GPEDC Report Finds “Mixed Progress” on Development Partnerships
Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The OECD- and UNDP-led Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, reports that while national governments have made “significant progress” in strengthening national development planning, donor countries are giving less directly to partner countries’ budgets.

Multilateral development banks have increased their reliance on country-owned results frameworks, but bilateral donors in general have become less aligned to the priorities expressed by partner countries.

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) has released the findings of a 2018 monitoring study, reporting “mixed progress” in the quality of development partnerships. The study finds that countries are increasingly using the SDGs as a shared results framework, but the enabling environment for civil society has generally declined.

While national governments have made “significant progress” in strengthening national development planning, the report finds, donor countries are giving less directly to partner countries’ budgets, which means that there is limited parliamentary oversight of funds received by developing countries.

Other findings and recommendations from the 166-page report are:

  • Multilateral development banks (MDBs) have increased their reliance on country-owned results frameworks, but bilateral donors in general have become less aligned to the priorities expressed by partner countries;
  • There are insufficient government data available, and national statistics systems need to be strengthened;
  • Public financial management systems, including procurement systems, have been strengthened, but donors are not always using them;
  • Government engagement with civil society could be more regular and could involve more diverse stakeholders;
  • Civil society organizations (CSOs) report that there are fewer protections for CSOs working with at-risk populations and exercising freedom of expression;
  • All actors are experiencing limited capacity to engage in public-private dialogue, although this is still seen as useful; and
  • There is room for improvement in making official data available on development co-operation.

In the course of this study, GPEDC leaders – the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) – drew on data collected by 86 partnership countries and territories, in collaboration with more than 100 development partners. Data collected during the GPEDC study relate to SDG targets on respecting each country’s policy space and leadership on poverty eradication and sustainable development (SDG target 17.15), enhancing the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships (SDG target 17.16), and adopting and strengthening policies and legislation for gender equality and women’s empowerment (SDG target 5.C).

GPEDC was established by the 2011 Busan Partnership agreement to promote effective partnerships between developing countries and donors. It monitors progress biennially, based on four internationally agreed principles for development partnerships: country ownership; focus on results; inclusive partnerships; and transparency and mutual accountability. [Publication: Making Development Co-operation More Effective: 2019 Progress Report] [Report Headlines] [Publication Landing Page]

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