The role of the «Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation» in the post-2015 era

As the 2015 deadline draws near, all of us must do more to deliver on our commitments. And as we shape an inspiring post-2015 development agenda, the international community must be committed to supporting the future goals and targets through a renewed global partnership. @ UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras @ UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Andrea Birrer
member of SDC Network Aid Effectiveness

10 June 2014 - New goals for sustainable development are currently negotiated within the UN. When talking about the "what", we must not forget to think about the "how". Could the GPEDC play an important role in the implementation of the new agenda?

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation

Building on a range of international efforts, the GPEDC was established at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in 2011 (Busan, Korea) to sustain political dialogue on issues related to the quality and effectiveness of development cooperation. The Busan Partnership agreement has been endorsed by a wide range of stakeholders. Switzerland has been actively engaged all along this process, amongst other things contributing to the High-Level Meeting held in Mexico in April 2014.

Official website of the GPEDC

Development Cooperation Effectiveness in a Post-2015 Context

Development cooperation is in a fundamental transition phase. The post-2015 agenda is expected to change the understanding of development policy, covering equally environmental, economic and social issues, integrating new actors and mobilizing new means. In order to implement it on the ground, the UN members may have to consider mandating a platform to support their development cooperation efforts. The large scope of this broad reform will have to reflect the setup of development cooperation in order to stay relevant.

The big question is therefore the following: How can the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation fit with the vision of a New Global Partnership for Sustainable Development (to replace the MDG 8) for the implementation of the post-2015 framework?

Rivalry between DCF and GPEDC risks being at the expense of effectiveness

The GPEDC would be well suited as a global platform to support and coordinate development cooperation beyond 2015. However, there is an important obstacle: the GPEDC is not a formal UN process and, in spite of high ranking UN presence at the High-level Meeting in Mexico, the outcomes of GPEDC discussions are not fully taken up by the UN members during their discussion around the post-2015 agenda. In particular the attempt to include new actors and issues is at times creating tension with processes led by the UN, such as the UN Development Cooperation Forum (DCF). It is therefore high time that the respective roles of the GPEDC and DCF are discussed and that the focus shifts to synergies and complementarities instead of political rivalry! Shunning this discussion comes, ironically, at the expense of effective development cooperation.

An OECD-led process: an original sin?

It is a little unfair that the GPEDC finds itself in this jam. It was in order to respond to pressure to make aid better and bigger that OECD countries regulated themselves in the first place and sought to engage new actors (such as partner countries, representatives of civil society, parliamentarians, the private sector, foundations, and local authorities) and new issues (domestic resource mobilization, south-south and triangular cooperation, middle-income countries and public-private cooperation). With a more inclusive architecture and a global monitoring exercise, the OECD countries have helped create the only international process with any real teeth in terms of improving aid effectiveness for development. The five effectiveness principles first articulated in Paris are now common currency. So how can we build on this valuable experience? With an eye on the post-2015 agenda, to which the GPEDC must be seen as an active contributor, engaging more with the UN is urgent.

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