Re-defining the CSO camp in the post Busan development landscape

CSOs for effective development are hard at work to shape  their own future. The development landscape will change  in the next few months: not only will a global multistakeholder partnership emerge by the end of June (according to post Busan clock) but also the CSO camp is very likely to evolve.

The goal is, in fact, to launch new partnership for effective development by the end of the year that will bring together a wide range of nongovernmental players, from development NGOs to Trade Unions, from feminist groups to faith based networks. Early discussions on a new CSO alliance started in Busan to take stock of the changing development environment. A more comprehensive direction of travel was agreed on in a first global meeting in Cebu (the Philippines) at the of February. A meeting of an ad hoc working group met this week in Amsterdam. A draft reference paper will be available in  few weeks’s time.

The new thing about this CSO partnership for effective development is that different streams of work will come together. The  agendas taken care of by BetterAid and the Open Forum for CSOs’ Effectiveness will merge.  The Partnership  will comprise different pillars: the implementation of the Busan outcome document as well as of the Istanbul principles and the Siem Reap consensus. The founding block of this new coalition will be the national level which will be supported by regional and global initiatives.

For this Partnership to be up to the task, it will take commitment and resources  from all constituencies. Applying the principles of transparency and effectiveness in the day to day life will be the task of the global governance body where all groups  will be represented.



Aid and development effectiveness – the new Global partnership slowly takes shape.

5th April. The clock of the post Busan process doesn’t stop moving towards the game end. The second PBIG meeting just finished toady. The third and last one will take place in Rome on May 21 and 22; the final act is planned to take place in Paris at the UNESCO headquarters on June 28th and 29th. With less than 12 weeks to go there are still many important details that need to be sorted out to the place the new Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation on the right track.

On governance, it may seem the OECD secretariat is a position to come up with a proposal on the ministerial meetings (periodicity, membership and functions) that can be endorsed by most governments. CSOs, through BetterAid, maintain reservations especially when it comes to the absence of a provision that can elevate the ministerial meetings to a fora where peer learning and agreements on best practices can be accommodated.

Today’s discussions also focused on the profile of the Steering group members. The debate subject was the need to balance representation issues with personal leadership and capacity ones; the need to keep the Steering group light and efficient versus the necessity to make it politically representative enough so as to generate the traction required. This sort of tension reflects how hard it is to stay true to the resolution that Busan should give life to a partnership that is “new, inclusive and representative”. If these fundamental features are not reflected at the level of the group that will steer the entire process, the new architecture will fall short of keeping its promises.

PBIG members made a step towards an agreement on global monitoring. There are seven priority areas that will monitored in the future: inclusive ownership, accountability, predictability, gender, transparency, results and capacity building. There is appetite for keeping the number of indicators as small as possible, in the range of ten. Whoever works with numbers knows pretty well that the more aggregate that data is, the more information you are likely to loose and the accuracy of your assessments is at risk. A small group ‑ including Rwanda, Honduras, Bangladesh and BetterAid – will draft a proposal in time for the next PBIG meeting.

But the pictures is larger than the seven areas. The DAC secretariat has been asked to come up with a comprehensive list of commitments from the Busan Outcome Document. But “if and when they will be monitored is a different issue”. Also, Paris and Accra assessment should still apply to DAC members. Last but not least the role of the South South cooperation providers is less certain than ever. So, in reality monitoring may look like a puzzle. How this system will work at local level is still to be addressed.

Lastly, a consolidated proposal for the supporting committee will be made available next week from the UNDP/OECD. We will soon know more about the real power house of the new architecture.


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Post Busan. Do they really want ministers on board?

5th April – The post Busan process has come to its second key moment with the PBIG (the Post Busan Interim Group) coming together in Paris this week. The first round of discussions took place yesterday, April 4th, to address the basic features of the governance structures of the new Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. In February, I highlighted that the whole thing was getting too light. One may now say that it is evolving from light to transparent.

In fact, one of the major political resolutions that everyone in Busan seemed to agree with was that the implementation of Paris and Accra was not progressing as needed due to lack of political steer. The process was too technical and ministers were not keen to be involved. Yesterday, the prevailing option in the PBIG meeting was the ministers will meet every two years. Can you please tell me how you can get ministers on board this way? I can guess that ministers won’t be happy to be called in just to put a stamp on something that will be cooked in someone else’s kitchen.

The issues of the role of South South cooperation providers came up yesterday when the size and membership of the Steering group was discussed. The issue at hand is whether or not they will keep the special observer status in the future, which may allow them to influence the process without taking commitments. ldf

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