GPEDC Officials Call for Effective Cooperation to Get SDGs “Back on Track”
Photo by IISD/ENB | Ángeles Estrada Vigil
story highlights

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation convened the first-ever senior-level meeting in New York.

Officials discussed the outcome of a 2018 monitoring exercise reviewing the effectiveness of USD 58.8 billion spent in the form of grants and loans by more than 100 development partners around the world.

GPEDC noted that the data show “a mixed picture” of development effectiveness: while development planning is more inclusive and the SDGs are increasingly used as a framework for monitoring results, civic space is shrinking in many contexts, and development aid has somewhat fallen.

14 July 2019: The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) convened a senior-level meeting to reflect on the effectiveness of USD 58.8 billion spent in the form of grants and loans by more than 100 development partners around the world. The meeting also launched a tailored approach for assessing development effectiveness in fragile contexts, voluntary guidelines for effective triangular cooperation, and the Kampala Principles for effective private sector engagement.

The first-ever Senior-Level Meeting (SLM) took place from 13-14 July 2019, in New York, US, in conjunction with the 2019 session of the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). More than 600 senior representatives from government, civil society, business, multilateral banks and other partners took part in the SLM, which hosted by the governments of Bangladesh, Germany, Uganda and a non-governmental co-chair. It was supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

With SDG ambition moving from billions to trillions, multi-stakeholder approaches and development partners’ way of working together will become increasingly critical.

GPEDC monitoring informs the tracking of SDG targets on resource allocations to promote gender equality (SDG target 5.c), multi-stakeholder partnerships (SDG target 17.6) and country leadership and policy space (SDG target 17.15). The partnership notes that ambition around the SDGs has moved from focusing on a whole-of-government effort to whole-of-society, and from billions to trillions needed in funds; therefore, multi-stakeholder approaches and development partners’ way of working together will become increasingly critical in providing an enabling architecture of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

GPEDC noted that data from a 2018 monitoring exercise show “a mixed picture” of development effectiveness: while development planning is more inclusive and the SDGs are increasingly used as a framework for monitoring results, civic space is shrinking in many contexts, and development aid has fallen.

Ahead of the SLM, in an opinion editorial published by Inter Press Service (IPS) on 5 July, Ulrika Modeer, UNDP, and Susanna Moorehead, Chair of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC), highlighted the value of GPEDC monitoring, noting that 86 aid-receiving countries, territories, CSOs, trade unions, local governments and other entities had been involved in the 2018 review exercise. They noted that development planning, led by recipient governments, has improved in quality and scope, and international development actors are increasingly using local procurement systems, which allows more funds to stay in the recipient countries. They added, however, that donors have been reluctant to fund government activities, and aid has become more short-term and less predictable, which affects countries’ ability to plan. They expressed concern that official development assistance (ODA) has fallen by 3% to the least developed countries (LDCs), and by 4% to Africa.

In opening remarks at the SLM, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed called on delegates to ensure that unlocking SDG financing goes beyond traditional aid or narrow interpretations of national public funding. She said the 2030 Agenda can be the way to “transition” out of challenges related to climate change, inequality and migration. [UNDP Opening Press Release]

Besides discussing the results of the 2018 monitoring exercise, the meeting launched several initiatives, incluing a tailored approach for assessing development effectiveness in fragile contexts, voluntary guidelines for effective triangular cooperation, and the Kampala Principles for effective private sector engagement, which were agreed at a GPEDC Steering Committee earlier in the year. The meeting also called on civil society stakeholders to assess the challenges and bottlenecks that limit their contributions to sustainable development. [UNDP Closing Press Release]

In a statement released at the close of the meeting, the GPEDC co-chairs highlight the role of the Global Partnership in catalyzing change at the country level. They call for directly supporting actors working in various sectors on specific SDG challenges, and further strengthening linkages to the VNR process at the country level. The statement stresses that achieving the SDGs and leaving no one behind will require joint action, trust building and a stronger focus on the quality of cooperation. [GPEDC Meeting Announcement] [Report on headlines of the Global Partnership 2019 Progress Report]

related posts