The second Forum on Cooperation for Development held 29-30 June at the UN headquarters in New York, reviewed the Official Development Assistance (ODA) agenda. The main conclusions focused on aid effectiveness to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the need to reconsider the financial paradigm and incorporate new forms of cooperation.
The Financing for Development (FfD) process, led by the United Nations (UN), was launched within the context of the Asian crisis in the 1990s. In 1997-1998, the UN General Assembly agreed to convene an International Conference on Financing for Development which was finally held in March 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico.
The Conference was characterised by the active participation of the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the five regional commissions and other bodies within the UN system, as well as representatives of civil society and the private sector also participated in the Conference and its preparatory process.
Monterrey encompassed a significant variety of financing for development-related issues that are of concern to civil society, such as debt relief and financial crises, the Official Development Assistance (ODA), foreign direct investment and the relationship between international trade and development. It also included systemic issues such as the governance of international financial institutions and the representation and relative power enjoyed by developing countries in those institutions.
The Conference was carried out on the basis of a clear aim: to halve world poverty by 2015, as set forth in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approved in the Millennium Summit (September 2000). The then UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, said that without progress in the area of financial resources towards poor countries, the goals universally agreed to by the 147 Heads of State and 191 nations taking part in that Summit were in jeopardy.
The formal outcome of the Conference was the “Monterrey Consensus”, implicitly supported by the fifty Heads of State that participated in the event. Developing countries committed themselves to introduce sound economic and social policies, improve governance, eradicate corruption and create a domestic regulatory environment aimed at the development of the private business sector. On the other hand, industrialised countries pledged to take measures to provide the financial resources that might be required, in addition to the mobilisation of domestic resources in developing countries, to meet the MDGs.
These measures included a pledge to strive to provide official development assistance equal to at least 0.7% of each developed country’s gross domestic product; to improve market access for developing country exports; to complete the development dimension of the Doha round of the WTO; to provide debt relief in order to prevent debt service from becoming an obstacle to development; to facilitate the impact of foreign direct investment on development through greater technology transfer; and to improve the international financial architecture in order to predict and prevent financial crises.
Multilateral development agencies, for their part, celebrated the end of “aid fatigue” and welcomed the announcement made by the European Union and the United States regarding the increase of their development cooperation budgets. However, in spite of the increase in ODA, it still falls far short of the amount required to achieve the MDGs.
Weaknesses, limitations and opportunities
Civil society organisations gathered at the Global Social Forum – parallel to the Monterrey Conference – with the participation of thousands of representatives, criticised the outcome of the Conference, claiming it endorsed “neo-liberal” economic policies and made no progress in “systemic issues”. Although it was acknowledged that the Conference represented an unprecedented effort to build a consensus among multiple stakeholders, it was also stated that the Monterrey Consensus was not a finished product but rather a point of departure. And that the credibility of the follow-up process would depend on its ability to overcome the rhetoric of the Consensus with specific proposals that would make the availability of development resources effective.
According to John Foster, researcher at the North-South Institute in Canada, who has followed the UN’s FfD process since 2000, this process “has obvious weaknesses and limitations. However it offers opportunities for engagement which are not present elsewhere, particularly for those who are concerned with governance, democracy and transparency, with how the different parts of the system work either for or against development. It can also be a forum in which new proposals are put forward and support built.”
A major weakness of the Monterrey Consensus is that it has a very weak follow-up mechanism, due largely to the extreme reluctance of some large developed countries to give a high profile to finance work at the UN. The follow-up currently comprises a one annual dialogue session between UN members and the secretariat heads of the IMF, World Bank and WTO; and a three-day High-level Dialogue on FfD every two years.
Since 2002, an outstanding change has been noticed in terms of the discourse on FfD and the international architecture of development cooperation. For instance, the Paris Ministerial Conference on Innovative Development Financing Mechanisms – convened by French President Jacques Chirac in February 2006 – saw progress on issues such as ODA, the levies on international transactions and air tickets, and the search for additional funds for health care and, specifically, the struggle against HIV/AIDS.
A new world conference on FfD took place from 29 November to 2 December 2008 in Doha (Qatar), aiming at reviewing the implementation of Monterrey’s decisions and determining the new initiatives needed in order to meet the increasingly compromised MDGs. All of the topics addressed in Monterrey were revisited, but in the end little substantive progress was made. On the positive side, the Doha declaration preserved all the commitments made in Monterrey regarding the mechanisms necessary to reach the millennium development goals, and the pledging of 0.7% of developed countries’ Gross Domestic Product destined towards official development aid. The text also explicitly recognizes that the promotion of gender equality and women´s economic empowerment is essential in achieving equitable development.
The most concrete outcome of the Doha summit was the convening of another UN summit, in which the “G-192” (all of the member States of the UN) will meet to discuss solutions to the financial crisis and propose changes to the international financial architecture. That conference is scheduled to take place in 1-3 June 2009 in the UN Headquarters in New York.
