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. ...

11th CAADP Partnership Platform: “Walking the Talk" on regional cooperation?

Ahead of the 11th CAADP PP, ECDPM's Francesco Rampa argues that Regional Economic Communities should have a stronger role in CAADP implementation.

20-03-2015
  • Francesco Rampa

The Partnership Platform (PP) is the key annual moment for multi-stakeholder discussions on the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), and the Johannesburg event is particularly important, as it’s the first PP ...

The Tipping Point for African Regional Integration

13-03-2015
  • Donald Kaberuka

Regional integration in Africa is not just about politics, but economics. The President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, summarises the key points from their recent Development Report 2014 in this ...

Is Education a Hidden Shortcut from Crisis to Stability?

13-03-2015
  • Fernanda Faria
  • Matthias Deneckere

The post-2015 education agenda must fully integrate itself into the humanitarian and peacebuilding agendas if it is to fully harness the potential of education for long-term stability and development. 2015 marks the ...

The universal post-2015 agenda – how fit for purpose is the ACP-EU partnership?

10-03-2015
  • Jean Bossuyt
  • Niels Keijzer (Alumnus)

Universality is one of the key aspects of the global post-2015 agenda, but what does this mean for ACP-EU? Jean Bossuyt and Niels Keijzer explore in this ECDPM blog. “Universality is fundamental: we ...

Blending or still just mixing?

Blending can be a useful tool in unlocking additional project funds and increase innovative development financing.

04-03-2015
  • Sander Winckel

Although several Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been reached, there is still a huge financing gap (approximately US$ 2,500bn per year), which is needed to meet the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ...

Towards a more coherent EU external action: where does the ACP fit?

Europe’s quest for the holy grail of a global strategy

02-03-2015

    Discussing ACP-EU relations in a silo is a risky choice, Jean Bossuyt and Andrew Sherriff explain why.  Europe’s global environment is evolving rapidly, as is Europe itself. The million dollar question is ...

    Is Mimica Holding all the Aces?

    A Paradigm Shift in International Cooperation Will Need Much More Than This

    24-02-2015
    • Alisa Herrero Cangas

    Mimica’s first 100 days have shown us how he may play the game of international development cooperation during his tenure. Here’s hoping he has not shown all his cards…. “This year can ...

    Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Conflict and Emergencies

    Will the Momentum be Used to Address the Right Challenges?

    13-02-2015
    • Matthias Deneckere
    • Tony Land
    • Volker Hauck

    In fragile regions affected by conflict, civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) is increasingly being seen as an essential tool for statebuilding and good governance. But to make it work, decision-makers need ...

    Tackling the Threat of Terrorism and Election Violence

    A Challenging Year Ahead for Africa in 2015

    06-02-2015
    • Adedayo Bolaji-Adio
    • Sahra El Fassi

    2015 Global Development Challenges Series - Part 6  The combination of high-risk elections and the burgeoning violence of terrorist groups could make 2015 a particularly turbulent year for African countries. But these threats to ...

    A Universal Global Partnership - Wishful Thinking?

    First Thoughts on the New EU Commission Communication

    06-02-2015
    • Sebastian Große-Puppendahl

    2015 Global Development Challenges Series - Part 7  2015, the European Year for Development, is a pivotal year for global sustainable development and poverty eradication. It is a response to the fundamental challenges facing ...

    Is EU External Action up to the Challenge of Boko Haram?

    30-01-2015
    • Sophie Desmidt
    • Volker Hauck

    2015 Global Development Challenges Series - Part 5   In 2015, the EU needs to face up to the mounting challenges coming from the heartlands of Africa. It needs to work with its African partners ...

    Doing More with Less - Where EU Ambition Meets Sobering Reality

    23-01-2015
    • Alisa Herrero Cangas
    • Greta Galeazzi

    2015 Global Development Challenges Series - Part 4  Federica Mogherini’s appointment as the new EU High Representative has been received with reasonable enthusiasm in Africa. However, the extent to which Mogherini will be able ...

