Effective development co-operation

Strengthening and Using Country Systems


Successful development requires capacity for countries to implement policies and manage public resources through their own institutions and systems.

Decades of development experience show that when donors consistently bypass country national administrative systems and national policies, the sustainability of their efforts are undermined. As is the ability of countries receiving aid to manage their own future. When donors and developing countries endorsed the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness in 2005, they were united with a common objective: to build stronger, more effective partnerships for development.

As part of these key commitments, countries receiving aid agreed to strengthen their national systems public financial management and procurement and donors to use them to the maximum extent possible. These commitments were reiterated in the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.


Busan: a new way of working

The Busan partnership agreement builds on Paris and Accra in committing partner countries to strengthening their country systems to the maximum extent possible; and commits donor countries to using these systems as the default option.


Prior to the Busan commitments, in June 2011, the  Manila Statement on Effective States was agreed to guide the work on building more effective states


Progress on using country systems

These commitments on country systems result from strong evidence that progress was made in the quality of country systems between 2005 and 2011 but there is less evidence of donors increasing the use of country systems. The 2011 survey showed that 38% of countries had improved the quality of their PFM systems. But there was less of an increase in the use of country systems which remained on average below 50%.

Progress on meeting the Paris and Accra commitments.


The Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation

The use and strengthening of developing countries’ systems remains central to our efforts to build effective institutions. We will build on our respective commitments set out in the Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action to:

a) Use country systems as the default approach for development co-operation in support of activities managed by the public sector, working with and respecting the governance structures of both the provider of development co-operation and the developing country.

b) Assess jointly country systems using mutually agreed diagnostic tools. Based on the results of these assessments, providers of development co-operation will decide on the extent to which they can use country systems. Where the full use of country systems is not possible, the provider of development co-operation will state the reasons for non‐use, and will discuss with government what would be required to move towards full use, including any necessary assistance or changes for the strengthening of systems. The use and strengthening of country systems should be placed within the overall context of national capacity development for sustainable outcomes.

Read the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation



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