UNDP is the UN's global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.
Established in 1964, UNCTAD promotes the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy. UNCTAD has progressively evolved into an authoritative knowledge-based institution whose work aims to help shape current policy debates and thinking on development, with a particular focus on ensuring that domestic policies and international action are mutually supportive in bringing about sustainable development.
IFAD's mission is to enable the rural poor to overcome poverty. It is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Seventy-five per cent of the world's poorest people - 800 million women, children and men - live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods.
The World Economic and Social Survey (WESS) provides objective analysis of pressing long-term social and economic development issues, and discusses the positive and negative impact of corresponding policies. The analyses are supported by analytical research and data included in the annex.
The objective of the Financing for Development Office is to provide effective secretariat support for sustained follow-up within the United Nations system to the agreements and commitments reached at the International Conference on Financing for Development, as contained in the Monterrey Consensus, as well as financing for development-related aspects of the outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic and social fields, including the development goals set out in the United Nations Millennium Declaration.
International Conference on Financing for Development – Monterrey 2002
The so-called "Monterrey Consensus" is long on intentions, but lacks quantifiable goals or deadlines. Issues like debt relief, historically-generated structural constraints on development and global policies in areas like health and education are hardly addressed.
The World Bank has made a lot of noise about consulting with “civil society" but lack of interest in translation at the Bank is a symptom of a deeper problem. The most direct way to know whether aid is reaching the poor is to find out in some way: what do the poor themselves say about aid? This is going to be a lot more difficult if the poor have to speak in English! July 2009.
These days, there is no question in the development discourse that one of the key words is ‘impact.' The 2005 Paris Declaration and the 2008 Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) speak of managing for results. "We will be judged by the impacts that our collective efforts have on the lives of poor people." But what is 'impact' after all and how do we measure it? May 2009.
The future of multilateral and bilateral co-operation for development is in question. It is either in crisis or in the process of reinvention. Launched in 2005, the Southern Perspectives project of The North-South Institute (NSI) addresses these issues. 2007 (pdf).
The emergence of alternative international development institutions, new sources of development funding, and alternative mechanisms for financing development are occurring in the context of two major international processes relating to aid: the Accra meeting on the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, and the Doha meeting on Financing for Development. In February 2008, the Halifax Initiative organized a conference on “The Changing Face of Global Development Finance – Impacts and implications for aid, development, the South and the Bretton Woods Institutions”. May 2008 (pdf).
In light of increased access to policy dialogue about the reform of the international aid architecture, this paper explores ways in which southern researchers can maximise their input in to the debate. The authors argue that the current aid system is changing significantly, not only in terms of the increasing amounts of money which are likely to flow through the system, but also because of the range of new donors and funding vehicles which are joining it. This change is making the system more complex, and could potentially reduce the effectiveness of the aid that flows through it, but it also offers significant opportunities for reform. Specifically a number of decision-making fora have recently opened up which offer the chance for greater participation by southern organisations, particularly research institutes and think-tanks. February 2008 (pdf version).
Both ActionAid and ECDPM have long track records of working on EU development policy. This project aims at taking stock of current perceptions and contributing to the discussion on where the pledged aid increases should be directed and how the EU should evolve as a donor. The main objective of the joint ECDPM-ActionAid project “Whither EC Aid?” (WECA) is to re-position the debate on monitoring the effectiveness of EC development cooperation.
While civil society organisations (CSOs) were present during the singing of the Paris Declaration in March 2005, there have been growing concerns about the lack of an active civil society role in the process, to ensure that aid effectiveness can be measured in relation to its actual impact on the ground in alleviating poverty and improving livelihoods of poor and marginalised communities. Whilst this is of foremost priority there is also keen interest among civil society to ensure that budget allocations are not utilised to remove further the goals of human rights, democracy and sustainable development that includes a focus on gender equality. October 2007 (pdf version).
As corporations and wealthy individuals shift their assets into offshore tax havens, the loss in global tax revenues is now estimated to be at least $500 billion a year, more than enough to finance the UN's Millennium Development Goals. Civil society groups are challenging the offshore financial system and the social costs that tax evasion is imposing on societies around the world. June 2007.
This page contains information on the different ways to mobilize finances for development, and provides information on the international conference on financing for development, its preparation, and follow-up.
Invisible to citizens in the North or the South, subterranean channels divert huge flows of money to tax havens. The nets of the revenue services catch the small fish easily, but let the sharks through untouched. The two global intergovernmental institutions that are supposed to preside over world finances and regulate their flow do the opposite of what is expected from them: instead of channelling money towards development, the World Bank receives more from developing countries than what it disburses to them; instead of ensuring global financial stability, the International Monetary Fund is now rooting for a financial crisis to erupt or it will not have enough business to pay for its own staff. The current global financial architecture thus looks like the impossible building designed by MC Escher in his famous “Waterfall” etching, where the water that seems to be falling actually flows up, against all rules of logic.
