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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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  ...

Economic Transformation in Africa: What is the Role for Business-to-Business in the Mining Sector?

31-01-2014
  • Sebastian Große-Puppendahl

So that African countries can continue the path of economic transformation, the role of the mining sector needs to be enhanced. Besides pure mining activities, there is vast potential to create spatial ...

Economic Partnership Agreements: West Africa Seals a Deal at the 11th Hour

27-01-2014
  • Isabelle Ramdoo
  • San Bilal

After 10 years of tough negotiations, on 24th January 2014, West African and European Commission (EC) negotiators reached a major breakthrough on what now will be the first regional economic partnership agreement (EPA) since ...

10 Reasons Why 2014 is the Year of Family Farming

24-01-2014
  • Hanne Knaepen

Family farming is a central piece of the agenda for African transformation. Declared the United Nations (UN) Year of Family Farming and the African Union (AU) Year of Food Security, 2014 will be particularly interesting, ...

Time to Put the Poorest First: Why the OECD DAC Must Reform Rules on Concessional Lending

17-01-2014
  • Jeroen Kwakkenbos (Eurodad)
  • Stephanie Colin (Eurodad)

+++ Guest post – Jeroen Kwakkenbos, Advocacy Officer at Eurodad and Stephanie Colin +++ The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) will meet in Paris later this month to discuss the ongoing process of ...

What Would Scottish Independence Mean for Development Cooperation?

16-01-2014
  • James Mackie

While the debate on Scottish independence is heating up prior to the referendum in September 2014, it is important to consider what implications an independent Scotland would have for UK and European ...

Important Progress, but Real EU Comprehensiveness Is Still Ahead of Us

20-12-2013
  • Andrew Sherriff
  • Volker Hauck

The “EU’s comprehensive approach to external conflict and crisis”, launched jointly last week by the European Commission and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has been a ...

African Minerals Development Centre – Launch of a Milestone for Making Good Use of Minerals for Africa’s Development?

20-12-2013
  • Sebastian Große-Puppendahl

The 3rd Ordinary Session of the African Union Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development between 13-17 December 2013 in Maputo, Mozambique, under the title Leveraging the Africa Mining Vision for ...

The Four As of Thinking and Acting Politically (and Avoiding ‘Purposeless Muddling’)…

19-12-2013
  • Bruce Byiers

This week the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate (DAC) Network on Governance hosted a workshop on “Political Economy Analyses (PEA): Lessons Learned and New Directions”. Discussions looked at past progress in incorporating political ...

Read the Top Ten ECDPM Blogs of 2013

19-12-2013
  • ECDPM

This year a lot had happened in international development and co-operation. The EU External Action Service review was launched, the African Union celebrated its’ 50th anniversary, and dialogue around the post-2015 agenda ...

9th WTO Ministerial in Bali: Trade Deal Struck, but What Implications for Geopolitics?

11-12-2013
  • Isabelle Ramdoo

The 159 members of the World Trade Organization finally agreed on a deal in the early hours of Saturday 7th December in Bali, after intense and difficult negotiations, saving the multilateral trading system from the sclerosis ...

Challenges 2014: Keeping Ashton’s legacy alive – Showing leadership and coherence in EU external relations through 2014

11-12-2013
  • Alisa Herrero Cangas

+++ ECDPM Challenges blog series. Post number nine +++   2014 is a year of institutional transition but it should not be a year for silent reflection on EU external action. The ...

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1918 – 2013): Condolences to a Nation

06-12-2013
  • Jan Vanheukelom

“Trevor, where are my weights?” At 4 am, those must have been Mandela’s first morning words as a free man on 12 February 1990. Trevor Manuel was one of the Cape leaders ...

Climate Change at the EDDs: What is Going to Happen Now?

06-12-2013
  • Hanne Knaepen

“Climate change does not respect borders and it is a threat that multiplies quickly to other sectors. It is the biggest challenge to the developing world in the post-2015 landscape.” With these ...

Challenges 2014: The Great European Renaissance or Depression - Who Will Lead the EU from 2014?

04-12-2013
  • Damien Helly

+++ ECDPM Challenges blog series. Post number eight +++   Institutional Changes The future role of Europe in the world, including Africa/ACP-Europe relations, will be seriously affected by the outcomes of next ...

Crossing the Border Between Malawi and Zambia

How to Convince Informal Traders to Give Up the ‘Zalewa’ Route?

04-12-2013
  • Kathleen van Hove

There is still room for improvement to facilitate the trade integration between Malawi and Zambia. We recently took a trip hoping for smooth passage, but it took us two hours to cross ...

European Development Days: Feeding the 5000 (Delegates)

29-11-2013
  • Clément Silverman

‘The [EU] institutions need to change’, said the Centre for Global Development’s Owen Barder in an interview with ECDPM at the European Development Days this week. There is a feeling that Europe has so ...

Challenges 2014: Setting Countries up to Fail? Monitoring the Implementation of the New Deal for Fragile States

28-11-2013
  • Frauke de Weijer

+++ ECDPM Challenges blog series. Post number seven +++ The New Deal has the potential to be a real game changer for engagement in fragile states, if the spirit of the New ...