    Do EU Evaluations Lead to Better Results? The Importance of Uptake

    22-01-2015
    • Alfonso Medinilla Aldana
    • Jean Bossuyt

    Development cooperation is probably one of the most intensively evaluated policy domains. The EU alone produces an impressive stream of evaluations every year. These include 10-12 “strategic” evaluations, which seek to understand ...

    2014 in Review: 20 Blogs and Publications to Read Again

    19-12-2014
    • ECDPM

    This year was a landmark year for the EU and Africa partnership, with the 4th EU-Africa Summit that took place in Brussels. The exhaustive 12-year negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreements, the ...

    What Europe Can and Should do for Global Development

    17-12-2014
    • Linda McAvan MEP

    2015 Global Development Challenges Series - Part 3 In the third of our blogs ahead of the 2015 Challenges Paper, Linda McAvan MEP Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Development, shares her perspectives on the ...

    Innovation and Development: Going to Mars, and More

    17-12-2014
    • Francesca Guadagno

    Last week, NASA tested the resistance of Orion, a spacecraft with habitats for potential Mars trips. The operation cost $370m. This flight test brings the USA closer to the target of sending ...

    Infrastructure in Africa: on Technical Fixes and Politics

    Lessons from the annual meeting of the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa

    17-12-2014
    • Bert Jacobs

    By Bert Jacobs, University of Antwerp (part of the ECDPM-theIDLGroup project on the Political Economy of Regional Integration in Africa) With interest in African infrastructure investment at an all-time high, Africa’s regional ...

    3 Priorities for a Successful 2015 Financing for Development Conference

    12-12-2014
    • Sebastian Große-Puppendahl

    The intergovernmentally negotiated and agreed outcome of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD) from 13 to 16 July 2015 in Addis is expected to provide an important contribution to ...

    Dutch Priorities for its Contribution to Global Food Security Taking Shape

    12-12-2014
    • Jeske van Seters

    This week, the Dutch Parliament debated the Dutch approach to contribute to global food security. The discussion was based on a letter sent to Parliament by the Minister of Foreign Trade and ...

    Public-Private Cooperation for Development: A Working-Together-Apart Relationship

    View From the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    11-12-2014
    • Marcel Vernooij

    Focus on economics The policy for international cooperation of The Netherlands combines aid, trade and investment. In a coherent agenda we embrace three ambitions: eradicate extreme poverty; promote sustainable and inclusive economic ...

    Leaving No One Behind

    10-12-2014
    • Tony German

    2015 Global Development Challenges Series - Part 2 In the second of our blogs ahead of the 2015 Challenges Paper (released in January) Tony German, Executive Director of Development Initiatives shares his perspectives on the challenges ...

    Square Pegs in Round Holes

    Creating More Synergies Between CSDP Missions and EU Development Programmes

    10-12-2014
    • Ville Suutarinen
    • Álvaro Benlloch Miranda

    Beyond strategies and action plans, there is a need for EU institutions and instruments to work together in a more structured manner. If ever there were a time when the EU needs ...

    What Have We Learned About Capacity Development So Far?

    05-12-2014
    • Paul Engel

    What can we learn from past research on capacity development to make sure it is an effective tool in future development cooperation? Some key messages from ECDPM’s Director ahead of the launch ...

    Finishing the Job and Building Bridges to the Future

    Sustainable Development From an African Perspective

    05-12-2014
    • Amina J. Mohammed

    2015 Global Development Challenges Series - Part 1 In the first of our blogs ahead of the 2015 Challenges Paper (released in January) - Amina Mohammed, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning, ...

    Regional Integration (part 2) - Ubuntu in a Cui Bono World?

    05-12-2014
    • Bruce Byiers
    • Jan Vanheukelom

    The recent University of Cape Town Building Bridges workshop on regional integration raised the importance of taking a political economy approach to understanding progress and the reforms required to further promote regionalisation. ...

