Linking policy and practice in international cooperation

Talking Points blog overview

About the Talking Points blog

01-05-2020
  • ECDPM

The Talking Points blog, produced by our people and partners, aims to deepen the dialogue on policy issues, and get to the heart of the matter in an honest and concise way. ...

A Safer Entrance than Lampedusa?

Will Juncker’s New Commission Find Good Solutions for Migration and Development in EU External Action

19-09-2014
  • Anna Knoll
  • Essete Abebe Bekele

To better govern migration for the future economic benefit of both Europe and Africa, and to ease the current crisis of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean, Jean-Claude Junker’s new Commission College must ...

Why a new Dutch Food and Nutrition Security Policy should invest more in improving governance

16-09-2014
  • Paul Engel

A review of Dutch food security policy is underway. By the end of this year, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Affairs will send a joint food security policy paper to ...

The Top Jobs in Commissioners' Private Offices – Planning Fantasy Football with your Team

12-09-2014
  • Andrew Sherriff

The Commissioner portfolios have now been allocated, but there are still a few jobs up for grabs in the private offices. These private offices known as Cabinets of the Commissioners for Trade ...

New European Commission Structure Should Lead to More Effective EU Global Action

12-09-2014
  • Melissa Julian

On Wednesday, European Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker put forward his proposals for European Commissioner portfolios and a new Commission structure. The new College will have seven Vice-Presidents, including the High Representative of ...

How can The Netherlands most Effectively Contribute to Achieving Sustainable Food Systems?

02-09-2014
  • Jeske van Seters

A review of Dutch food security policy is underway. By the end of this year, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Affairs will send a joint food security policy paper to ...

Financements et mise en œuvre des stratégies Sahel

Première partie

27-08-2014
  • Damien Helly
  • Greta Galeazzi

Mise à jour sur le financement et la mise en œuvre des stratégies existantes pour le Sahel, sur la base de sources ouvertes. Ce blog est l’avant-dernier de notre série de 5 ...

Breaking Heads over Questions of Change

The approach is commendable, but we might ask whether the tools presented would be used by those elites that are in the position to use them effectively

27-08-2014
  • Frauke de Weijer

In his article – and the book upon which it is based – Seth Kaplan aims to look at the power dynamics and the role of elites and then seeks ways to make ...

Financements et mise en œuvre des stratégies Sahel

Deuxième partie

27-08-2014
  • Damien Helly
  • Greta Galeazzi

Vous pouvez lire, télécharger et partager l’ensemble de notre travail sur le Sahel dans le Dossier Sahel de l’ECDPM Notre série de blogs sur les stratégies internationales dans le Sahel vise à ...

What China is Doing to Africa: Copper Beneficiation in Botswana

Guest article

11-08-2014
  • Roman Grynberg

Image: Selibe Pikwe mine, Botswana. By Merlin on Flickr Botswana’s copper and base metals firms are in discussions along with the government over the road ahead for beneficiation in the country. Two ...

US – Africa Leaders Summit: Are we up for a New Deal?

01-08-2014
  • Isabelle Ramdoo

Next week (4 – 6 August) the United States will host the first ever US-Africa Summit in Washington D.C. This Summit is a remarkable shift in the strategic and diplomatic repositioning of ...

Addressing Peace, Security and State Fragility – How can the EU do Better?

28-07-2014
  • Andrew Sherriff
  • Volker Hauck

Photo: March 2013 conflict IDPS North Kivu, DRC European Commission DG ECHO  In the run up to 1 September, we, the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG), will be publishing a blog each Monday setting out the ...

Europe and the Sustainable Development Goals

An Update on the Post-2015 Process

25-07-2014
  • Anna Knoll

Last week the UN Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals (OWG) adopted their final report to standing ovations after 13 formal sessions and a final marathon meeting.  From a European ...

5 Take-aways from the OECD Global Forum on Development

18-07-2014
  • Sebastian Große-Puppendahl

The Global Forum on Development hosted last week by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development discussed how sustained and inclusive growth could be achieved in development, despite structural development challenges and lagging productivity. One of ...

Shining a Light on the Shadowy Institutions that Dominate the Development Landscape

Guest article from Eurodad

18-07-2014
  • María José Romero

Rich country governments and multilateral institutions have provided grants and loans to companies working in developing countries for decades. However, the scale of this support has increased enormously, and the institutions providing ...

Making Sense of the Funding and Implementation of Sahel Strategies

Part Two

17-07-2014
  • Damien Helly
  • Greta Galeazzi

Our series of blogs on international strategies in the Sahel aims to better equip practitioners working in the region. We started by comparing Sahel strategies (AU, EU, World Bank, AfDB, ECOWAS, UN), ...

Three Take-away Messages from the African Union Summit in Malabo on Agriculture and Food Security

Was the recent African Union (AU) Summit theme of Agriculture and Food Security just symbolic in nature?