IFIwatchnet is a groundbreaking initiative in international NGO networking. It connects organisations worldwide which are monitoring international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank, the IMF, and regional development banks.
The importance of community involvement in UN processes cannot be overstated. US groups must take advantage of this international platform to address injustices pepertrated by the US government (pdf version).
Social Watch is an international network informed by national citizens' groups aiming at following up the fulfillment of the internationally agreed commitments on poverty eradication and equality. These national groups report, through the national Social Watch report, on the progress -or regression- towards these commitments and goals.
The second Forum on Cooperation for Development held 29-30 June at the UN headquarters in New York, reviewed the Official Development Assistance (ODA) agenda. The main conclusions focused on aid effectiveness to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the need to reconsider the financial paradigm and incorporate new forms of cooperation.
The United States and European governments have committed 40 times more money to rescue financial firms than to fight climate and poverty crises in the developing world says this new report. (PDF). November 2008.
The Third High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development was held from 23 to 25 October 2007 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. In this context, CSOs attended an Informal Hearings of Civil Society on Financing for Development, and Celine Tan participated in the panel on behalf of the Third World Network. In her statement, entitled "The Finance and Trade Nexus: Systemic Challenges", she pointed out that "the systemic deficiencies within the international trade and financial architecture continue to undermine efforts to meet the objectives of the Monterrey Consensus". December 2007.
Once again Latin America is confusing development with economic growth, and economic growth with increased investments and exports. These same ideas have come up again and again over the last 50 years, and although subjected to criticism to the point of losing credibility, they return again. To get beyond this confusion, it's necessary to review the various debates about development. August 2007.
To decrease their dependency on rich countries and achieve long-term development, poor countries must raise revenue domestically. In this paper, author Jens Martens looks at a range of different obstacles that prevent governments of poor countries from raising sufficient public revenue and spending it on development. For example, governments of rich countries pressure poor countries to liberalize trade, thus reducing customs revenues. Also, ineffective tax systems exempt transnational corporations, landowners and rich individuals from paying taxes to poor countries. July 2007 (pdf version).
The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) should have greater control and flexibility over how the foreign aid they receive is used in order for it to be tailored to response to local needs and conditions, said the UN Conference on Trade and Development. This was one of the key messages of the "Least Developed Countries Report 2008", which said that rules and conditions attached to this incoming money should not be so stringent -or so tied to meeting economic targets- that governments are hindered from tailoring development plans that meet local and national conditions. July 2008.
As part of monitoring the delivery of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) commitments to increase Official Development Assistance (ODA), this report examines the existing patterns of aid fragmentation and concentration, showing the degree to which 33 donors are operating in 153 partner countries. It also looks into the delivery of commitments on future aid levels in total and where aid is likely to be scaled up or scaled back as well as into donors’ country allocation and budgetary procedures and practices. May 2008 (pdf).
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US and the subsequent declaration of a War on Terror (WOT), several international issues have been affected. One such issue-area is the disbursement of official development assistance (ODA). Although ODA was for several decades a critical factor in international politics and has been essential in its own right, with the initiation of the WOT, the determinants for the disbursement of ODA are being made secondary to the prerequisites of this war. Even though the traditional development criteria for the disbursement of ODA was sometimes undermined by Cold War competition and the geo-strategic calculations of donors, the end of the Cold War gave way to the emergence of an ODA architecture fundamentally geared toward the eradication of poverty. However, the new security imperatives of the post-9/11 era are leading to the securitization and politicization of ODA. September 2007 (pdf version).
The story of Western aid to the Third World needs to be demystified. Western populations almost universally believe that the story of Western aid is of massive transfers of aid to poor Third World countries for purely altruistic reasons. They know that much of this aid has not resulted in successful development. But many believe that this is not the fault of the West. It is true that there is a huge scandal of corruption on Western aid that is waiting to be exposed. However, if and when this story is fully exposed, it is the West that will be deeply embarrassed. The full story will show that the wide-held belief of altruistic Western aid is nothing but a myth. February 2008.
Has development aid improved the lives of people living in developing countries over the past five years? Yes, says the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)'s latest Development Co-operation Report, but slowly. Increased aid is helping very poor countries. In sub-Saharan Africa, fewer babies are dying and more children are going to school. But despite efforts by donor and recipient countries to use aid more effectively, progress is modest and problems such as inequality and climate change are growing. February 2008.
Increasingly, Asia's emerging market economies are entering the landscape of international aid, joining Japan as major international donors. But how different are Asian countries' aid policies to those of Western countries, and what challenges and opportunities do they represent for the global development community? This paper considers these questions by examining four Asian donors: Japan, China, India and South Korea. The analysis is based on a seminar held in Oslo on 5 December 2006, which brought together experts on all four countries (pdf version).
