On 14-16 October, the Co-Chairs of the Global Partnership – Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Switzerland, and the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness – came together in Bern, Switzerland to begin the process of elaborating a new work programme for the Global Partnership. Earlier this week, a ‘draft strategy paper’, summarizing those deliberations, and articulating a proposal for a new approach going forward, was sent to the Steering Committee for consultations ahead of its next meeting in December, in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Here we look at the basic structure of the paper, and then consider some of the key ideas driving this approach.

The first work programme, an initiative led by the then-Co-Chairs – Bangladesh, with Germany and Uganda – brought a clear intent to the work of the Global Partnership, and guided its work following the Second High-Level Meeting in Nairobi, up to the 2019 Senior Level Meeting in New York. It remained rooted in the effectiveness principles that define the Partnership, but also set out a clear direction of travel, with new priorities from private-sector engagement to concerted work at the country level on implementing the effectiveness principles at country level.

The draft strategy paper for the next work programme, seeks to build on this work, but also charts its own path. The proposed approach is built on three priority areas:

  • Accelerating implementation of the 2030 Agenda;
  • Building better partnerships; and,
  • Leveraging monitoring results for action,
  • Complemented by a concerted area of work around a review and evaluation of the Global Partnership, and how it helps drive development effectiveness.

Driving this broad approach, we can point to three key ideas:

All about 2030: Locating effectiveness within the context of the 2030 Agenda, whether through better understanding its impact on different SDGs, or assembling a whole-of-society effort for the coming ‘decade of action’, is essential. This is the shared framework for success, this is the space where governments, civil society, companies, unions, and others, based on common goals, can work together to fight poverty, improve lives, and share their experiences on what they have achieved and how.

Finding a voice for reaching out: Different partners will bring different perspectives with them, and different strengths. But each will be drawn to the Global Partnership by a shared voice, that can articulate with clarity and confidence the value of effectiveness: principles for building the more equal, empowered, and inclusive partnerships that will allow us to achieve sustainable development.

Data – only as useful as the action it informs: Without data, we cannot distinguish good policy from less effective policy. But without acting on that data, we will not change anything. Supporting efforts to respond to monitoring results will be essential to remaining a relevant forum for our collective development efforts. And it will be equally important for beginning to understand the kind of policy recommendations that will drive progress.

As noted above, underlining this commitment to learning is Co-Chairs’ proposal for a review and evaluation process for the Global Partnership: so we can be confident the Partnership is doing its best to work toward 2030.