16-07-2014
  • Jeske van Seters

Simply because we are currently in the African Union Year of Agriculture and Food Security, or did something substantial come out of it? Here are three key takeaways, from the summit of ...

Making Sense of Funding and Implementation of Sahel Strategies

Part One

14-07-2014
  • Damien Helly
  • Essete Abebe Bekele
  • Greta Galeazzi

You can read, download and share all of our work on the Sahel at ECDPM’s Sahel Dossier Over the next two blogs we want to give you some tentative updates on the ...

AU Summit in Malabo: Moving Agricultural Development and Food Security Forward

27-06-2014
  • Jeske van Seters

Today the African Union (AU) Summit of Heads of State and Government in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea comes to a close. The spotlight is on agriculture and food security in Africa, as the ...

Six modes d’action régionale au Sahel-Sahara

Eviter mirages et bourbiers

27-06-2014
  • Damien Helly
  • Greta Galeazzi

Ce troisième blogue sur les stratégies internationales pour le Sahel s’interroge sur ce que “faire du régional” peut signifier au Sahel-Sahara, à la suite de notre blogue précédent sur les enjeux des ...

Financing Infrastructure Development: Quality over Quantity

27-06-2014
  • Sebastian Große-Puppendahl

Finance is not the main constraint, despite the current focus on financing infrastructure development in recent summits and discussions around the new sustainable development goals (SDGs), I discuss in this blog. Rather ...

Six Ways to Think and Act Regionally in the Sahel-Sahara

Avoiding Sand Castles or Being Stuck in the Mud

25-06-2014
  • Damien Helly
  • Greta Galeazzi

This third blog on international strategies for the Sahel looks at what working regionally could mean in the Sahel-Sahara, following an analysis of what is really at stake behind current debates on ...

Coordination dans le Sahel : A la recherche d’un leadership collectif

06-06-2014
  • Damien Helly
  • Greta Galeazzi

La coordination des bailleurs de fonds et des acteurs de la région peut aider à gérer les questions transfrontalières au Sahel, notamment le crime organisé, la sécurité alimentaire et la gouvernance. La ...

The Alphabet Soup of Coordination in the Sahel: In Search of Collective Leadership

05-06-2014
  • Damien Helly
  • Greta Galeazzi

Coordination from donors and actors from the region itself can help address the Sahel’s cross-border challenges including organised crime, food security and governance to name but a few. Coordination matters if it ...

How Will the EU's Private Sector Strategy Play Out?

02-06-2014
  • Bruce Byiers
  • Florian Krätke

Having spent an average of €350 million ($477 million) per year on private sector development over the past decade, the newly launched European policy statement on the topic is an important addition to a ...

Will the Action Plan to Implement the EU’s Comprehensive Approach Have Any Bite?

23-05-2014
  • Andrew Sherriff
  • Volker Hauck

If ever there were a time when the EU needs to be more comprehensive and coherent in its international action, it is now – and not just in response to the crisis ...

European Development Finance Post-2015: Public Meets Private?

21-05-2014
  • Florian Krätke

Continuing ODI’s financing progress series with a look to post-2015, Florian Krätke looks at the increasing importance of private finance and how European public aid is working alongside it – do private and public ...

Les stratégies Sahel en perspective - Troisième conférence des donateurs sur le Mali

Avantages comparatifs ou jungle de coopération internationale ?

21-05-2014
  • Damien Helly
  • Greta Galeazzi

Coordonner les diverses stratégies dans le Sahel permettra aux partenaires et bailleurs de fonds de renforcer leur légitimité en répondant aux menaces complexes de sécurité et de développement dans la région. + ...

Sahel Strategies Compared - Third Donors Conference on Mali

Comparative Advantages or International Cooperation Jungle?

16-05-2014
  • Damien Helly
  • Greta Galeazzi

Coordinating various strategies in the Sahel will allow donors and partners to build their legitimacy in responding to complex security and development threats in the region. +++ New Blog Series on the ...

African Funds for African Development?

The Relevance of Curtailing Illicit Financial Flows

15-05-2014
  • Sahra El Fassi

The African Union Commission (AUC) has turned the spotlight back on Africa’s responsibility for its own development and efforts to curb illicit financial flows (IFFs) are firmly on the map. Illicit financial ...

New EU Communication on the Private Sector

Navigating the Narratives on Business Partnerships for Development in Africa

13-05-2014
  • Bruce Byiers
  • Florian Krätke

“So what we are discussing is how to give public money to private firms and call it development assistance. That is it.” This was the closing remark in a recent government on ...

Migration and Mobility in the Africa-EU Partnership: A Breakthrough or More of the Same?

18-04-2014
  • Anna Knoll
  • Essete Abebe Bekele

For the migration and mobility partnership between Africa and the EU to lead to real results, cooperation needs to include genuine plans for mobility and overcome a focus on the ‘root’ cause ...

Development Assistance in a Multipolar World

17-04-2014
  • Erik Solheim

In a rapidly changing world with new geopolitical and economic balances of power, development assistance has to adapt. The most important thing is that we are clear about the role development cooperation ...

