To reach the targets agreed to in Paris and Accra, the Global Partnership on Country Systems was set up and mandated by the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness in 2009 to facilitate the implementation of the commitments on country systems. It supported a broad consultative fora to discuss current bottlenecks in the use of country systems which culminated in the agreement on Effective Institutions at Busan. The commitments were based on the conclusions from guidance which can be found on the public financial management page and procurement page.
This platform also supported country-level initiatives in partner countries to:
Achieve a common understanding between local donor offices and countries on priority ‘country systems’ as well as definitions of ‘using country systems’ as adapted to the specific country context
- Identify current opportunities and constraints in the strengthening and use of country systems
- Ensure high-level momentum from donor headquarters and establish concrete steps towards fulfilling those recommendations
- Provide lessons learned to share with other countries and communicate the results at the Busan High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.
The results from the dialogues and guidance shaped the commitments on Effective Institutions at Busan and are reflected in the Manila Statement as follows:
Recognising that the use of country systems is not an end in itself, Development Partners and countries should work together to increase the flow of external assistance using national systems and procedures as a means to enhance development effectiveness and to achieve development results. The ‘learning by doing’ approach on using country systems generates more demand for better country systems and contributes to the process of reforming and strengthening those systems.
Development Partners should also pay more attention to how the political economy of developing countries shapes the results of their programmes, and conversely how the modalities of delivering their support can impact upon a country’s political arena. Recognising the fiduciary and development risks also means promoting programs, such as those related to anti-corruption and governance that strengthen the identified gaps.
As committed to in the Accra Agenda for Action and the UN LDC Programme of Action, Development Partners should transparently state the reasons for not using country systems when that is the option adopted. While recognizing that Development Partners have different risk appetites, there is further scope to collaborate on the significant number of fiduciary reviews and risk assessments through sharing findings, data gathering and the coordination of assessment missions. Countries should establish a coherent, integrated medium term strategy of diagnostic instruments which can be used and supported by its development partners. Development Partners should also recognize the challenges that tax exemptions can have on putting aid on budget.
Recognising that fiduciary risk management is a major factor for most development partners and deserves attention, it is important to underline the importance of assessing the opportunity of use of country systems through a more comprehensive risk/benefit analysis and an assessment of impact on sustainability. More should be done to enhance mechanisms for jointly assessing country systems and managing risks related to their use.
Better integration of aid flows with national processes offers the opportunity for strengthened scrutiny by Parliament, civil society, and SAIs as well as supporting national lines of accountability, countries and Development Partners should ensure that aid flows and their use are accessible to, and usable by, the legislature and SAIs to allow for oversight.
In all of these areas, it is important to support the improvement and accessibility of knowledge platforms on building and sustaining effective states and institutions, including on PFM, Procurement, environment and social safeguards, Climate Change Financing, Taxation, Statistics, Monitoring and Evaluation. This includes the engagement of non-state actors in these platforms.