, environmental sustainability and disability.

 

 

Question c) What are the implications of this theory of change for the relevance of the Global Partnership in achievement of Agenda 2030? What are the potential roles of the Global Partnership in promoting behaviour, policy and institutional change in development co-operation in relation to Agenda 2030? 

 

A better structured, articulated Theory of Change can showcase GPEDC as an inclusive accountability model for the implementation of Agenda 2030, in particular for the SDGs’ follow-up and review. This includes supporting the measurement of specific SDG indicators, like 17.16 on multi-stakeholder monitoring frameworks, but also disseminating lessons learned from building and revising the global monitoring framework with non-governmental actors, such as civil society and the private sector. GPEDC’s Theory of Change would also lead to identify ways to ensure that the aid and development effectiveness agenda be part of SDG implementation through clearer complementarity between GPEDC and relevant UN fora, such as the High Level Political Forum and the UN Development Co-operation Forum.

 

While there is a need for GPEDC to align its work with UN processes such as Agenda 2030 and Financing for Development, a GPEDC’s Theory of Change would contribute to maintaining the alliance’s own independent policy space. It would help preserve a space to discuss the effective development co-operation agenda in a universalised context by re-affirming the raison d’être for GPEDC envisioned in the Busan Partnership Agreement, which is primarily ‘to support and ensure accountability for the implementation of commitments at the political level’ (para. 36a). CPDE fully supports this vision and sees GPEDC play a key role in preserving accountability in the context of Agenda 2030, particularly in implementing SDG 16 on inclusive societies and SDG 17 on the revitalised global partnership for development.

 

More specifically, on the role GPEDC can play in promoting change within Agenda 2030 CPDE recommends:

 

-          Reflecting on how GPEDC-promoted policy dialogues at country level may complement those promoted by Agenda 2030. Indeed, there is a risk that the increasing amount of national-level dialogues on any range of issues may crowd out GPEDC’s discussion in developing countries. Competing dialogues are likely to become an issue to address;

-          Exploring what a “relevant” perimeter for the GPEDC monitoring should be: should the monitoring framework continue focusing mainly on ODA? Does it need to also include cooperation beyond ODA to be relevant vis-à-vis Agenda 2030? If so, what are the implications for the GPEDC monitoring framework?

 

Attachment(s) CPDE contribution to consultation on GPEDC ToC 13Apr2016.pdf
Dr. Anna Aghumian a \"Evaluation Officer, IEG\" from United States
Fri, April 08,2016

 The Independent Evaluation Group welcomes the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC)’s initiative to construct a Theory of Change (ToC) to understand Partnership’s contribution to improving development cooperation. We would like to make some comments and suggestions to improve the ToC.

In general, the discussion in the paper is more forward looking about the relevance and possible role of the Partnership in the context of SDGs/ Agenda 2030, while the suggested Theory of Change is ex-post and does not reflect the discussion. We suggest the GPEDC to start with defining its new goal and objective based on the role it aspires to play and build the Theory of Change around that.  What would the potential role of the Global Partnership be in the new context, aside from monitoring Busan commitments in parallel to SDG process?

 Detailed comments on the suggested Theory of Change

 If the purpose of this exercise is indeed to reconstruct the Partnerships’ ToC ex-post, we suggest building the theory of change and the logic chain around the Partnership’s core mandate and objectives for which the GPEDC is accountable. Right now its objective is to support and track progress in the implementation of Busan commitments for more effective development co-operation, through its global monitoring framework and high level dialogue. The ToC should depict by what means and how would the GPEDC achieve its main objective(s). In its current form, the ToC is limited to the level of goals, objectives and outcomes; no reference to activities and outputs that are needed to achieve the changes in behaviors and policies and institutions and to have a long term impact of “Improved development cooperation which includes multiple actors”.

The ToC also does not distinguish the long term goal the partnership will contribute to from the objective for which the program is actually accountable.

 It would be helpful to identify few key intermediate outcomes that are achievable in medium term and are measurable. At this point the ToC  has only one intermediate outcome: “Effective monitoring and assessment of progress” which cannot be put at the same level as long-term outcome of “changes in behavior, and policies and institutions” as it is now. In short and medium term it is more likely to have improved practices in development cooperation as a result of reinforcing Busan commitments through country‐led monitoring and high level multi-stakeholder dialogue, rather than fundamental changes in behaviors and institutions.

 Context related issues

The paper contains useful forward looking analysis about the global and country level dynamics that can influence the realization of GPEDC’s goal of better development cooperation. We agree that putting GPEDC’s monitoring framework within the SDG/Agenda 2030 context is crucial. Not only this can bring in some strengths to SDG monitoring, but also will help avoid overburdening country monitoring systems. Otherwise, given the voluntary nature of the reporting, stakeholders’ interest in participation can wane.

