We’d like to hear from you! Please take our online survey to help us make your DACnews experience better. It takes no more than 2 minutes. Take it now.
Action on many fronts
This DACnews brings together some of the hard-learned humanitarian and development lessons that can be useful for relief and recovery in the Horn of Africa. It also highlights the many ways in which development is coming to the forefront of the international agenda. It looks at progress in aid for trade, strategies and transition processes in the Arab region, special approaches to help fragile states to benefit more fully from development interventions, and prospects for broadening opportunities in development. It also outlines preparations for the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan and recaps important events in May, when the OECD celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Go directly to:
While commending DAC donors for their emergency relief efforts in the Horn of Africa – they have committed over USD1.5 billion this year – DAC Chair J. Brian Atwood has made an appeal* for high-level attention to co-ordinate a coherent and sustained approach that will help build long-term recovery.
In his call for action, J. Brian Atwood notes
that despite generous action on many fronts, emergency needs in the Horn of
Africa are not yet met. He urges donors to continue to fund efforts to limit
the crisis' devastating impact and meet the needs of vulnerable people. At
the same time, it is fundamental that donors work together based on the UN
Comprehensive Framework for Action to build sustainable recovery and
longer-term resilience. Multi-annual funding for new and existing
humanitarian and development work should be balanced with rapid and flexible
support to peacebuilding and, where possible, statebuilding. Priority should
be given to communities most at risk, where the right mix of development and
humanitarian instruments can help build resilience and mitigate future
crises so that episodes of drought no longer cause famine.
*Read the full letter here.
For the Third Global Aid-for-Trade Review (18-19 July 2011) specialists gathered at the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva to examine what has been achieved by the joint OECD-WTO Aid for Trade Initiative since it began in 2005.
The picture is encouraging: aid for trade is bettering the lives of many men and women in developing countries and, increasingly, is being integrated within broader development strategies with a focus on competitiveness, economic growth and poverty reduction. Aid-for-trade flows continue to grow, reaching USD 40 billion in 2009 – an increase of 60% since 2005.
The two-day review allowed the aid-for-trade community to share experiences and plans. Participants agreed that progress has been made in joint monitoring and evaluation among donor and partner countries, but challenges still remain for both developing countries and donors when it comes to mutual accountability and managing aid to achieve results. They called for a joint, streamlined approach to monitoring progress on trade-related targets in developing countries. This approach should be centred on country ownership – a critical factor in ensuring that aid for trade enhances capacity and promotes economic growth and development.
The third aid-for-trade monitoring survey was launched during the review. This joint OECD-WTO publication provides a comprehensive analysis of aid trends and developments that help developing countries play a more central role in the global economy and benefit from trade opportunities. This analysis is based on over 260 case stories and 140 self-assessments by developing countries, bilateral and multilateral agencies, providers of South-South co-operation and regional economic communities, as well as evaluations, econometric studies and OECD data.
Against the backdrop of continuing political change in the Middle East and North Africa, the Arab Co-ordination Group (ACG) and the DAC met in London (4-5 July) to examine how best to support crucial transition processes in the region. A review of experiences and expertise pointed to priorities such as establishing more representative and accountable governments, creating jobs, tackling corruption and providing urgent funding to relieve liquidity strains.
Experts from Chile, Jordan, Poland and Tunisia, among others, shared lessons learned first-hand from political and economic transformation over the past 30 years, analysing both reform efforts and the relevant assistance provided by external partners. Participants then considered planning strategies, identifying effective modalities while drawing out sequencing issues and broader policy coherence concerns.
The upcoming High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (Busan, Korea, 29 November-1 December 2011) was discussed as an opportunity to promote better co-ordination among all global providers of development assistance.
second global meeting of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and
Statebuilding was hosted by the Government of Liberia in Monrovia (15-16
June). Participants took a hard look at the role that governments, aid
donors and civil society in developing and developed countries must play to
build sustainable peace and develop capable, accountable states.
“We are in a good place to examine this
issue,” said DAC
Chair J. Brian Atwood. “Liberia is a model for our analysis. […] It is a
fragile state in the process of building the institutions necessary to make
it a developmental state.”
