November 2011 from

Special Edition on Development Effectiveness and the Busan Forum

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Special Edition on Development Effectiveness and the Busan Forum

  1. Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4)
  2. Key Documents and Websites to follow the HLF-4
  3. OECD Development Co-operation Report 2011
  4. Events on Development Effectiveness
  5. Publications of Development Effectiveness
  6. Websites related to Development Effectiveness

Every little thing counts in a crisis. Jawaharlal Nehru

1. Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4)
Busan, Korea, 29 November to 1 December 2011

At the fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness approximately 2000 delegates from 160 governments, parliaments, international organisations, civil society and the private sector will review global progress in improving the impact and value for money of development aid and make new commitments to further ensure that aid helps reduce poverty and supports progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

The conference will be a major milestone and turning point for the global aid effectiveness agenda: The conference will assess the achievement of the Paris Declaration targets and the commitments of the Accra Agenda for Action by the 2010 deadline, as well as report on the monitoring of the Fragile States Principles. Significantly, the event will also chart future directions for more effective development aid and contribute towards a new international aid architecture as follow-up to the Paris process. The 2015 MDG deadline and the biennial ECOSOC Development Cooperation Forum will be of particular relevance in this regard and are likely to put the UN system in the limelight during the negotiations.

The Busan Forum is a continuation in a series of High Level Forums on Aid Effectiveness that started in Rome (2003) and continued in Paris (2005) and Accra (2008). For the fourth time since 2003, industrialized and developing countries will be discussing ways of making development cooperation more effective. A third draft of the Busan Outcome Document has been prepared. The Outcome Document will be further discussed and developed and will be finalised at the Busan Forum itself.

It is clear for everyone to see that the context for aid effectiveness has changed a great deal in recent years. Making sure that Busan is about more than just playing the end game of a previous era is vital to us all. The question is, are we brave enough to make it happen?

Michèle Laubscher (Alliance Sud) sees OECD veering in the wrong direction. She writes: ''The last meeting held three years ago in the Ghanaian capital Accra ended with the recognition that effective development cooperation requires democratic ownership, transparency and an enabling environment for to civil society. Another idea that also gained traction in Accra was that aid can contribute only modestly to the social and economic development of poor countries. Much more important are government policies in these countries as well as external factors such as global economic and trade conditions, which are generally dictated by the industrialized countries. Future discussions should therefore be about «development effectiveness» rather than just aid effectiveness. It was not decided at the time what this meant in concrete terms, and this will now be done at the conference in the South Korean city of Busan. The competition for «new donor countries» and the private sector could well set the clock back and water down important principles.'' Source:

AidWatch takes a critical look at the European Commission’s proposals ( for the EU common position ahead of the HLF-4. AidWatch is particularly concerned by the proposal to narrow the aid effectiveness agenda down to a more limited set of commitments, to streamline the global monitoring process and the lack of concrete and measureable reform commitments for the EU.

A global aid transparency group around ''Publish What You Fund'' has expressed alarm over the ''pushback” in aid transparency commitments among donor countries while the text for the final document to be approved in the HLF-4 is being negotiated.

Women’s groups and gender equality advocates engaged in the HLF-4 process call on all governments and other development actors involved in the HLF-4 and 2012 DCF process to consider some imperatives for Gender Equality (

At Busan, world leaders will again proclaim their faith in the power of local parliaments and civil society to make aid more transparent, accountable and effective. ''I have my doubts,” writes Till Bruckner in this Devev Blog. Accountability is inherently demand-driven. If local parliaments and NGOs are to effectively monitor and influence international aid, they must be highly capable, and willing and able to rise to the challenge. In most aid recipient countries, these preconditions for aid accountability simply do not exist. The Busan forum will doubtlessly produce a polished document full of well-intended promises. But if these promises are based on fantasy, not reality, we cannot pressure donors to live up to them. Aid transparency is a necessary precondition for local aid accountability, but in itself is not sufficient. Accountability is a two-way process. Information gives local accountability agencies ammunition to press for change – but only if they are willing and able to do so. Source:

The European Parliament adopted its report on aid effectiveness ( that demands much more ambitious reforms than the European Commission has proposed so far. The report is published just as EU Member State governments are currently negotiating the joint EU position for the HLF-4. The report calls for further progress to empower developing country‘s people and democratic institutions; and emphasises that donors‘ procurement practices need to be reformed to boost aid‘s economic impact and drive inclusive growth.

2. Key Documents and Websites to follow the HLF-4

A collection of useful and key documents on Aid Effectiveness are openly available on this OECD page to read, reproduce, quote or disseminate in view of making information on Aid Effectiveness, as well as the work of the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness.