In most Western-European countries, feelings about development cooperation are rather strong. Heads of government are proud of their achievements. Many small and larger organisations are active in developing countries. But this enthusiasm cannot conceal the fact that we, the generous donors, are in fact ‘takers’. We, in the rich countries, are taking far more from the developing countries than we are giving them. It is time to stop this charity and to start giving priority to the structural causes of poverty, inequality and ecocide. We need to have the courage to question our own wealth. What is wrong about that? Is there any reason to think that we are now happier than we were in 1979? October 2007 (pdf version).
Here Jon Tinker, founder of Earthscan (which later became the Panos network), and current Executive Director of Panos Canada, puts a spotlight on the "North-South" paradigm for viewing development. He considers its origins and explores some ways it may no longer be appropriate, suggesting instead a "commonalities" lens as a new tool for development. July 2007.
The Arab region has been the subject of heightened international attention after the 9/11 attacks, especially from the United States and the European Union. There has been a growing perception that terrorism threats are rooted in radical Islamic movements that are entrenched in the Arab region, due to lack of good governance and democracy. This assumption does not reflect the real problem behind the rise of terrorism, which is linked among others to the feelings of humiliation and despise that the citizens of this region are facing when it comes to continuing foreign occupation of their land, expanding military bases, and consistent double standards in the implementation of the international laws and resolutions related to their rights. This report was presented at the workshop of Financing for Equity and Development held in Beirut, Lebanon, in March 2006.
In addition to providing raw materials, labor, and markets for finished products, Africa also cleanses the conscience of Africanist scholars, evangelists and missionaries, the rock and roll musicians who want to save Africa through orphan adoption, and philanthropists with Mother-Theresa complexes. "Africa does not need more Western military intervention, more debt forgiveness or more Western philanthropy. What we need is equal trade between nations and economic justice inside nations". April 2007.
In 2002 and again in 2005 European Union governments committed to substantial increases in the amount of aid they give to poor countries. According to official figures most European countries are living up to their aid promises. But European citizens should hold their applause. European governments continue to make misleading claims about their aid figures: nearly one third of Europe’s reported Official Development Assistance (ODA) was not in fact genuine aid. May 2007.
Why has aid failed to achieve development? Should other forms of financing for development (FfD) be emphasised instead for narrowing the wealth and income gaps between developing and developed countries? Are developed countries and international financial institutions (IFIs) doing enough to help developing countries mobilise domestic resources, encourage foreign investment and expand earnings from trade? A paper entitled ‘Financing for Development: Perspectives and Issues’ looks at how the widening gap between the incomes of people in developed and developing countries might be narrowed.
There is a broad consensus among the development community that official development assistance (ODA) continues to be of vital importance for many countries in the global South. To some extent its volume reflects the political commitment of the North to greater global justice. Of course, ODA is not the only but just one financial instrument to fight poverty and to promote sustainable development. ODA cannot be a substitute for other necessary actions, for example further debt relief, improved trade conditions for developing countries and reforms in the international financial system. November 2000.
Has the UN Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, really been a turning point in development aid, as some commentators have maintained, or was that just “spin” to camouflage the disappointing commitments made by the rich nations? April 2002.
The Paris Ministerial Conference was in several ways quite a remarkable event. The cross representation of themes and of ministries, the high-level and diversity of representation, the extensive participation of non-governmental personal all added to its interest and to the openness of debate. March 2006, pdf format.
The idea of a Tobin Tax or a Currency Transactions Tax was very much “in the air”, in terms of financing the social development objectives of Copenhagen and the global struggle to eradicate poverty. Pdf format.
NGOs, social and citizen movements meeting on international taxation for development
This event was co-sponsored by ATTAC France and Coordination SUD (France) and co-organized by ABONG (Brazil), CIDSE (International), CNCD (Belgium), ll.ll.ll (Belgium), CONCORD (Europe), CTT European Network (Europe), Stamp Out Poverty (UK), Tax Justice Network (International), VANI (India) and Medecins du Monde (France). Pdf format.
Assessing the role of financial transaction taxes in financing for development was the central theme of a panel discussion organized on 18 March by the Global Social Economy Group and the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) at UN Headquarters. The discussion tackled, among others, challenges for implementing financial transaction taxes and for ensuring that potential revenues are not channeled to general budgets but are instead used to finance development needs. March 2010.
In this brief note we discuss, in section 1, selected issues among those covered by the Monterrey Consensus (MC); then, in section 2, we review the developments since the MC, including selected new issues that have arisen. Some recommendations for consideration in the Doha Review Conference are presented in section 3, focused in innovative sources of financing. August 2008 (pdf).
Global problems require bold solutions and the Currency Transaction Tax (CTT) is one such idea. It proposes a small levy on foreign exchange transactions and uses the money raised to finance development projects for the global public good. November 2008 (pdf).
The Currency Transaction Tax (CTT) is a potential source of inde-
pendent and stable nance for development and other global projects. What should the tax rate be? How much money would it raise? How
would it affect foreign exchange markets? October 2007 (pdf).
