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. ...

More on Financing for African Development from the Special Advisor on the Post-2015 Development Agenda at UNECA

17-04-2015
  • Aida Opoku-Mensah

Policy-makers need to address the African technology gap with home-grown solutions that support innovation – building strong human and institutional capacities at the same time.  The African debate on sustainable development, as ...

Financing for Development: The state of the debate in Africa

17-04-2015
  • Sahra El Fassi

Against the backdrop of intensive global negotiations on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, it seems opportune to look at the state of the debate on Financing for Development (FfD) in Africa. The ...

The 11th CAADP Partnership Platform: much positive talk, but little walk

The 11th CAADP PP was marked by much positive “talk”, with proactive participation of over 400 stakeholders from Africa and beyond. However, argues ECDPM’s Francesco Rampa, it was somehow a lost opportunity.

10-04-2015
  • Francesco Rampa

The 11th Partnership Platform (PP) of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) took place two weeks ago in Johannesburg, South Africa. As I said before travelling there, expectations were high: it ...

Can ‘Responsible Investment Principles’ de-polarise the debate on agricultural PPPs in Africa?

07-04-2015
  • Sean Woolfrey

The use of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to promote agricultural development is becoming increasingly prominent in Africa, but has provoked fierce criticism due to concerns about their impact on local communities. There is a clear ...

L’agenda universel post-2015 – Le partenariat ACP-UE répond-il encore à ses objectifs ?

03-04-2015
  • Jean Bossuyt
  • Niels Keijzer (Alumnus)

L’universalité est l’un des aspects clés de l’agenda global post-2015, mais que  signifie-t-il pour les relations ACP-UE ? Jean Bossuyt et Niels Keijzer se penchent sur cette question dans ce blog ECDPM. English ...

Vers une action extérieure de l’UE plus cohérente : quelle place pour les ACP ?

L’Europe à la recherche d’une stratégie mondiale : une quête du graal ?

03-04-2015

Discuter des relations ACP-UE isolément est un choix risqué ; Jean Bossuyt et Andrew Sherriff expliquent pourquoi.  English version available.  L’environnement mondial et européen change à un rythme soutenu. La grande question qui ...

Public-private partnerships for development: From principles to practice?

02-04-2015
  • Sebastian Große-Puppendahl

There is a need to readily embrace the complexity and diversity of public-private partnerships and focus on how to translate broad principles into operational tools, reflects ECDPM’s Sebastian Große-Puppendahl. Recently ECDPM was invited ...

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. La version française est ...

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.  La version française est disponible ici. Europe’s global environment is evolving rapidly, as is Europe ...

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 ...

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 ...

Tackling the Threat of Terrorism and Election Violence

A Challenging Year Ahead for Africa in 2015

06-02-2015
  • 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...