published on Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation 25 November, 2016
The Nairobi High-Level Forum provides a key opportunity for renewing commitment to the agenda and giving it the prominence it deserves. But it also needs to adjust itself to the multi-polar world in which it finds itself: there is no longer one central forum to discuss aid effectiveness, such as the OECD’s Working Party on Aid Effectiveness once provided. Instead, the GPEDC shares the stage with relevant UN-level fora where discussions on effectiveness are taken further, as well as with various ‘mini-literal’ initiatives. Examples of the latter include the recent South-South Cooperation Expo event at the Sustainable Innovation Expo 2016, as well as efforts of the EU and its 28 member state to advance coordinated action under its Joint Programming initiative.
This brief overview of initiatives presents an image in which everyone is doing something useful, yet by and large this multiplicity of international structures to discuss development effectiveness commitments carries a risk of diluting accountability to the same agenda. Therefore, a key mission for the GPEDC is to distinguish itself from the UN-level fora by using its – by comparison – more informal setup and act as a political driver for the international discussion. In contrast to the 2005 Paris Agenda, the new agenda is mainly comprised of ideas that few people would disagree with. What is needed is for the agenda to be a source of constructive peer pressure among key actors, a source of debate on effective support for sustainable development – and perhaps a source of healthy controversy.