The meetings of the Post Busan Interim Group are over with yesterdays’ sessions . With less than five weeks to concluding meeting of the Working Party and the launch of the new Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (Paris, 28 . 29 June) certain important things are still to be fixed.
In ten days’ time, the final proposal on the list of indicators for global monitoring will be finalized and polished by the secretariat and the chair. By the week of June 10th, constituencies will have to designate their representatives on the Steering group of the GPEDC along with their respective nominations for the chairs. The proposal for the Support function will have at least further refined by the OECD and UNDP (there is still many issues about the level of support that it will provided both to partner countries and the non executive stakeholders).
Here are my highlights from the PBGI meeting of May 21 and 22 :
- global monitoring has been downgraded: it is not so important and the new Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation is rather about accountability in the fashion of dialogue and knowledge sharing
- the new donors are not committing for the time being. The art 2 of the Busan declaration is now complemented by a new provision that reads that the new providers of development cooperation are not expected to participate in the global monitoring system proposed in this initial arrangement
- indicators will be kept under the number of ten. The rationale is to secure the minster’s attention by offering a few selected issues to focus on. This is a very pragmatic strategy, which may come with some side effects though: a diminished level of knowledge of development cooperation practices and less of peer pressure to improve around best practices
- in this race to a handful of indicators, important issues may stay off the list. Fragmentation is one of the most noticeable victim. Despite reiterated calls from partner countries, the chair stuck to the line that fragmentation can be better monitored at local level, possibly missing the point of the initiatives that are proliferating at global level, which is clearly mentioned in the Busan document
- in general, the agreement reached at the PBIG meeting on indicators is mostly about the major headings and some definitions. On the real targets, uncertainty remains even relative to key areas such as gender and transparency
- the notion of enabling environment for CSOs and the private sector has been subject to extensive discussion. Mexico, for instance, seemed to been keen to reduce everything to the development cooperation arena; the chair of the meeting aligned himself with this interpretation , insisting that the discussion was about the role non executive actors in enhancing the effectiveness of development cooperation. Only the consolidated list of indicators will tell which option is holding up
- the membership of the steering group has improved. Partner countries will have now 5 seats, provider of cooperation 3. But proposals from BetterAid to strengthen the representation of CSOs and non executive stakeholders have turned down with the assumption that the issue will be raised again at first meeting on the Steering grou
- on Building Blocks there has been some positive movement as we have moved from zero references to a statement whereby the GPEDC that acknowledges the role of the BB and welcomes their input. Such a statement may potentially push BBs to be more accountable
- an increased role of the UNDCF, which was one of the BetterAid demands, was consistently turned down, receiving no support from the chair of the meeting and the UNDP delegates