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GREAT insights Magazine

Monthly Highlights from ECDPM’s Weekly Compass Update, GREAT Insights, Volume 2, Issue 8 (November 2013)

November 2013

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European Union Policy Coherence for Food Security: Aligning Parallel Agendas. Weekly Compass, No 166, 31 October 2013
While the EU is the world’s major development actor on food security, some of its other policies are still contested as harmful to global food security and agricultural development. This paper from ECDPM discusses how far the EU’s commitments and institutional mechanisms for Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) have supported its development objectives in the area of global food security. Derived from the PCD Work Programme 2010-2013, four EU policy areas with a potential impact on food security are discussed: agriculture, fisheries, trade and biofuels. Much remains to be done to increase PCD’s usefulness as a guidance and reporting tool. Recommendations to enhance PCD efforts for food security include: stronger linkages between the development and PCD agendas, clearer targets, stronger but realistic political engagement and a broader knowledge base on impacts. Without a strong political drive, there is a distinct lack of scope to promote genuine change towards more development-friendly EU policy-making the paper finds.

Road to regional integration still rocky. Weekly Compass, No 166, 31 October 2013
Africa’s political leaders have taken bold steps to strengthen and promote production and competitiveness that would normally accelerate the momentum for regional integration. But this has not been the case, according to the new edition of “Assessing Regional Integration in Africa” jointly published by the African Development Bank, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union. The publication themed “Harmonizing Policies to Transform the Trading Environment,”stresses the need to remove trade barriers and harmonize policies to promote regional integration. The authors note that while countries have achieved some milestones on the path towards integration, “the road to completely dismantling barriers to trade is strewn with obstacles and requires a thorough understanding of regional integration and trade policies.”

Conference: Are EU-Africa relations still fit for purpose? Weekly Compass, No 165, 25 October 2013
On Monday 28 October, the European Think Tanks Group meeting: ‘Looking beyond 2013: Are EU-Africa relations still fit for purpose?’ will take place in Brussels. This invitation-only high level conference will bring together speakers from both continents to discuss the shifting and complex internal and external dynamics in Europe and Africa. Four sessions will take place on: the role of private sector, governance and EU political conditionality in Africa, food security and dialogue on peace and security challenges. The conference will also feature a keynote speech from Pedro Pires, former President of Cape Verde, which will be livestreamed through the ECDPM youtube page at 7:30pm (GMT+1). You can also follow the event throughout the day on Twitter using the hashtag #AfricaEU2014. The conference is being run by ECDPM, the Overseas Development Institute, FRIDE and the German Development institute. The results of the conference will be presented to the Africa-EU Joint Task Force the following day. For more information on the issues, follow our blog on Africa-Europe relations featuring contributions from prominent stakeholders from Europe and Africa. 

What is the impact of the aid and development effectiveness agenda on capacity development support? Weekly Compass, No 165, 25th October 2013
This paper from the German Development Institute analyses to what extent the aid and development effectiveness agenda has been applied in the area of capacity development support, with a specific focus on the use of developing country systems. The paper is based on a literature review and a limited number of semi-structured interviews, as well as a review of available research evidence on capacity development support practices in Mozambique, Nepal, Rwanda and Vietnam. Three main conclusions are drawn from this paper. First of all, available research confirms that aid and development effectiveness achievements in the area of capacity development have been slow and disappointing, owing to reform-resistance of key stakeholders involved. Secondly, considerable potential remains to strengthen the effectiveness of capacity development support by further adapting approaches to design, deliver and evaluate interventions in reference to key aid and development effectiveness principles.

This article was published in GREAT Insights Volume 2, Issue 8 (November 2013).