Report from the roundtable at the European Parliament, Brussels, 17 April

The report from the roundtable that took place in Brussels on the 17 April hosting Members of the European Parliament and Concord is now available. Discussions centered around the impact of new aid modalities and new forms of political dialogue, the EP position towards the EU coordination (ex on division of labour and the improvement of mutual (multiple) accountability in practice.

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Report from the roundtable at EuropeAid, Brussels, 12 March

The report from the roundtable held at the EuropeAid Cooperation Office in Brussels on the 12 March is now available. Around 8 high-level representatives of EuropeAid attended, including Director-General Koos Richelle. After an introduction of the WECA project participants engaged in discussions on a number of issues emerging from the Discussion Note, in particular with regard to EC development policy reform and implementation and to the issue of accountability and monitoring for impact.

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“Whose Ownership?” – OECD publication

Whose Ownership? was officially launched at the Annual Plenary on 20 May 2008. It is the second volume in a series of OECD Development Centre publications on Financing Development. It follows the first volume, published in 2007, entitled Aid and Beyond. The series has been conceived to accompany the OECD Global Forum on Development, an informal series of events i which policy makers, researchers and representatives of civil society and the private sector are discussing how to make development finance more effective. The authors take a variety of approaches, including the effectiveness of aid and the role of NGOs in discussing questions like “what does development-country ownership really mean?” and “who should own development policies and who actually owns them?”.
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Video statement from the roundtable in Copenhagen, Denmark, 21 April

A video statement from the roundtable in Copenhagen, Denmark on the 21 April is now available on the website where Per Bo, coordinator of the Danish EU NGO platform, comments on Ownership.

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Report from the roundtable in Stockholm, Sweden, 31 March

A roundtable was held at Sida in Stockholm, Sweden on the 31 March. Participants attended from the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sida and Sadev (Swedish Agency for Development Evaluation) as well as from Concord Sweden.

The report is now available on the website.

After an introduction of the WECA project participants engaged in discussions on various issues guided by the topics of future perspectives of development at EU level, EC as a donor and the challenges of implementation, the practice of accountability & ownership. The implications of the Lisbon Treaty and the set up of the Common External Service (EASS) proved to be an interesting topic and the importance to keep a strong compentency on development questions in the partner country delegations was underlined. On the issue of the Code of Conduct it was pointed out that the role of the EC in enhancing aid effectiveness stands before the challenge of avoiding to add an additional, hampering, layer to the coordination. The question of how to achieve ownership in practice was also highlighted including its role in the Division of Labour.

The participants mentioned the usefulness of the discussions in the light of the upcoming Swedish EU Presidency next year. They also expressed their interest in the outcome of the WECA project and offered their views on the future of the process.

Development Policy Forum Roundtable, 12 June, Brussels

The third Development Policy Forum (DPF) roundtable will take place on Thursday, June 12, 2008 at Bibliothèque Solvay, Brussels. It will focus on European and international policymakers’ attention of the role the EU should be playing to improve the quality and efficiency of the international aid-giving architecture.

A central question will be: Does today’s international aid architecture help or hinder aid effectiveness?

Confirmed introductory speakers include Jean-Michel Severino, Director General of the Agence Française du Développement (AFD), Joakim Stymne, Swedish State Secretary for International Development Cooperation, Ousmane Sy, Director of the Centre for Political and Institutional Expertise in Africa (CEPIA) and Former Malian Minister for Territorial Administration and Local Communities, Daniel Ottolenghi, Associate Director and Chief Development Economist of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Joyce Mapunjo, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Tanzanian Ministry of Planning, Economy and Empowerment and Akihiko Nishio, Director of the Resource Mobilisation Department, Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships (CFP), the World Bank.

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Briefing Notes

Three Briefing Notes have been issued reflecting the main topics that has been raised in the WECA roundtable discussions. The Briefing Notes aim to raise awareness and inspire further analysis on the topics of Budget Support, Division of Labour, and the Lisbon Treaty and development.

These publications are also available in French 

Budget Support
This Briefing Note aims to contribute to clarifying the main issues raised in our workshops around the potential benefits and risks of budget support as implemented by the EC. Budget support is increasingly used by donors to channel their development aid. The EC is leading this trend and further ahead that most other donors, in line with the European Consensus on Development and the Paris Declaration. Internally, the European Union has agreed to reach 50% of EU ODA through budget support by 2010. In part as a result of this commitment, the EC will use budget support under the 10th EDF. Significant European donors are also intensifying the use of budget support in their bilateral development aid. It is important to note however, that various forms of budget support still accounts for a relatively low proportion of global aid, and it is highly unlikely that European donors will reach their stated target of 50 % of their ODA through budget support. Read more

Division of Labour
Today’s development cooperation shows an ever expanding and diversifying picture of development donors and approaches, a situation that some describe as being out of control. The average developing country today has to deal with 30 donors, compared to only 12 in the 1960s. For governments of developing countries, managing these aid relationships is challenging and diverts time, energy and resources away from their core activities. For example, Vietnam alone received 791 missions in 2005, more than 3 per working day. About 2400 reports need to be submitted annually to donors by the Tanzanian government. Such figures illustrate how uncoordinated development cooperation negatively affects the effectiveness and ultimate impact in terms of economic development and poverty reduction, which is sought by all involved partners. Read more

The Lisbon Treaty and development
The Lisbon Treaty marks the latest phase of the gradual transformation of the European Union (EU) from a rather inward looking community to one with ambitions to be a global player. It is reflected in a significant expansion of the overall aims of the EU, including the eradication of global poverty. The Lisbon Treaty represents the EU shifting the emphasis from peace, well-being and prosperity within the EU to a concern with addressing global challenges.

The Lisbon Treaty was signed in December 2007. If ratified this year, it will bring about most of the changes proposed by the Constitution in 2004 to further European integration. Many new areas will be communitarised, co-decision will be the standard legislative procedure and as such qualified majority voting will be extended to more than 40 areas. As a consequence, the Treaty extends the role of the European Parliament. The Treaty has some provisions allowing for various speeds of integration and differentiated integration and institutional set-up adequate to progressive enlargement and increasing diversity of interests. Read more