ACP Secretary General to resign despite detailed summit plans. Weekly Compass, Issue 133, 11 January 2013
Senior delegates from 63 of the 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, including some 15 Heads of State, attended the ACP Summit last December. The summit declaration highlights members’ determination to “stay united as a Group” and retain relevance by “enhancing the ACP-EU relationship as a unique North-South development cooperation model, while developing South-South and other partnerships.” A new working group will reflect on the response of the ACP Group to global challenges. Officials also decided to set up a high-level panel to advance trade negotiations with the EU. Shortly after the summit, the African Union announced that the ACP Group’s Secretary General had been appointed the African Union-UN Special Representative for Darfur. The ACP remains silent on this and has not yet named a successor.
Post-2015: who proposed what again? Weekly Compass, Issue 133, 11 January 2013
As the debate on what will replace the Millennium Development Goals after their expiry date in 2015 intensifies, the number of proposals for new targets is increasing. On its portal post2015.org, ODI tracks emerging proposals and provides an overview of ideas by sector in a handy table that is updated regularly. The growing list is not yet complete and, in an effort to capture all proposals, ODI invites readers whose ideas have not been included in the list to point to these.
What reforms matter for Africa in 2013. Weekly Compass, Issue 133, 11 January 2013
Continuous positive change in Africa has transformed the “hopeless continent” into a rising region in the past few years. Optimistic outlooks predict that many African economies will continue to grow in the near future, though the continent still faces numerous challenges. A new report by the Brookings Institution outlines what will be the key issues for 2013 and ways to leverage opportunities so that Africa “can continue the emerging momentum”. Top priorities for 2013 include employment policy reform, tackling the energy poverty gap, and broader issues of insecurity.
EC proposes to set up special body for blending development finance. Weekly Compass, Issue 132, 14 December 2012
Blending – the complementary use of grants and loans in external assistance to increase the volume of development finance – has emerged rapidly and is now common practice. This week, an expert group coordinated by the European Commission published its conclusions on the potential benefits of establishing an EU Platform for External Cooperation and Development as a way to improve the quality and efficiency of EU development finance. The report proposes the platform focus on reviewing and guiding existing blending mechanisms, streamlining cooperation, and developing new financial instruments. A European Think-Tanks Group study has shown that there is limited evidence base on positive effects of blending.
Budget support effective, but not suitable for pursuing major reform. Weekly Compass, Issue 132, 14 December 2012
For the past decade, donors have been channeling development assistance directly into the budgets of developing countries in an attempt to better support the priorities of partner governments. This can also give donors the opportunity to encourage reform through the accompanying policy dialogue. The Netherlands, a supporter of this aid form, ended most of its budget support due to irregularities in recipient countries and a decreasing national aid budget. An evaluation from the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry concludes that the budget support instrument contributed to economic growth and the extension of public services. Public finance management and democratic control improved as well. Budget support is not suitable for pursuing major reform, however, unless the recipient government takes ownership of it the report finds.
This article was published in Great Insights Volume 2, Issue 1 (January 2013)