    Five Points to Take Away from the ICN2

    28-11-2014
    • Brecht Lein (Alumnus)

    Whether ICN2 will do what its predecessor couldn’t two decades ago, will depend on the political will to establish a governance framework to ensure cross-sectoral collaboration, mutually enforcing policies and a clear ...

    Africa’s Perspectives on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

    How Africa Should Drive Forward Peace & Security in the New Development Framework

    28-11-2014
    • Abdoulaye W. Dukulé

    The Africa’s Change Dynamics Programme facilitates dialogue between African and European actors on governance and development agendas. We work to improve the understanding of interests and challenges on both sides. The new African Perspectives ...

    Regional Integration and the Girl from Goma (1)

    28-11-2014
    • Bruce Byiers
    • Jan Vanheukelom

    Building Bridges got off to an exciting start last week in tackling one key question for Africa’s development: what is holding back regional economic integration? Its first workshop brought thirty strategic thinkers ...

    Behind the Facade: Looking Deeper into Busan

    21-11-2014
    • Geert Laporte

    Major meetings in Busan (2011) and Mexico (2014) re-iterated the key principles for effective development: ownership, a focus on results, inclusive partnerships and transparency and mutual accountability. Translating this ‘jargon’ into a ...

    Spatial Inclusion in Africa - It’s Still Political

    21-11-2014
    • Bruce Byiers

    The 2015 African Economic Outlook will focus on Spatial Inclusion in Africa, so ECDPM was invited to a brainstorm hosted by the OECD, UNDP and AfDB on the topic. What emerged from ...

    European Contribution to Stability and Development Through External Cultural Action

    20-11-2014
    • Damien Helly
    • Greta Galeazzi

    A ring of fire instead of a ring of friends: that is what the EU got as a result of its Neighbourhood policy. The EU has failed to create an area of ...

    Celebrating Industrialisation Day in Africa: Twenty-four Years on, Where Are We?

    20-11-2014
    • Isabelle Ramdoo

    As the African continent celebrates its 24th Industrialisation Day today, it is opportune to take a step back to look at how the debate has evolved over the years, and more importantly, who has ...

    Ministers of Agriculture in Central Africa Adopt Key Strategic Regional Frameworks

    07-11-2014
    • Jeske van Seters

    Ministers of Agriculture of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) have approved the Common Agricultural Policy of the region, when they met in Chad on 23-24 October 2014. At this ...

    From Policy To Actual Implementation

    Africa Must Move From One to the Other

    07-11-2014
    • Prof. Oladele Arowolo

    The Africa’s Change Dynamics Programme facilitates dialogue between African and European actors on governance and development agendas. We work to improve the understanding of interests and challenges on both sides. The new African Perspectives ...

    Assisting Regional Institutions and Farmers’ Organisations for Inclusive Regional Value Chain Development

    31-10-2014
    • Fabien Tondel
    • Francesco Rampa

    Developing regional markets and promoting investment through public-private-partnerships (PPP) are becoming fashionable approaches to pursue food security objectives in Africa, as shown in the commitments of African Union Heads of State in ...

    Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security

    We need to do more on nutrition, and multi-stakeholder partnerships are a key part of the solution

    30-10-2014
    • Francesco Rampa

    Today is Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security.      A lot is happening on food security, as evidenced by progress on CAADP and the important commitments made by AU Heads ...

    The Future Belongs to Africa If..

    Between 'Afro-pessimism', 'Afro-optimism' and ‘Afro-realism’ - but exactly who is watching what remains somewhat unclear

    30-10-2014
    • Julia Schünemann

    The Africa’s Change Dynamics Programme facilitates dialogue between African and  European actors on governance and development agendas. We work to improve the understanding of interests and challenges on both sides. The new African ...

    A Gentle Exchange or Policy Dialogue?