New Deal for Fragile States Needs Time and Political Commitment to Flourish

17-04-2014
  • Helder da Costa

Some claim the 2011 Busan agreement is already in crisis, but statebuilding demands patience, resources and resolve. The tragic series of events that have struck South Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR) in recent months ...

Good News from Durban: CAADP Getting More Results-Oriented!

11-04-2014
  • Francesco Rampa

Just before travelling to Durban for the annual Partnership Platform of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), I was asking whether such meeting could  become a key milestone for the African ...

Are Africa and Europe Turning a New Page in Their Relationship?

11-04-2014
  • Faten Aggad-Clerx
  • James Mackie

Seeking to understand the potential impact of a Summit immediately after the event is a perilous task, yet looking at the outcomes of last week’s 4th Africa-EU Summit it is possible to ...

Beauty Contests and Economic Transformation

28-03-2014
  • Bruce Byiers

 “As beauty is only skin-deep, so too is growth”. So Joe Amoako-Kuffour began the Brussels launch of the Africa Transformation Report by ACET (African Centre for Economic Transformation) last week. “Growth may be good, ...

Don’t Ignore the Elephants in the Room - Will the Africa-EU Summit Revitalise the Partnership?

28-03-2014
  • Geert Laporte

To make the summit a success strong leadership will be needed on both sides of the partnership to square up to the elephants in the room, sorting out the differences to get ...

By the Numbers – How Donors Can Support a Demand-Led Post-2015 Data and Statistics Revolution

28-03-2014
  • Florian Krätke

Do we need a ‘data revolution’ goal to create the right demand for a data and statistics revolution post-2015? Recent calls for a ‘data revolution’ emphasise how in the dark we are ...

Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR): The Challenge of Rejuvenating an Old-School Principle Ahead of the 2015 Climate Negotiations

21-03-2014
  • Hanne Knaepen

Last week I attended a panel discussion on ‘Revisiting the Principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR): Opportunities for the 2015 Climate Agreement’. Hosted by the Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik/German Development Institute (DIE), ...

Water for Agriculture in SADC: Realising the Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus

20-03-2014
  • Lesley-Anne van Wyk

Close to Kasane, in the very north of Botswana, and Impalila Island in the very east of Namibia, the Zambezi River forms the junction of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The river ...

After 10 Years, Make or Break for CAADP?

14-03-2014
  • Francesco Rampa

Next week, people will gather in Durban for the annual Partnership Platform of the continent wide Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). ECDPM will be there too. This meeting is an absolutely ...

Regional Programming for the 11th European Development Fund

Does RIPs Spell ‘Regional Integration Promise’ or ‘Rest In Peace’?

21-02-2014
  • Florian Krätke

The mood at the 2013 African Economic Conference was clear – progress on regional integration in Africa has been slow. The EU is an obvious candidate to support African regional organisations’ (ROs) to drive ...

Taxes and Fragile States – How Political Can it Get?

14-02-2014
  • Bruce Byiers
  • Frauke de Weijer

The 2014 OECD report on Domestic Resource Mobilization in Fragile States is an interesting – and paradoxical – example of the current debate on statebuilding. Linking domestic resource mobilisation and fragile states is a ...

The European Commission, Civil Society Organisations and the Private Sector – When Talking the Same Language Isn’t Quite Enough

14-02-2014
  • Bruce Byiers

The Economist magazine has an amusing article that does the rounds from time to time that translates what a native english speaker says (e.g. “that’s not bad”), what the listener understands (“that’s good or ...

The Elusive Win-Win Balance in Mining. Part 1 – ‘A Very Complex Puzzle…’

12-02-2014
  • San Bilal

Mining companies, African governments and civil society organisations seem to live in parallel worlds that rarely meet. When they do, as in African Mining Indaba last week, it is mostly in the margins, and ...

The Elusive Win-Win Balance in Mining. Part 2 – Show Your Working in the Margin

12-02-2014
  • San Bilal

Constructive talks between mining companies and development actors do take place, but mainly in “the margin”. In a literal sense, as business and governments met in confined rooms around the main conference ...

What the Extractive Sector Should Focus On – Part 1: Shared Value

07-02-2014
  • Isabelle Ramdoo

As resource-rich countries continue to enjoy high growth rates, the time has come to think about what collaborative business relationships can finally do for inclusive and sustainable development. From 3 – 6 February 2014, ...

What the Extractive Sector Should Focus On – Part 2: Partnerships

07-02-2014
  • Isabelle Ramdoo

In Part 1 of this blog I said that one of the main points that came out of the Mining Indaba Conference from the  3rd to the 6th February 2014 in Cape Town  ...

ODA Reform: Change for the Sake of Change?

07-02-2014
  • William Hynes

+++ Guest post by William Hynes+++ Official Development Assistance (ODA) has for 45 years been the global standard for measuring donor efforts in support of development co-operation objectives. There have recently been ...