Some of the questions on the table in
Monrovia were: have the populations of fragile states and countries affected
by conflict benefited from the money, effort and time devoted to
peacebuilding and statebuilding? Are they any nearer to achieving the
Millennium Development Goals? What lessons can these states – and the
international community – learn from recent experiences, both positive and
The meeting provided a one-of-a-kind
opportunity to build consensus and put international actors on track towards
effective development responses that are specially tailored to the context
of conflict-affected and fragile states.
“We ignored the needs of fragile states,”
said Mr Atwood, “until they became front-page news stories. In many cases
the fault line of weak societies was there for all to see, but we failed to
act […] because we did not have the analytical tools or the proper
Over 130 participants from
conflict-affected and fragile countries, including the
g7+, joined international partners and civil society organisations in
signing a ground-breaking agreement on five peacebuilding and statebuilding
objectives that are considered prerequisites to meeting the Millennium
Development Goals in fragile and conflict-affected states. These objectives
are brought together in the
which also sets out a set of commitments to be endorsed at the Fourth High
Level Forum in Busan, centred on the following priorities: support to
nationally led assessments of fragility; emphasis on inclusive political
dialogue; compacts between the national government and international
partners defining priorities and results based on consultations with
national stakeholders; and improved delivery of international assistance in
“What you of the g7+ are doing is changing
the dynamic,” concluded Mr Atwood. “You are asking your partners to help you
to take control of your own destiny. You are asking us to help you build the
capacity to overcome the next shock, to become developmental states.”
The second global meeting of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding was hosted by the Government of Liberia in Monrovia (15-16 June). Participants took a hard look at the role that governments, aid donors and civil society in developing and developed countries must play to build sustainable peace and develop capable, accountable states.
“We are in a good place to examine this issue,” said DAC Chair J. Brian Atwood. “Liberia is a model for our analysis. […] It is a fragile state in the process of building the institutions necessary to make it a developmental state.”
Some of the questions on the table in Monrovia were: have the populations of fragile states and countries affected by conflict benefited from the money, effort and time devoted to peacebuilding and statebuilding? Are they any nearer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals? What lessons can these states – and the international community – learn from recent experiences, both positive and negative?
The meeting provided a one-of-a-kind opportunity to build consensus and put international actors on track towards effective development responses that are specially tailored to the context of conflict-affected and fragile states.
“We ignored the needs of fragile states,” said Mr Atwood, “until they became front-page news stories. In many cases the fault line of weak societies was there for all to see, but we failed to act […] because we did not have the analytical tools or the proper orientation.”
Over 130 participants from conflict-affected and fragile countries, including the g7+, joined international partners and civil society organisations in signing a ground-breaking agreement on five peacebuilding and statebuilding objectives that are considered prerequisites to meeting the Millennium Development Goals in fragile and conflict-affected states. These objectives are brought together in the Monrovia Roadmap, which also sets out a set of commitments to be endorsed at the Fourth High Level Forum in Busan, centred on the following priorities: support to nationally led assessments of fragility; emphasis on inclusive political dialogue; compacts between the national government and international partners defining priorities and results based on consultations with national stakeholders; and improved delivery of international assistance in fragile situations.
“What you of the g7+ are doing is changing the dynamic,” concluded Mr Atwood. “You are asking your partners to help you to take control of your own destiny. You are asking us to help you build the capacity to overcome the next shock, to become developmental states.”
Under the theme “Broadening Opportunities for Development”, the OECD welcomed the Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics ” (30 May-1 June 2011) at its headquarters in Paris. The conference centred around questions such as: how can the development community take on board a wider set of lessons from emerging and developing countries? How can research in such countries be supported? And how can research be disseminated more widely, providing the tools for sound development policy?
To analyse these questions, the ABCDE brought together a formidable group of speakers, including Harvard University Professor Amartya Sen, World Bank Chief Economist Justin Yifu Lin, Harvard University Professor Andrés Velasco, MIT Professor Esther Duflo, Central Bank of Tunisia Governor Mustapha Nabli, African Development Bank Chief Economist and Vice President Ncube Mthuli and Paris School of Economics Professors Daniel Cohen and François Bourguignon.