Official Event Site
Official OECD Site
UN Aid Effectiveness Website

CSO Open Forum
Fully participatory space for Civil Society Organizations worldwide united to define and advocate a common framework for CSO development effectiveness!/CSOpenForum

The Broker Blog
The Broker, in cooperation with the OECD, invites you to contribute to this blog about the challenges of the coming HLF on aid effectivess at Busan.

ODI Blog - The road to Busan and beyond
ODI experts respond to the conference
In the lead up to the Busan conference, ODI experts explore aid effectiveness alongside country ownership, climate finance, and principles for global agreement.

Official Social Media Sites of the Fourth High Level Forum

Sign on to CSO Asks to Busan:
Tell world leaders that you want to add a citizen voice to aid and development decisions.

3. OECD Development Co-operation Report 2011

The Development Co-operation Report is the key annual reference document for statistics and analysis on trends in international aid. This special edition commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). In his Introduction, DAC Chair J. Brian Atwood highlights the role the DAC has played over the past 50 years and signals its continuing relevance in meeting the challenges ahead. Chapters by former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka reflect on lessons learned over the past 50 years of development co-operation. Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women, Hernando de Soto, President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, Sadako Ogata, President of the Japan International Co-operation Agency, and R.K. Pachauri, Chair of the International Panel on Climate Change, provide insights on the challenges of gender equality, empowerment, inclusive development and climate change, respectively. Former DAC Chair Richard Manning and former Director General of the French Development Agency Jean-Michel Severino look ahead to future challenges for official development assistance.

4. Events on Development Effectiveness

One month to Busan – what is the latest from the OECD, and what do the major donors expect to change?
With one month to go until the biggest aid conference in years, ODI hosted Brenda Killen, the head of Aid Effectiveness at the OECD and therefore at the heart of pulling the conference together. A full documentation of the event held in London on 31 October 2011 is available to download.

Busan and beyond: An ODI public events series
As the aid community prepares to meet at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan in November 2011, this ODI event series examines some of the most pressing issues that need to be addressed by the policymaking community.

Knowledge sharing for global development – Building up new partnerships
Bonn, 17.11.2011, 17h, Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Public Lecture with World Bank Managing Director

The Millennium Goals and Beyond: Reflections on an international development policy agenda after 2015
Bonn, 21.-22.11.2011, German Development Institute
International Workshop

5. Publications on Development Effectiveness

Aid effectiveness: bringing country ownership (and politics) back in
ODI Working Papers 336, August 2011
This paper by David Booth considers that assumption untenable and agrees with those arguing that ownership should be treated as a desirable outcome, not an achieved state of affairs. It then asks the corresponding question: whether external actors have any useful role in assisting the emergence of developmental country leaderships.

Capacity Development: Where do EU Members Stand on the Road to Busan?
Gwennaelle Corre, author of the EC study on ‘Supporting the Implementation of the Technical Cooperation for an Enhanced Capacity Development’, found, however that there is a noticeable difference between the Capacity Development practices and experiences of EU Member States. While all European donors do not regard Capacity Development with the same degree of priority, they have become increasingly aware of the importance of supporting it as a way to achieve lasting development results, according to a recent European Commission study.

CSOs on the Road to Busan: CSO Key Messages and Proposals
This paper by BetterAid lays out the main demands from civil society organizations (CSOs) in the run up to the HLF-4. Civil society organizations can sign on to the paper online.

Demanding democratic ownership. D+C article by Antonio Tujan Jr.
Civil society organisations are engaged in the aid effectiveness debate. They have been pushing for deeper, more meaningful reform. In 2008, the Accra HLF recognised CSOs as development actors in their own right. Some of their concerns were adopted by the HLF, including broader country ownership or more effective and inclusive partnerships. Many demands, however, were not met. The most important of these were aid reforms that would enable people to use their human rights (''right-based results”) and introduce democratic ownership free from foreign interference.

Democratic Ownership after Busan: Setting up Integrative Partnerships for Development
In its preparations for the HLF-4, Alliance2015 has surveyed the progress towards democratic ownership based on five case studies – Cambodia, Ghana, Mozambique, Nicaragua and Tanzania – and on a cross-country report focussing on civil society participation in the development process. Donors are not doing enough to provide developing countries the political space they need in order to find their own path to development through real democratic processes. Numerous governments in developing countries have never really endorsed the principle of democratic ownership. They have not taken serious steps towards shaping an enabling environment because they do not sufficiently recognise civil society and parliaments as being independent actors in the development process. When civil society organisations and parliaments are invited to participate, they often do not possess the necessary knowledge about political processes. Therefore, they are frequently unable to make a meaningful contribution to the development process.

Independent Evaluation of the Implementation of the Paris Declaration
The Independent Evaluation of the Implementation of the Paris Declaration is an independent global appraisal of efforts to improve the effectiveness of international aid since 2005. The latest evidence is vital for decisions taken at Busan. It will help in learning lessons and ensuring that all involved in aid meet their commitments.