The paper suggests some useful measures to improve the incentives of partner countries to participate in the monitoring process and strengthen its impact and buy-in among different stakeholders. For example, moving beyond data aggregation and reporting country level results, creating safe space for learning about obstacles, positive reinforcement by recognizing and rewarding the progress can help move beyond simple technical compliance exercise to induce deeper changes in the polices, attitudes and behavior among the stakeholders. Along with these suggested steps, the GPEDC also needs to address the capacity issue and mitigate the high transaction costs that data reporting can have for country level stakeholders. For instance, the Partnership could promote technological innovations/ solutions that can help the partners in data gathering, offer resources and training, share available good practices to make the data gathering more efficient and less time consuming.

 On behalf of Nick York, Director, Independent Evaluation Group,  World Bank Group:

 

Attachment(s) IEG Comments on GPEDC's Theory of Change- April 8, 2016.docx
Dr Adeboye ADEYEMO a M&E and Capacity Building Specialist from Nigeria
Fri, April 08,2016

It is highly commendable that the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) through its Monitoring Advisory Group has set up a Results Measurement Framework based on a Theory of Change (ToC) to track the performance of Partner countries and  Providers of development cooperation resources.

General Reflections on ToC

Though attempt is made to map out a simple pathway of change (ToC) from activities and actions based on international agreements (Busan, GPEDC) to  improved development outcomes at partners countries. Obviously the issues are more complex than it looks. This is evident on issues and assumptions raised about causality and context. My deep reflection on the assumptions on causality and context is that the assumptions are high-level political issues that are beyond the influence and control of GPEDC and are therefore “killer assumptions”. This therefore implied that the ToC is not realistically feasible. My suggestion is that the  GPEDC should focus on technical issues and assumptions that it has control or influence on such as;

  1. Presence of peer review mechanism platform among Partner countries and provider of resources on “what” and WHY in order to aim at removing non-political obstacles in development cooperations
  2. Working round political assumptions at the global and partner country level may require a different mechanism complimentary to realizing the ToC. Alternatively, the political assumptions may be taken as given.

Valued-Added of this monitoring framework

I strongly agree on the point of use of findings from the monitoring to generate relevance and strong appetite at the highest level for mutual dialogue to influence behavioural change among all key stakeholders. This would require that the monitoring report build on strong evidence supported with data and strong engagement with key stakeholders. The Monitoring Report can be used in peer review and also to engage and seek High-level political influences as may be identified on the change path.

Potential Roles of GPEDC in the achievement of Agenda 2030

As noted by GPEDC, this theory of change is more on ensuring that various international agreement towards development cooperation are implemented effectively rather than measuring development outcomes. One of the important roles of the GPEDC is that of being a platform for sharing best practices based on its monitoring framework. The expected learning outcomes may require some capacity support for partner countries to maximize the opportunities of Agenda 2030. This will require investment in capacity building by GPEDC.

Attachment(s) Comments on Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation Theory of Change.docx
Christian Freres from Spain
Wed, March 23,2016

a) I believe it is useful to have a broad theory of change to guide the
international development community committed to development effectiveness. It
is, however, a major challenge to prepare such a ToC at this point when the
GPEDC is the result of the coming together of many actors with varying and
perhaps contradictory theories of change. It is also difficult given that the
development agenda has moved forward since Busan while the development
effectiveness agenda seems to have become somewhat marginal. So, a ToC is key
to defining why and how development effectiveness is still important, which
requires explaining how it influences change.

Therein lies a major problem because although many of us are convinced that improving
effectiveness should contribute to better development (a key original element
for the implicit ToC behind the effectiveness agenda), the fact is that the
evidence to sustain this belief is rather slim, or at best, it does not show
without a doubt that this effect is happening (or perhaps monitoring has shown
that many actors have not even applied the effectiveness principles). Indeed, I
would argue that part of the reason for the effectiveness agenda losing ground
since Busan is that we lack clear data demonstrating that the application of
the principles actually leads to improving development. This does not mean that
effectiveness is not important.

But it does mean that we need to be a bit cautious in offering lessons for the 2030 Agenda
process which in my mind is more complex, involving more vexing political
economy issues.

b) In my opinion, as an analyst working at a traditional aid provider, I think the
monitoring framework has focused too much on the partner country side and not enough
on the responsibility of providers in making sure development cooperation is
more effective. Effectiveness is, in its essence, about an agreement among
providers and partner countries to work together to improve the lives of
people. Yet, the tools we have developed to monitor aim mostly at the partner
side.  Having said that, the experience of the GPEDC in developing monitoring tools across many countries is quite important in and of itself, but also with regards to how it can contribute to
the 2030 Agenda.

c) However, the 2030 Agenda constitutes a shift in the monitoring logic so that all
countries are equally responsible for development (and its monitoring should
look at how all countries, whether or not they are providers, are living up to
their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals). So, if the GPEDC
monitoring framework is to be relevant it should adapt to this more inclusive
logic.

That being said, it is also important to bring together the various monitoring frameworks
to avoid an overload, especially for many partner countries with weak
institutional capacities. The 2030 Agenda will require massive investments in
data collection and capacity-building; it is important that this is done is
close coordination with GPEDC monitoring efforts.

I do not know if this is helpful but I appreciate being able to contribute to this
important debate.

Type forum
Date Created Mon, March 14,2016
Created By Anna Whitson
Original Space Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation Community
Cross posted in Development Effectiveness for Africa
Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation Community
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