In his opening address, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría noted: “Broadening opportunities is about tackling inequality, about not leaving people behind in our ever-changing world economy. Across OECD countries, the richest 10% of people earn nine times more than the poorest 10%. In Chile and Mexico, the rich have incomes more than 25 times higher than the poorest. Beyond the OECD, our figures for Brazil suggest a ratio of 50 to 1, and our figures for South Africa suggest a ratio of 147 to 1! This reminds us that despite formidable progress in emerging economies, the battle against poverty is not yet won.”
The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry, and the World Bank co-hosted this event together with the OECD. With 600 participants, it was a unique opportunity to tackle the issues at the root of many of the obstacles to development.
Mr Gurría emphasised the importance of the ABCDE discussions and their contribution to efforts of ending inequality: “We need to identify policies that can boost access to education, skills, jobs and social services, promoting upward mobility for talented and hard-working women, men and youths. We need to ensure that growth is participative and inclusive, fostering social cohesion. We need to close gender gaps in education and employment, empowering women to gain entrepreneurial skills and use them to their fullest. And, finally, I think we need to understand that development is not all about income, but about a more general notion of societal progress.”
Consult the highlights of the ABCDE, including webcasts and links to blogs and videos, here.
During OECD Week (24-25 May), deliberations at the 2011 Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM), chaired by United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton benefited from the participation of Brazil, India, Indonesia, the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation and South Africa. Among other important conclusions, the MCM outlined a new Framework for an OECD Strategy on Development. In lieu of our usual invited Feature Article, this edition of the DACnews features an excerpt from the Chair’s Summary of the MCM, by Secretary of State Clinton.
Supporting responsible mineral supplies in conflict-affected and high-risk areas
At the MCM, ministers from OECD and developing economies also agreed on a set of guidelines to combat illicit trade in minerals that finance armed conflict.
Illegal exploitation of natural resources in fragile African states has been fuelling discord across the region for decades. While data is scarce, it is estimated that up to 80% of minerals in some of the worst-affected zones may be smuggled out. The illegal trade stokes conflict, boosts crime and corruption, finances international terrorism and blocks economic and social development.
The Recommendation of the Council on the Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas clarifies how companies can identify risks and manage them throughout the supply chain, from local exporters and mineral processors to the manufacturing and brand-name companies that use these minerals in their products.
This session agreed on the need to embark on a “new era” of development, in which aid-dependent countries take full ownership over their own economic development. To this end, meaningful investments must be made in the developing world’s remarkable potential. Panel members agreed that these investments must continue to come from OECD member states in the form of more effective aid, but developing countries also need to promote sustainable development and more efficient mobilisation of their own domestic resources.
Session moderators J. Brian Atwood and Bert Koenders led the discussion in light of the upcoming Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Korea (29 November-1 December 2011). They noted the continuing focus of OECD donors on improving aid effectiveness. As the focus of the discussion turned to Africa, Mr Atwood noted the success stories that continue to emerge from the continent even in the wake of the global financial crisis, encouraging the panel to also consider the “good news from Africa”.
Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, confirmed that Africa has experienced an average of 5-6% growth over the past few years. This is a testament to home-grown efforts in African countries, said the former Rwandan Minister of Finance. While he noted the role played by official development assistance (ODA) in the growth rates, he insisted, “The critical element in this recovery is very much domestic.” He cited the example of Ghana, which today is reaping the benefits of a long period of often painful economic reforms started in 1983. In order to further unlock Africa’s potential, Mr Kaberuka urged leaders to look towards Europe’s experience of open borders. He added that 40% of remittances sent to African countries come from Africans living in other countries on the continent.
Farah Karimi, General Director of Oxfam, said that development is about “power and power relations”. She stated that it is the responsibility of development organisations to manage these relationships and to “hold people accountable for the decisions they are taking”. Ms Karimi hoped that it would be possible to clarify the sensitive power relationships in developing countries – vital to food security – and mobilise governments, institutions, civil society and the private sector in the entire chain from “farm to fork”.
