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Use of PCD indicators by a selection of EU Member States: A brief analysis and overview

Discussion Paper 171

January 2015

Seters, J. van, Galeazzi, G., Helly, D., Knoll., A., Lein, B., Rosengren, A., Sherriff, A. 2015. Use of PCD indicators by a selection of EU Member States. (Discussion Paper 171). Maastricht: ECDPM.

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This discussion paper maps systems to monitor Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) efforts of a select number of EU Member States, particularly their use of PCD indicators. Its aim is to inform endeavours by governments seeking to establish a monitoring mechanism to guide PCD efforts and strengthen accountability, by reinforcing their capacity to monitor, analyse and report on the development impacts of their own policies on partner countries.

PCD indicators should be derived from PCD objectives and are therefore necessarily country specific, but the approaches by different EU countries can still provide inspiration and bring useful lessons to others when developing their own tailor-made PCD monitoring system.

Key Messages

  • PCD monitoring and the development of indicators need to fit in the broader institutional PCD system and be owned beyond the international development department. It is a continuous process, not a one-off exercise. Exchanges with NGOs and academics can help to develop and track progress on PCD indicators.
  • Strategically defining a small number of thematic focus areas is important, to guide PCD efforts and ensure accountability.
  • There is a need to develop explicit chains of causality to underpin indicators. It should contain a mix of information on policy outcome, output and input. More specific indicators can provide better guidance and accountability, but broad ownership, which may require specificity concessions to balance different interests, is also of great importance to advance the PCD agenda. The monitoring framework can cover national, EU and international policy initiatives. 
  • The steps taken in some EU Member States to strengthen PCD monitoring frameworks provide some insight for other countries in the EU and beyond. Nevertheless, the analysis has shown that PCD monitoring remains challenging. The adoption and use of PCD indicators is still in its infancy, even within countries that have had a PCD ‘system’ for some time. 

This brief analysis has been conducted and published with the financial support of the Portuguese Cooperation (the Camões-Institute for Cooperation and Language) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to inform their efforts to further develop own PCD monitoring systems.

The authors would like to thank the interviewees for their useful input. The views expressed in this discussion paper are those of the authors only and should not be attributed to any other person or institution. The lead author of this paper is Jeske van Seters with Greta Galeazzi, Damien Helly, Anna Knoll, Brecht Lein, Anna Rosengren and Andrew Sherriff. The authors are grateful for the editing work undertaken by Cecilia Gregersen and layout work done by Tilly Bogataj – de Coninck.

The research for this paper was undertaken and completed in October 2014. ECDPM welcomes feedback on this paper. For questions or remarks, please contact Jeske van Seters, Deputy Head of the Food Security Programme (jvs@ecdpm.org) or Andrew Sherriff, Head of the European External Action Programme (as@ecdpm.org).

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Photo Courtesy of Steve Jurveston

In addition to structural support by ECDPM’s institutional partners The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and Austria, this publication also benefits from funding from the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) and Camões Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua.

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