Whither EC Aid: Monitoring EC development cooperation compendium
The next five years will be decisive for the future direction of international development cooperation and European Union cooperation in particular. In 2005, wealthy countries pledged a considerable annual increase in global ODA and most of these pledges came from EU member states. Assuming that targets are met, by 2010 EU member states will account for three quarters of all aid flows, but there are unresolved questions about whether this increase will be effectively channelled through bilateral programmes or rather through the European Commission. The same questions apply to decisions on whether to cooperate on a programme basis or through macroeconomic assistance. The EC plays a crucial role in EU development cooperation, as a facilitator as well as a sizeable donor in its own right. Both ActionAid and ECDPM have long track records of working on EU development policy. This work is aimed at taking stock of current perceptions and contributing to the discussion on where the pledged aid increases should be directed and how the EU should evolve as a donor.
The main objective of the proposed joint ECDPM-ActionAid project is to re-position the debate on monitoring the effectiveness of EC development cooperation. This will help to develop an evidence-based, common understanding of the characteristics and impact of EC development cooperation. The first phase of the process comprises 3 parts. The first aims, through a literature review and a series of interviews with different groups of stakeholders from donor and partner countries, to draft an initial discussion note on EC development cooperation. This note will form the basis of the second part, during which a series of debates and workshops will take place in a number of European countries in order to facilitate discussion around a number of key issues and questions identified in the note. Participants will represent a variety of different stakeholders, including officials, independent experts, and NGOs. In parallel, research as well as debates will be carried out in partner countries, making use of local expertise. Based on these new inputs the last part of the work will be the elaboration of a report that contains conclusions and recommendations about the effectiveness of EC development cooperation and its monitoring. This report will draw on the original discussion paper, the field research and the proceedings of the debate. An official launch event will be organised at the beginning of 2008. The conclusions and recommendations will feed into the wider debate about aid effectiveness that will be further facilitated by AAI and ECDPM. In doing so, they will each cater to different stakeholders and employ their own particular methodologies.
Three key questions structure the study: how does monitoring of EC development cooperation help to increase its effectiveness; how can the added value of EC development cooperation be defined; and how can effectiveness of EC development cooperation be assessed in practice? The outcome and impact of development cooperation as well as the process in which it is delivered will be analysed. As for the areas of focus, a number of issues will be looked at, including allocation, delivery mechanisms, ownership and partnership, transparency and accountability for results.
This project is now closed
Photo By Gideon Mendel/Corbis/ActionAid