Food security was also addressed by Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD): “We must recognise first that small farmers are a central part of the solution,” he said, adding that 80% of all food in Africa is provided by smallholder farms with less than two hectares. Africa has passed the stage where communities wait for handouts, he insisted. Instead, there are many small entrepreneurs who want to succeed and are looking for the economic opportunity to do so. Mr Nwanze spoke of the importance of direct domestic investment; in 2009-10, there was a tripling in domestic financing by borrowers in Africa. “We underestimate how governments are helping themselves,” he said. He did not rule out ODA in the near future for Africa, however, but was emphatic that “it is not going to solve the problem”.
This sentiment was shared by one of the most well-known critics of development aid, Dambisa Moyo. Author of the best-selling book Dead Aid, Ms Moyo said, “The best type of ODA … is aid that will one day come to an end.” She clarified that she has not argued to immediately “turn off the taps” and encouraged the panel to continue presenting a positive message about what has already been achieved. “Development assistance does nothing if it is not creating jobs,” she said. She saw three main areas that the international community should focus on for Africa. First, she called for credit rating agencies to analyse the entire continent – today only about 15 African states have credit ratings. Second, she called on African governments to improve the business environment and the cut red tape in obtaining business licenses, citing Rwanda as an example. Third, she joined Mr Kaberuka in pushing for greater regional integration along the European Union model. She concluded by citing the Rwandan President’s recent article in the Financial Times, where he said that the discussion about aid should be “when to end aid and how to best end it”.
Building on the Rwandan success story in economic reform, Paul Collier, Oxford University Professor of Economics, put the ball in the court of donor countries. “Would you rather have the debt of Rwanda or the debt of Greece?” he asked the audience. He argued that economic sustainability is about managing assets and liabilities, and forecast two huge opportunities for Africa over the next decade. The first of these are global capital markets, although developed countries might not be the best example these days. “The poor do not have a monopoly of folly on managing assets,” he said. The second opportunity rests in the massive amount of untapped natural resources which can be extracted from the continent. With proper management of these resources, funds can be re-invested in activities that will create additional assets. Finally, Mr Collier called for a continued and strengthened role of OECD in providing policy advice and guidance.
The Working Party on Aid Effectiveness (WP-EFF) met in Paris (7-9 July) to forge the next steps in preparation for the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) in Busan, Korea (29 November-1 December 2011). Participants voiced strong support for the independent evaluation of efforts to implement the Paris Declaration principles, which shows a growing initiative by partner countries to take the lead in designing and implementing operational development strategies and strengthening their country systems. At the same time, mixed progress in the areas of making aid more predictable, using country systems and establishing mutual accountability is a reminder that there is still much left to achieve.
Looking toward Busan, however, it is clear that the Paris Declaration has had a significant impact in changing donor and partner country behaviour for the better – a solid foundation on which to build a post-Busan vision.
The full set of findings and recommendations from the independent evaluation and the final monitoring survey (which will be available as of 22 September) will provide important input into the Busan outcome document. The Working Party largely agrees that this vision will entail broad and inclusive partnerships that leverage diverse players, methods and modes to face development challenges at the global, regional, country and sector levels.
The WP-EFF Executive Committee will finalise the details of the HLF-4 event structure and agenda over the coming weeks. Official HLF-4 invitations have been sent to 166 countries, 58 international organisations and 22 high-profile personalities. The next WP-EFF plenary will meet in Paris on 5-7 October.
updates, visit www.busanhlf4.org.
Pursuing a new consensus on development co-operation: At the Brookings Blum Roundtable (3-5 August 2011 in Aspen, Colorado), prominent thinkers in international development came together to discuss a new role for global development co-operation, one that employs inclusive and innovative approaches for tackling contemporary development problems and that leverages the resources of a large field of actors. DAC Chair J. Brian Atwood participated and presented “The Road to Busan: Pursuing a New Consensus on Development Co-operation”, which discussed the work on aid effectiveness to date, the challenges faced by development practitioners and the opportunity of the upcoming 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in terms of mapping out a new global aid and development architecture. Access the full text.