One of the newest and most innovative methods to generate new resources for development involves the regulation and taxation of international capital flows. Currency transactions taxes, adopted nationally and coordinated regionally or internationally, provide a means by which unstable and untaxed capital can be re-regulated in the interest of financial stability and revenue generation for development. January 2001.
The World Economic Forum has issued a report calling governments to recognise the key role that partnerships with business can play in delivering education, health and water sanitation services in poor regions of the world. The report examines the status and future promise of public-private partnerships, which are formed when a private company joins with a government, international agency or non-profit group to work on a specific project. September 2005 (pdf version).
The gap between strong political commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and slow progress towards meeting them is often attributed to weak “ownership” by developing country governments. This Working Paper addresses the issue of ownership by analysing the substance of 22 developing countries’ Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) and the policy frameworks of 21 bilateral programmes. October 2008 (pdf).
UK government commitee finds that meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will require an additional US$50 billion in aid per year, a doubling of current aid levels. The United Nations Conference on Financing for Development offered less than a quarter of the funds needed to meet the MDG targets (pdf version).
This document builds on the premise of the Monterrey Consensus, which was conceived as a process that has a unique position as a multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral approach to development. The promise of the Monterrey Consensus to deliver a holistic consideration of all sources of finance remains unattained. While the Monterrey Consensus referred to all sources of finance, throughout the follow-up, including the structure of the recently held Review Sessions, they have been typically addressed as separate, compartmentalized tracks, thereby giving an incentive to reproduce the compartmentalized nature of deliberations followed in other institutions. With this, it has reduced the UN’s capacity to make meaningful contributions that add value to such other processes. July 2008 (pdf).
African Finance Ministers, along with a number of African Education Ministers, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, international financial institutions, UN agencies, development partners, the Archbishop of Cape Town, Bono and other representatives of civil society met in Abuja (Nigeria) on 21-22 May 2006 (pdf version).
The International Conference on Financing for Development held in Monterrey can be described as a five-day official ceremony for an event which substance had already been decided and known many weeks ago, during the fourth PrepCom meeting in January 2002. June 2002.
A one-day high level interactive dialogue took place on Financing for Development at the United Nations in New York on 30 October 2003. It was part of the follow up of the FFD Conference of Monterrey in March 2002. The discussions covered a wide range of issues, including the reverse transfer of funds South to North, external debt, the trade system after Cancun, lack of participation of developing countries in decision-making, and the need for stronger follow-up mechanisms. October 2003.
At the end of the Financing for Development Dialogue at the United Nations in New York (October 2003), the President of the UN General Assembly presented his Chairman's Conclusions. The report on these Conclusions also provides an analysis of the 3-day series of FFD events, pointing out the weak mandate and capacity for the UN in this follow up to the Monterrey Conference, and the need to strengthen this UN mandate. October 2003.
"Systemic Issues" refers to paragraph F 52-53 of the Monterrey Consensus (A/CONF.198/11). These multi-stakeholder consultations examined issues, exchanged information and promoted best practices related to advancing rules for global finance to meet the Millennium Declaration development goals (MDGs) of sustained economic growth, poverty eradication and sustainable development.
The following statement was delivered by civil society organizations speakers on Monday, 27 April 2009 at the ECOSOC High Level meeting with the Bretton Woods Institutions, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. April 2009.
Read the interventions by civil society representatives including Roberto Bissio, Director, Social Watch; Marina Durano, Senior Policy Researcher, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) and John Foster, Principal Researcher, North-South Institute at the ECOSOC civil society panel discussion. April 2009.
"We know that policy inter-linkages are crucial. The Paris Declaration must not contravene commitments in the United Nations for domestic measures that enhance recipient countries' resilience in the macroeconomic and financial areas" said Gigi Francisco from DAWN at the Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness. September 2008.
African countries like many other developing countries need external resources primarily to supplement their meagre domestic resources from their economies. The assistance countries receive redress the financial gap that arises from their development needs and act as catalyst and play a complimentary role in the implementation of the national development programs as well as stretegies.
For the second year in a row, global ODA figures have fallen, and very few countries have met the target of 0.7% of GNP. Most donors have not made the substantial increases in ODA required to meet the Millennium Development Goals and the commitments from the Monterrey consensus. NGO statement - Informal Review Session on Chapter IV, "Increasing international financial and technical cooperation for development". 15th – 16th April 2008 (pdf version).
Alison Marshall, Advocacy Manager at BOND, said: “Europe is so important in the worldwide battle against global poverty. EU countries currently provide 52% of all development aid. Europe is also the world’s largest trade block, so is pivotal to efforts to make trade fair and just for developing countries.” In 2005, European and G8 governments pledged to increase aid dramatically, particularly to Africa, and 80% of this new aid was to come from the EU. Yet overall aid increases have been very slow, and aid volumes to Africa have been static since 2004. June 2007.
Statement by Roberto Bissio, director of the Third World Institute, on behalf of Social Watch and the International Facilitating Group of NGOs on the Financing for Development (FfD) follow-up at the high-level dialogue on Financing for Development, United Nations General Assembly. October 2003.