    Negotiating the Implementation of the Agenda for Change in the Sahel

    30-10-2014
    • Damien Helly

    Part 3 Building on our two previous blogs on the challenges facing the implementation of the Agenda for Change in the Sahel, this third and final blog identifies two main take-aways: the ...

    A Gentle Exchange or Agenda for Change in the Sahel? The Implementation Challenges

    What are the practical implications for EU coordination, joint programming and dialogue on aid in the Sahel under the Agenda for Change?

    24-10-2014
    • Damien Helly

    Part 2   I recently asked what sector concentration actually means for those in charge of implementing the EU’s guiding development policy, the Agenda for Change. Although we have a new Commission it ...

    A Step in the Right Direction for the EU’s Fight Against Ebola

    As EU Heads of State and Government pledge to increase their financial contribution to EUR 1 billion and appoint in-coming Commissioner Stylianides (Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection) as the EU’s Ebola response coordinator, we give an update on our recent Devex article

    24-10-2014
    • Sophie Desmidt
    • Volker Hauck

    The Ebola crisis is putting tremendous pressure on West African states, threatening to cause food shortages, social frictions and undermining already fragile state institutions that risk turning back the clock on development ...

    How can Intra-African Agricultural Trade be Tripled?

    10-10-2014
    • Clément Silverman (Alumnus)
    • Francesco Rampa
    • Lesley-Anne van Wyk (Alumna)

    Tripling intra-African agricultural trade needs collective action, say experts at ECDPM side-event, African Union Commission HQ All the key Comprehensive Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) actors re-affirmed the commitments of the Malabo Declaration this week ...

    Shaping a Real European Foreign Policy: Challenges Ahead for Federica Mogherini

    A New HRVP and what it could mean for EU-Africa, Development Cooperation and Policy Coherence

    10-10-2014
    • Andrew Sherriff
    • Cecilia Gregersen

    European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/European Commission Vice-President (HRVP)-designate Federica Mogherini enters her job with a full plate. The rise of Islamic State, like the Arab Spring, appeared ...

    The EU Commission's Private Sector Communication - Communicating with Whom?

    09-10-2014
    • Bruce Byiers

    As European Commission Communications go, “A stronger role for the private sector in achieving inclusive and sustainable growth in developing countries” is pretty good. It covers all the possible angles for working ...

    A Gentle Exchange or an Agenda for Change in the Sahel?

    Implementation Challenges of EU Development Policy

    09-10-2014
    • Damien Helly
    • Greta Galeazzi

    With a new and rebranded Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, comes the desire (as usual) to start with something new.  But how have past EU commitments in the Sahel actually been ...

    Where is the ‘A’ in ‘BRICS’?

    African Engagement with Emerging Global Powers

    03-10-2014
    • Rebecca Ramsamy (Alumna)

    The BRICS certainly want to engage with Africa yet the consensus is that it is up to the continent to determine how it wants to use its platform to navigate the international ...

    Predicting the Future of EU International Cooperation and Development

    First Indications from Jean-Claude Juncker’s New Commission

    03-10-2014
    • Andrew Sherriff
    • Cecilia Gregersen

    It’s a dangerous thing trying to predict the future, the EU’s international development priorities are no exception. The Agenda for Change, the EU’s guiding development policy since 2011, was almost good to go ...

    Is Rising Africa Marginal in Malmström’s Thinking on European Trade Policy?

    03-10-2014
    • Sean Woolfrey

    Negotiations with major developed countries and emerging markets are likely to dominate the European trade agenda in coming years, if the confirmation hearing for the Commissioner-designate for Trade are anything to go ...

    Not the Climate Hero that the EU and the World Needs to Win the Battle Against Climate Change

    03-10-2014
    • Alisa Herrero Cangas

    Amidst huge public controversy, this week’s European Parliamentary hearing of Miguel Arias Cañete allowed the public to also get a glimpse of Mr. Cañete’s vision for climate change action and energy.  Although he provided ...

    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 (Alumna)

    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 ...