Climate change finance and development effectiveness (6 July 2011): With the aim of promoting a broader understanding of how important lessons from development can applied to climate change financing at both the national and international level, participants reviewed work to date and determined the next steps before the Busan HLF4 and the COP 17 (Durban, South Africa, 3-4 December 2011).
Green growth and development (28 June 2011): Participants shared knowledge and experience on making green growth more inclusive to ensure a positive impact on poverty reduction. Recommendations from the workshop include: introducing pro-poor environmental fiscal reforms, establishing adequate price signal and valuation systems to capture the full value of natural resources, and creating enabling environments to attract private sector investment in low-carbon technology and climate-resilient infrastructure. Read more.
OECD DAC Network on Development Evaluation (23-24 June 2011): Organized in collaboration with The Informal Network of DAC Development Communicators, the meeting focused on communicating evaluation results: how to get evidence from evaluation into relevant policy discussions and how to improve messaging to reach various audiences and influence decision-making. Key findings from the recently completed independent evaluation of the Paris Declaration was also be shared.
Trends in accountability: Media assistance today (7-8 June 2011): Co-organised by the World Bank Institute, BBC World Service Trust, Internews, Brookings Institute and the OECD DAC Network on Governance, this seminar took a critical look at the limited support given by development agencies to understanding the impact of media and communication on broader development and governance outcomes. While momentum towards more strategic approaches is building, the seminar looked at ways of building greater consensus.
OECD DAC Network on Governance meetings (6-8 June 2011): With a focus on aid, accountability and democratic governance, key stakeholders from development agencies met to share and review case stories, formulate policy messages and design their contribution to the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness. In the context of the media assistance seminar (above), they also developed Draft Principles for Media Development.
Emerging trends in assistance to the Middle East and North Africa: In response to the “Arab Spring” and as a follow-up to the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Senior Level DAC Meeting in April 2011 (see DACnews, April 2011), the OECD DAC Network on Governance launched a survey to track development assistance trends in democratic transition in the Middle East and North Africa region. Covering 15 countries and 4 organisations, the survey aims to assist in co-ordination, information exchange and dialogue on demands and needs in the region. To participate, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
For more information on the News in brief, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
J. Brian Atwood, the Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD) regularly share their thoughts and insights on development co-operation through articles, blog posts, interviews and their participation in conferences. A selection of recent contributions follows:
"The Peace Corps: Is Fifty Years Enough?", The Huffington Post, by DCD Deputy Director Stephen Groff. 28 August 2011.
“The Horn of Africa: Relearning Crucial Development Lessons”, The Huffington Post, by OECD DCD Deputy Director Stephen Groff. 17 August 2011. Also published in the OECD Insights blog (link here).
“Climate Change: Learning the Lessons of the Past 50 Years”, Poverty Matters blog, The Guardian, by DCD Deputy Director Stephen Groff. 16 August 2011. Also published in The Huffington Post and the OECD Insights blog.
“The OECD and Emerging Donors: New Opportunities for Development Assistance”, Interview with DAC Chair J. Brian Atwood (video), Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). 28 July 2011.
“Development co-operation: aid by any other name”, Poverty Matters blog, The Guardian, by Jonathan Glennie. 27 July 2011.
“What next for development cooperation?”, podcast, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, with OECD DCD Deputy Director Stephen Groff. 26 July 2011.
“Aid effectiveness: OECD must invite newcomers to the table”, Poverty Matters blog, The Guardian, by Mark Tran. 7 July 2011.
“Who should lead the aid effectiveness debate in the future?”, Overseas Development Institute (ODI) public events series entitled “Busan and beyond: aid effectiveness in a new era”, with participation of DAC Chair J. Brian Atwood. 6 July 2011.
“The road to Busan”, OECD Insights blog, by Brian Keeley. 4 July 2011.
Contributions relating to the Monrovia International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (see “Does peacebuilding bring peace?”)