The report is introduced by an open letter to donors demanding the inclusion of Haitian women’s voices in the reconstruction process and attention to gender issues in all policies and budget allocations. April 2010.
This publication from WIDE reviews the current debates about development, as well as the background for this new aid architecture, and analyses the international frameworks for financing for development and women rights, as well as governments´ commitments for resources. It also summarises and analyses all the contributions to the aid effectiveness agenda from a gender perspective. January 2010 (pdf).
Jointly produced by NGLS and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), 'Bridging the Gap: Financing Gender Equality' examines national budgets and planning processes, gives an overview of relevant international commitments, comments upon the Monterrey Consensus and the Paris Declaration, and provides advocacy tools to reposition gender equality and the empowerment of women as central to development and its financing. December 2008 (pdf).
The instruments that might have made gender equity funding possible have been frustrated by mechanisms like free trade agreements, or development policies themselves. In addition, many governments are still concentrating on policies focused on education while leaving aside the economic and political dimensions, which at the moment exhibit greater gender inequality. Columns and interviews on Doha conference and financing gender equiality by Cecilia Alemany, Anne Schönstein, Inés Alberdi, Syeda Hameed, Mary Rusimbi, Roberto Bissio and Letty Chiwara.pdf, November 2007.
"Officials present at the Accra High Level Forum cannot ignore the failure of their development policies and practices, particularly those related to gender equality and women’s empowerment" states the statement by the Women's Forum in Accra, Ghana, prior to the beginning of the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in that city. September 2008.
This set of proposals that substantively address womenâ€™s interlinking concerns in the Monterrey Consensus was discussed and adopted at a womenâ€™s consultation meeting convened by the Womenâ€™s Working Group on Financing for Development in New York on 16-17 June 2008. The proposals align with but also enhance several key recommendations in the draft Civil Society Key Recommendations for the Doha Draft Outcome Document. Gigi Franciscoâ€™s Presentation at the Hearing with CSOs on Financing for Development, UN, 18 June 2008 (pdf).
This set of proposals that substantively address women’s inter-linking concerns in the Monterrey Consensus was discussed and adopted at a women’s consultation meeting convened by the Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development in New York on June 16 and 17 2008.
The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (PD) aims to reform the delivery and management of aid. The main goal of aid effectiveness is framed as poverty reduction and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The PD is said to be unique in that it establishes overarching principles to redefine the relationship between donor and recipient countries. The practical implication of these commitments is a shift in the mechanisms or ‘modalities’ that channel aid. Despite changes in how aid is delivered to partner governments, civil society organisations contend that the Paris Declaration remains an unjust and unequal framework for understanding and implementing the aid effectiveness agenda. Among other concerns, the Paris Declaration is gender blind, and as a result, fundamentally flawed. January 2008 (pdf version).
The Paris Declaration is the most recent framework for international cooperation agreed by the donor community at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) level. In September 2008 donor countries and recipient countries will meet for a High Level Forum in Accra, Ghana, to assess progress in the implementation of the Paris Declaration, and to agree a new "agenda for action". This will be the first opportunity for donor and recipient countries, and civil society organizations, to review the progress on the implementation of the Declaration. If women's rights advocates don't push for gender equality and women's rights to be understood as development priorities, nobody will. It is vital to ensure women's voices, proposals and participation are infused throughout the whole process. December 2007.
The new regime of aid effectiveness, harmonization and alignment and its three planks of poverty reduction,country ownership and participation of key stakeholders in national planning process would seem to purport well for democracy and participation. But this, as discussed with poverty reduction, social and gender equality concerns, can not be automatically assumed as the end results of the various instruments of aid modalities undertaken within the operational framework of the new aid regime. June 25, 2007.
INSTRAW promotes analyses on the agreements and actions surrounding financing for development, from a gender perspective. Following is a brief review of the contents of such agreements, the advances made in their implementation stages, and of the most important areas needed to guarantee gender equality in the different stages of the financing for development process.
The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness expresses the international community’s consensus on the direction for reforming aid delivery and management to achieve improved effectiveness and results. It was signed in March 2005 by an intergovernmental High Level Forum convened by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Pdf version.
This report is a mid-term review of progress towards the 2005 Paris Declaration commitments made by partners and donors. The report has been prepared by the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness for the September 2008 Accra High-Level Forum. 2009 (pdf).
This article argues that although the Paris Declaration is an important step in establishing an international consensus on aid, its ability to make aid work in the long term is questionable without the availability of publically available, reliable, qualitative and quantitative information on civil society organisations (CSOs). August 2008.
The Paris Declaration sets out an overall framework of agreement and structure of mutual accountability between aid-receiving countries and their development partners to give substance to the consensus model of "country-led" development. This thematic study acts as a contribution to Accra discussions. The authors synthesize existing evidence on the aid effectiveness and state-building challenges faced in fragile and conflict-affected situations and explore the relevance and application of the Paris Declaration and the Fragile States principles in different contexts of fragility and conflict. January 2009 (pdf).