It’s Complicated: the Challenge of Implementing the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness
By Laurence Chandy, The Brookings Institution.
Of the 13 targets agreed to at the Paris High Level Forum, only one was met. That’s a grim outcome even by the standards of global development, where commitments are regularly professed but rarely fulfilled. It also makes for a gloomy backdrop to this November’s High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Korea. Over the next few weeks, be prepared for a good amount of haranguing and finger-pointing as development activists line up to accuse donor agencies of not trying hard enough and aid skeptics write off the High Level Forum process as an ineffectual talking shop.

Move on. D+C Comment by Sachin Chaturvedi
The time has come to move on beyond ''donors” and ''recipients” in the international development discourse, argues an expert from India. In his view, the focus must be on what is happening in the countries that receive aid flows, and what can improve the lot of their peoples.

Results based aid: limitations of new approaches
GDI Briefing Paper 17/2011 by Stephan Klingebiel
Some of the current instruments already offer useful ways of incentivising performance. For instance, designing budget support with variable tranches. With respect to other RBA approaches (such as Cash on Delivery), practical experience is still lacking. It is possible that the disadvantages might outweigh the advantages. The hoped for benefit of RBA approaches, that of being able to produce clearly verifiable results may only ''seem to be” achievable. RBA approaches assume a clear performance orientation in the partner countries, which applies to the reform dynamic countries, but those without good governance may be less easily encouraged by such a system of incentives, and thus other approaches might be more suitable there.

6. Websites related to Development Effectiveness

Asian Development Bank's MfDR Website
ADB has just launched its new website on _Development Effectiveness and Results_. It merges content on MfDR and aid effectiveness to give users a more streamlined, easy-to-access web experience. The new site reports on what ADB is doing to achieve greater effectiveness and results, both within the institution and with its developing member countries. Browse the News section for articles, speeches, events, feature stories and multimedia related to development effectiveness.

Africa Platform on Development Effectiveness
The Platform brings consultation, coordination and a common voice to Africa's development perspectives, strategies and policies focusing on capacity development, aid effectiveness and south-south cooperation.

BetterAid unites over 1000 development organisations from civil society working on development effectiveness. BetterAid has been challenging the aid effectiveness agenda since January 2007 and is leading many of the civil society activities in the lead up to the HLF-4 in Busan. Public Group on Aid Effectiveness is a growing online community for development practitioners. This interactive platform was set up by EuropeAid to enhance knowledge through the exchange of practices on effective international cooperation.

CSO Development effectiveness
New website on the effectiveness of civil organisations working in Development.

IATI is a global aid transparency standard
IATI consists of a set of aid information standards; an online registry of published data; and a governance and advocacy process that builds the case for transparency across the aid sector. IATI makes information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand.

IDEAS AidRating
AidRating strives to contribute to better aid by measuring effectiveness/impact of interventions and making them comparable. In order to achieve this, we support full project related transparency by donors and contracting agencies.

Impact Evaluation, Development Effectiveness | 3IE
The International Initiative for Impact Evaluations. Improving development effectiveness through better use of evidence from quality impact evaluation.

LenCD Learning Network on Capacity Development - Road to Busan
The ''Road to Busan'' working group has identified 10 key priorities to pursue between now and the High Level Forum. All members of the Learning Network are invited to participate in any or all of these initiatives.

Make Aid Transparent campaign
The Make Aid Transparent campaign is a coalition of 101 civil society organisations who have come together to call on donors to publish more and better information about the aid they give.

SDC Aid Effectiveness Network (SDC-AEnet)
The website of the Swiss SDC Community of Practice on matters related to Aid Effectiveness. You’ll find here information on the SDC-AEnet itself, as well as on the DAC hosted Working Party on Aid Effectiveness, and SDC’s role in it.

The Open Forum for CSO
The Open Forum brings together civil society organisations from around the world to discuss the issues and challenges to their effectiveness as development actors. Its objective is to propose, by late 2011, a global effectiveness framework for CSOs. The Open Forum is accessible to all interested CSOs worldwide, including NGOs, church-related organisations, trade unions, social movements and grassroots organisations.

United Nations Development Group
The UNDG Task Team has agreed on a joint statement and key messages for HLF-4 on the global aid architecture and the role of multilateral institutions, capacity development, and on countries affected by conflict and fragility. The UNDG/ECHA Working Group on Transitions is used at the platform to develop coordinated and coherent UN messages on crisis and post-crisis issues, feeding in to the joint preparations of the UNDG task team, as well as to the relevant external processes, i.e. the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding and the International Network on Conflict and Fragility (INCAF).

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