Which effectiveness models could make the greatest contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals?

Article, 29.11.2016

Between 30 November and 2 December, more than 150 donor nations and development aid recipients will meet in Nairobi, Kenya, to work out the best way to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, and to discuss the principles that make development cooperation more effective and sustainable.

A local woman smiling broadly.
In Laos, the SDC works with local authorities to improve the access of poor communities to basic services. So far, over 650,000 people have benefited from new infrastructures, which they also helped to plan. © Adrian Gnägi

The meeting, which was convened by the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation and which will take place in Nairobi from 30 November to 2 December, is sure to bring about lively and thought-provoking discussions. The summit will provide a platform for the 150 or so participating State delegations and representatives of multilateral organisations, civil society and the private sector to agree on a set of aid effectiveness standards that take their cue from the Sustainable Development Goals set out in the 2030 Agenda. 

The Nairobi Summit follows on from the Paris Declaration (2005), the Accra Agenda for Action (2008) and the Busan Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (2011), all of which sought to improve coordination and division of labour among donor nations and to make recipients of public aid more accountable. 

Suzanne Müller, an aid effectiveness expert at the SDC, sheds some light on the subject. 

What does “effective” development cooperation actually mean?

Effective programmes and projects are those which lead to positive and sustainable change at the local and institutional level. Take safe drinking water, for example. Every single member of the population, including the poorest, must have access to clean water so as to reduce their likelihood of falling ill. At the same time, the local water supply must be secured in the long-term by well-functioning institutions such as water committees and other local and national authorities. 

What contribution can the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation make to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda?

The 2030 Agenda is a global agenda. This means that it applies to all nations, including Switzerland, and not just developing countries. Its aim is to eradicate poverty worldwide, protect our planet and ensure a prosperous future for all. The Global Partnership is primarily concerned with the quality of development cooperation efforts in relation to the Agenda. The exchange of experiences between countries and regions which is set to take place in Nairobi should make a sustained contribution to the realisation of the Agenda 2030 objectives. 

How? What, in this regard, does Switzerland consider particularly important?

Switzerland continues to support the principles of the Global Partnership, such as agreeing common goals with partner countries, mutual accountability, ownership of development priorities by partner countries, as well as the involvement of civil society and the private sector in the realisation of the objectives of the universal 2030 Agenda. Switzerland will show how it applies these principles, explain why priority should be given to efforts in fragile countries, and set out the challenges that this will entail. It will also present a number of innovative financing methods.