Systematising the lessons in implementing the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness principles in six Latin American middle-income countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru), the following document aims to feed into the design of a regional aid effectiveness agenda which in turn could influence the global aid policies. January 2009.
The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (PD), as a non-binding document on ways to disburse and manage Official Development Assistance more effectively, does not deal with any of the commitments spelled out in Millennium Development Goal 8 (trade, finance, debt, increased aid) but it can be deemed to indirectly contribute to them if its goal of making aid more efficient is actually achieved. However, while relatively minor gains in efficiency could be obtained from avoiding duplications in delivery and simplifying reporting, the main causes of aid inefficiency (i.e. tied aid and unpredictability of aid income) are not properly addressed. There is a danger that the political momentum around the PD might deviate attention from the need of building global development partnerships around the still largely unmet commitments of MDG8. January 2008.
Alongside its strong focus on monitoring, the Paris Declaration also highlights the importance of undertaking an independent joint cross-country evaluation to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how increased aid effectiveness contributes to meeting development objectives. July 2008 (pdf).
This synthesis report carried out by Stefan Meyer and Nils-Sajard Schulz, looks into the impact of donor harmonisation on
democratisation processes in recipient countries. It is based on four case studies (Mali, Nicaragua, Peru and Vietnam) and explores the political implications of the aid effectiveness agenda and particularly of the new aid modalities. June 2008.
While the governments of rich nations want to streamline their global-development efforts in the OECD context, those of many developing countries are less enthusiastic. Some experts even view the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness as a document of new colonialist aspirations, and doubt the OECD High Level Forum in Accra in September will achieve much good. July 2008.
Aid has a critical role to play in the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals in many developing countries, especially when it is deployed effectively in an accountable manner as part of a wider development strategy; it makes a lasting difference in helping people to lift themselves out of poverty. Of key importance to aid delivery and management has been the issues of accountability and policy dialogue. June 2008.
The Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness will be held this September in Accra. But is aid effectiveness a mirage? Yash Tandon dissects the Paris Declaration in relation to aid effectiveness and reaches the conclusion that "under the pretext of making aid more effective, the aid effectiveness project is a form of collective colonialism by Northern donors of those Southern countries that, through weakness, vulnerability or psychological dependency, allow themselves to be subjected to it at the Accra conference in September." But all is not lost and he also offers a way out. June 2008.
Two recent studies have highlighted the propensity of new modalities of aid and aid harmonisation processes under the Paris Declaration framework to increase rather than reduce donor interventions in aid recipient countries and exacerbating the imbalances of power between donor and recipient countries. Under the Paris Declaration framework, donors and recipients are not peers, as recipient countries are penalised if they do not implement conditions for assessing financing under the framework but they do not have a corresponding mechanism for penalising the donors and/or creditors, the report argues. April 2008.
This report has been commissioned by Alliance2015 as a contribution to preparatory discussions in advance of the third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to be held in Accra in September 2008. It focuses on the extent to which the Paris Declaration – the subject of that High Level Forum – promotes “democratic ownership” in specific country contexts. Its point of departure is the absolute necessity for such ownership, which enables participation of civil society and parliaments in defining, implementing and monitoring development policies and strategies at local and national levels. The importance of linking aid effectiveness to actual impact on intended beneficiaries is a second point of departure reflected in the title itself. April 2008 (pdf version).
This report focuses on progress against two principles of the Paris Declaration – ownership and accountability. These principles are the bedrock of aid reform but the area where least attention has been paid. While both donors and recipients have responsibilities to make aid more effective, this report concentrates on the responsibilities of donors to make sure aid contributes to address the many challenges faced by developing countries. March 2008.
The subject of ownership has become one of the basic principles of International Cooperation policies. In Latin America, as in other regions, several pilot programs were fostered to implement the new paradigm. However, no systematic evaluation has been made of the experiences or of the obstacles encountered and in practice very limited overall progress is recorded. This paper examines in detail and with concrete examples, the situation with regards to ownership in four Latin American countries that have signed the Paris Declaration: Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru and Bolivia. February 2008 (pdf format).
The Paris Declaration is the culmination of ten years of discussion on ways to improve aid effectiveness. The dialogue in Paris on the declaration was in the context of the preparations for the OECD High Level Ministerial Forum in September 2008 in Accra, Ghana. March 2007.
The 2006 Survey on Monitoring the Paris Declaration was undertaken in 34 countries that receive aid. The results of the survey are presented in two volumes. Volume 1 provides an overview of key findings across 34 countries. Volume 2 presents the baseline and key findings in each of the 34 countries that have taken part in the survey. These chapters are based primarily on the data and findings communicated by government and donors to the OECD through the Paris Declaration monitoring process. A more detailed description of this process, how this chapter was drafted and what sources were used is included in Volume 1, Chapter 2. September 2007 (pdf version).
