13-14 July, 2019
UN Headquarters, New York, NY
Progress in advancing effective development cooperation in the context of A2030
The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) congratulates all stakeholders of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC)for the successful conduct of the first Senior Level Meeting (SLM). The Partnership also welcomes the GPEDC Co-chairs’ Statement reiterating the need to continuously advocate for the effectiveness agenda, particularly within the context of 2030 Agenda.
CPDE acknowledges modest progress and successes in meeting effective development cooperation (EDC) commitments presented in the 2018 GPEDC Progress Report. We also welcome the formalisation of the Non-Executive Co-chair (NECC) position which demonstrates the multi-stakeholder characteristic of the Global Partnership.
We recognise the Global Partnership’s move to focus its work at/on the country-level where development policies and results directly impact the poor and the marginalised. The platform also supports the creation of a workstream to improve and implement the Global Action Plan (GAP) as means to use the monitoring results, and to place a renewed and strengthened emphasis on time-bound targets of the effectiveness agenda.
We acknowledge the Global Partnership’s plan to review and adjust the monitoring framework to make it truly inclusive, more useful, and responsive to current modalities and structures, as well as emerging issues in effective development cooperation.
CPDE acknowledges the significant role the private sector can play in development and development cooperation, and believes in engaging the sector in pursuit of effective and sustainable development. In this regard, we welcome the development of the Kampala Principles as a step towards a more effective and accountable engagement of the private sector in development cooperation.
Through this SLM, the GPEDC moved closer to integrating effective development cooperation within the 2030 Agenda and related processes of the United Nations system. The presence of high-level UN officials and overall interest in the SLM signify the momentum behind the GPEDC and the interest to strengthen the relationship between the UN intergovernmental process and the GPEDC.
But far from realising development effectiveness
While the SLM reaffirmed the importance of the effectiveness agenda in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs), the implementation of the four development effectiveness principles and EDC commitments remains unremarkable and, to some extent, regressing. CPDE notes the lack of progress on targets set in Busan, most of which have past their original timeline for achievement. While the indicators are discussed at some length, there is rarely a discussion on the targets and results.
As noted in the 2019 GPEDC Progress Report, there are notable decline son the issue of CSO enabling environment, space for parliamentary scrutiny, use of country systems, and procurement policies which still favours short-term and measurable result over long term, sustainable progress.
While CPDE’s parallel monitoring largely confirms the trends presented in the GPEDC Progress Report, there appears to be an emerging narrative that challenges the credibility and coverage of the official data. CPDE raises concern and sees regular, timely, comprehensive monitoring as an important tool for assessing and evaluating how development actors fare in meeting their own commitments as well as for promoting policy and behaviour changes to implement the EDC agenda.
The lack of progress in meeting EDC commitments coincides with a similar lack of progress on the 2030 Agenda, particularly in the areas of inequality, climate change and biodiversity. The lack of progress on both fronts is clearly interlinked and coincides with shifting political dynamic in many countries, both South and North. There is a palpable lack of political will and commitments to take the needed long-term measures to achieve both agendas, and instead, a more short-sighted approach to short term and easily measurable results.
CPDE also raises concern that States and development partners are abandoning and, instead, delegating their EDC and SDG commitments into the hands of corporations. The mantra of billions to trillions has seemingly given development partners license to ignore the 0.7% official development assistance (ODA)commitment, with few exceptions. The failure to meet this target is more disturbing in light of the financing needs to realise the SDGs.
Amid continuing trend of shrinking and closing civic space
CSO enabling environment and inclusive development partnerships are important preconditions for achieving SDGs and EDC commitments. CPDE welcomes the time, effort, and resources given by different actors to discuss shrinking and closing civic space during the SLM. However, work still needs to be done to rally the support of all development actors in reversing the trend of shrinking and closing civic space, and stopping attacks against human rights defenders, civil society actors, and community workers.
Accountability and trust between diverse civil society, government and other development actors in this agenda need to be strengthened. For CSOs to fulfil its role as independent development actors, all development actors must work together to ensure conducive operational environment for CSOs at all levels.
Civil society’s commitment and call to action
CPDE believes that realising the effectiveness agenda is essential to ensure all forms of development cooperation: (1) fulfil the principle of leaving no one behind, (2) apply human rights-based approaches to development, and (3) address long-standing issues of poverty, marginalisation, and inequality, including gender inequality. In this regard:
We call on the GPEDC to develop a monitoring indicator for the effective PSE in development cooperation, which builds upon the Kampala Principles. This indicator must assess the implementation and implications of the voluntary nature of the Kampala Principles, the pursuance of blended finance, and other leveraging arrangements consistent with development effectiveness principles, labour, accountability and other international human rights standards. Case studies to test this indicator in a range of partner countries must also be launched prior to the Fourth Monitoring Round.
We strongly support the call for a GPEDC workstream on CSO space that will work on the commitments made in the Nairobi Outcome Document. The platform sees this as an opportunity to analyse structural causes for the shrinking and closing civic space, which has not really been addressed by the global development community. Related to this, CSOs own effectiveness and the implementation of the Istanbul Principles are both critical. CPDE is committed to continuously work on CSO’s own effectiveness and accountability while demanding the accountability and effectiveness of all development actors.
The effectiveness agenda, with the four Busan principles and democratic ownership, is a requisite to meet the 2030 Agenda, specifically SDG 17 (on Means of Implementation)and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. This agenda is also necessary to strengthen engagement with OECD DAC, UNOSSC (on SSC and triangular cooperation) and other policy spaces on sustainable development.
CPDE asserts that the only path to effective and sustainable development is to engage the widest possible number of development actors to a common goal which puts the rights of the people and the marginalised at the core of development, and commits to the principles of development effectiveness. It is committed to working together with governments, international organisations, business and other development actors to turn the promise of an effective development cooperation into concrete actions leading to a successful celebration of Busan+10.