“Getting Value for Money: Effective Aid, Effective Development”, GlobalAsia, by DCD Deputy Director Stephen Groff. June 2011.
Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (see “ABCDE: Broadening opportunities for development”)
“Development aid: no more cogs tyrannic?”, OECD Insights blog, by Jonathan Glennie. 23 May 2011.
“The OECD should give up control of the aid agenda”, Poverty Matters blog, The Guardian, by Jonathan Glennie. 29 April 2011.
United States: The United States has significantly enhanced its development strategies, policies, and programmes. It should continue to reduce overlaps and improve co-ordination.
Denmark: Denmark’s Official Development Assistance stands at USD 2.87 billion, or 0.90% of its gross national product. One of the five most generous donors as a percentage of its total economy, Denmark has surpassed the UN aid target of 0.7% of GNI every year since 1978.
Aid for Trade at a Glance 2011: Showing Results: This joint OECD-WTO publication provides a comprehensive analysis of trends and developments in aid that aims to help developing countries integrate into the global economy and benefit from trade opportunities. Over 260 case stories and 140 self-assessments by partner countries, bilateral and multilateral donor agencies, providers of South-South co-operation, and regional economic communities provide the basis for this analysis, coupled with OECD aid data and findings from evaluations and econometric studies.
OECD Journal: General Papers, Vol. 2010, Issue 1: This issue of OECD Journal: General Papers focuses on development and includes the following articles: “A wealth of diversity: guiding development in a complex world” by former DAC Chair Eckhard Deutscher, “The Paris Declaration: five reasons why it is working” by Brenda Killen, “Making the most of the international aid system” by Emily Bosch, “New partnerships in development co-operation” by Felix Zimmermann and Kimberly Smith, “Triangular co-operation and aid effectiveness” by Talita Yamashiro Fordelone, “Tax and good governance” by Ben Dickinson, “Mapping innovative finance for development mechanisms” by Elisabeth Sandor and “Improving conflict prevention and peacebuilding assistance through evaluation” by Megan Grace Kennedy-Chouane. To obtain copies, please write to email@example.com.
Multilateral Aid 2010: More than 200 multilateral donors receive or serve as a channel for 40% of all aid. To help meet the challenge of ensuring effective and co-ordinated multilateral aid efforts, Multilateral Aid 2010 covers trends in and total use (core and non-core) of the multilateral system, with a special focus on trust funds from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Bank. It explores development perspectives of the climate change funding architecture and provides an overview of the response of multilaterals to the financial and economic crisis.
Economic Transformation and Poverty Reduction – How It Happened in China, Helping It Happen in Africa: China’s experience shows that rapid economic and social development in poor countries can happen in a context of globalisation with leadership that is focused on development performance rather than entrenched policies and interests. Economic transformation on a national scale should motivate and activate citizens based on consensus. With this in mind, international assistance can support and accelerate Africa’s transformation and poverty reduction process.
The Evaluation of the Paris Declaration: Final Report: Have the Paris Principles made any impact on service delivery at a health centre in a small town in Uganda? Have they made coordination of aid easier in Bangladesh? This final report on the independent evaluation of the Paris Declaration sets out to answer these questions and provide comprehensive analysis.
Evaluation Insights: Haiti Earthquake Response: This quick guide for humanitarian policy makers and practitioners distils key findings and emerging lessons from a selection of available evaluations on the response to Haiti’s earthquake in January 2010. Much went well: Haitians themselves responded immediately with life-saving initiatives and moved to areas of relative safety and security where assistance was, or could be, made available. And there was a phenomenal response from a wide range of actors in the international community. But old mistakes were repeated and new ones made.
Final report of the Task Team on Health as a Tracer Sector (TT HATS): Building on four years of work, this report reviews progress and remaining challenges towards more effective aid for health. The report shows progress on some of the Paris Declaration’s aid effectiveness principles (harmonisation, alignment, managing for results), but more needs to be done, for instance, in using and strengthening country systems, ensuring broad country ownership and fostering sound country mutual accountability and results frameworks..