Aid has a critical role to play in the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals in many developing countries, especially when it is deployed effectively in an accountable manner as part of a wider development strategy; it makes a lasting difference in helping people to lift themselves out of poverty. Of key importance to aid delivery and management has been the issues of accountability and policy dialogue. December 2007.
Civil society organisations (CSOs) were present in 2005 when donor country members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD DAC), developing countries and multilateral institutions signed the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Since then, diverse CSOs have been engaged in tracking this agreement, both internationally and in developing countries. CSOs have been raising a range of issues and bringing in different perspectives, trying to ensure that this new framework for aid effectiveness translates into effective and accountable development processes. January 2008 (pdf version).
This document sets out the CIDSE recommendations for the UN ‘Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus’ that will be held in Doha/Qatar from 29 November to 2 December 2008. June 2008 (pdf).
The richness of the multistakeholder discussions held at the United Nations in New York under the auspices of Finance for Development office has been a space for discussion of these and other themes with some consensus as to what should change. The Doha challenge will be to have Governments approve the issues and go forward into a new world order rather than holding back to the memory of past power without taking into account existing new actors and trends. September 2008.
Since the 2002 Monterrey Conference, financial flows to support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other internationally agreed goals, especially in the South have remained grossly inadequate, unpredictable, and volatile. The rapid growth of global capital flows has not automatically led to a corresponding increase in means available for poverty eradication and decent work. Worse, recurrent crises and dynamics in the international financial system have had grave consequences for many developing countries. The political conditions for creating an enabling environment for development, linked to the six thematic areas of the Monterrey Consensus, have, by and large, not materialized. June 2008 (pdf).
This Analytical Note evaluates how far the commitments contained in the 2002 Monterrey Consensus were fulfilled. It also examines the adequacy of the Monterrey Consensus as a framework for guiding international policy decisions and actions in current circumstances, and then outlines the significant changes and developments that have occurred since Monterrey that call for a fresh approach to addressing financing for development issues. Finally, the Analytical Note seeks to identify policy and institutional areas where the world community needs to be more ambitious in its approach, decisions, and actions at the UN International Review Conference on Financing for Development that will take place in Doha at the end of November 2008. July 2008.
The search for change in Latin American society must begin with radical changes in the economic structure of its countries, based on progressive politics orientated towards development from and focusing on the internal. In order to achieve this it is necessary to demand a State which acts as a catalyst for these transformations. International aid is important in this process because its decisions and actions come directly from the political and economic interests of hegemonic groups and from the principles that govern the current development model. June 2008 (pdf).
The Doha Review Conference comes at a very crucial moment in the history of the multilateral trade system. In the years since Monterrey, the Doha Trade Round, first launched in 2001, has successively been held, on and off, several times. Experts are rather pessimistic about the prospects, with some predicting that the Round will not be completed, if at all, before 2010. April 2008.
Despite high profile debt relief initiatives, the debt crisis continues unabated for most developing countries. With the international community at risk of failing to meet the 2015 MDG deadline, leaders in Doha should support a strong call for expanded debt cancellation to all countries that need relief to meet the MDGs. Moreover, they should address the fact that debt cancellation continues to be undermined by onerous forms of conditionality since countries must implement hundreds of conditions as part of the IMF/World Bank HIPC Initiative. March 2008.
The DESA Financing for Development Office (FFDO) and the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) are pleased to announce the launch of 'The Road to Doha', a monthly publication jointly produced by the two offices in the run-up to the International Conference to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus to be held in Doha, Qatar in the second half of 2008. The aim of this monthly newsletter is to help keep all relevant stakeholders informed on the latest developments and events on the road leading to the Doha conference.
In a letter of 10 January 2008 addressed to all States, the President of the UN General Assembly, Dr. Srgjan Kerim, emphasized the importance of a successful outcome to the Review Conference and proposed a work programme for the preparatory process. The programme includes review sessions on the thematic areas of the Monterrey Consensus and interactive hearings with representatives of civil society and the business sector, to be held at UN Headquarters in New York during the period from February to June 2008. In addition, UN regional commissions, with the support of regional development banks and other relevant entities, will hold regional consultations during the first half of 2008. March 2008 (pdf format).
In March 2002, during the Conference on Financing for Development that took place in Monterrey, world leaders pledged to take a major step towards eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable, gender-sensitive, people-centred, inclusive and equitable development. The promotion of national and global economic systems based on the principles of justice, equity, democracy, participation, transparency, accountability and inclusion was said to be a priority. Almost six years later, it is debatable whether the Consensus contributed much. November 2007.
Currently Doha, the capital of the Arab Emirate Qatar, stands for the latest WTO round. This may soon change: in 2008, the United Nations will hold their second Global Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) in Doha. This conference is intended to take stock of the implementation of the decisions of the first FfD conference in Monterrey in 2002 and to determine what new initiatives are necessary, especially to attain the Millennium Development Goals. March 2007.