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A vision, and a voice, for how we work together to achieve the 2030 Agenda

13. November 2019 - 19:24

On 14-16 October, the Co-Chairs of the Global Partnership – Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Switzerland, and the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness – came together in Bern, Switzerland to begin the process of elaborating a new work programme for the Global Partnership. Earlier this week, a ‘draft strategy paper’, summarizing those deliberations, and articulating a proposal for a new approach going forward, was sent to the Steering Committee for consultations ahead of its next meeting in December, in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Here we look at the basic structure of the paper, and then consider some of the key ideas driving this approach.

The first work programme, an initiative led by the then-Co-Chairs – Bangladesh, with Germany and Uganda – brought a clear intent to the work of the Global Partnership, and guided its work following the Second High-Level Meeting in Nairobi, up to the 2019 Senior Level Meeting in New York. It remained rooted in the effectiveness principles that define the Partnership, but also set out a clear direction of travel, with new priorities from private-sector engagement to concerted work at the country level on implementing the effectiveness principles at country level.

The draft strategy paper for the next work programme, seeks to build on this work, but also charts its own path. The proposed approach is built on three priority areas:

  • Accelerating implementation of the 2030 Agenda;
  • Building better partnerships; and,
  • Leveraging monitoring results for action,
  • Complemented by a concerted area of work around a review and evaluation of the Global Partnership, and how it helps drive development effectiveness.

Driving this broad approach, we can point to three key ideas:

All about 2030: Locating effectiveness within the context of the 2030 Agenda, whether through better understanding its impact on different SDGs, or assembling a whole-of-society effort for the coming ‘decade of action’, is essential. This is the shared framework for success, this is the space where governments, civil society, companies, unions, and others, based on common goals, can work together to fight poverty, improve lives, and share their experiences on what they have achieved and how.

Finding a voice for reaching out: Different partners will bring different perspectives with them, and different strengths. But each will be drawn to the Global Partnership by a shared voice, that can articulate with clarity and confidence the value of effectiveness: principles for building the more equal, empowered, and inclusive partnerships that will allow us to achieve sustainable development.

Data – only as useful as the action it informs: Without data, we cannot distinguish good policy from less effective policy. But without acting on that data, we will not change anything. Supporting efforts to respond to monitoring results will be essential to remaining a relevant forum for our collective development efforts. And it will be equally important for beginning to understand the kind of policy recommendations that will drive progress. Underlining this commitment to an ethos of learning is Co-Chairs’ proposal for a review and evaluation process for the Global Partnership: so we can be confident the Partnership is doing its best to work toward 2030.

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Co-Chair Proposal for Strategic priorities

13. November 2019 - 19:13
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18th Steering Committee Meeting

7. November 2019 - 16:12
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Co-Chair Proposal for strategic priorities

7. November 2019 - 16:07
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GPEDC Global Action Plan

7. November 2019 - 16:01
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16. Oktober 2019 - 19:49
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16. Oktober 2019 - 19:49
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Voluntary National Reviews Database

27. September 2019 - 23:04

As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages member states to “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven” (paragraph 79).

These national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for the regular reviews by the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), meeting under the auspices of ECOSOC. As stipulated in paragraph 84 of the 2030 Agenda, regular reviews by the HLPF are to be voluntary, state-led, undertaken by both developed and developing countries, and involve multiple stakeholders.

The Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges, and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Voluntary National Reviews | The GPEDC Mentions


Courtesy of UNDP Azerbaijan

Highlighting GPI Principles and South-South & Triangular Cooperation

“GPI was launched at the 2016 High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation in Nairobi, in order to advance effective actions in international aid policy. AIDA’s accession to GPI will help to build global awareness about the donor activities of our country, to expand its global partnership relations, and to ensure its participation in important events taking place in the sphere of international development. By joining GPI, AIDA takes an active part in actions, discussions and establishing of the rules aimed at increasing the effectiveness of South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation and enhancing the impact of the programs and projects implemented globally, and provides access for less developed countries to benefit from development programs and projects.” (page 114)

Secondary National Review – Azerbaijan


Courtesy of UNDP ClimateChangeAdaptation

Creation of a Development Cooperation and Partnership Strategy  

“The Development Cooperation and Partnerships Strategy (2014-2018) has been developed and effectively implemented in line with Cambodia’s evolved development context as an LMIC. It provided a comprehensive framework for promoting development partnerships in Cambodia articulated in the RGC’s RS-IV. The strategy is also aligned with global initiatives on development effectiveness focusing on effective institutions, inclusive partnerships and development results. The RGC’s ODA database continues to serve as an important tool for recording and coordinating external cooperation resources as well as providing full transparency via on-line open access and supporting monitoring of development effectiveness indicators.” (pag 42)

Cambodia National Voluntary Review 2019

Saint Lucia

Participation in the GPEDC Monitoring Round

“Providers of development co-operation in Saint Lucia, use country-owned results frameworks and planning tools to a medium extent (approximately 50%). The 2018 Monitoring Round of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) found that 92% of the outcome objectives of new development co-operation projects and programmes align to those defined in-country strategies/plans. However, 47% of results indicators of new projects and programmes were drawn from country-owned results frameworks and 9% of all results indicators can be monitored using data from government monitoring systems and statistics. (page 39)”

Santa Lucia National Voluntary Review 2019


Courtesy of UNDP Philippines

Participation in the GPEDC Monitoring Round

“The Philippines participated anew in the 3rd Monitoring Survey Round of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. Coordinated by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and UNDP, the GPEDC seeks to gather evidence on progress in implementing effective development cooperation commitments at the country, regional, and global levels, supporting accountability among all development partners. A Philippine country report entitled “2018 Philippine Report: Enhancing Multi-Stakeholder Approach to Monitoring for Effective Development Cooperation” summarized findings of the monitoring survey resulting from several rounds of consultation with 14 development partners, 19 government agencies, 18 private sector firms, and various CSOs and trade union organizations. Findings of the report indicate that at the strategic level, there is a high level of alignment between development partners’ country assistance strategies (CAS) with the PDP 2017-2022, AmBisyon Natin 2040, and the SDGs. Majority of the CAS timeframe is in sync with the timing of the national plan. The Philippine government signs off on 65 percent of these CAS. Transparency and inclusive partnerships are also pursued as 90.0 percent of development partners engaged CSOs, 80.0 percent consulted the private sector, and 55.0 percent engaged other stakeholders in the formulation of their respective CAS ” (page 42)

The 2019 Voluntary National Review of the Phillipinnes


Courtesy of UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative Rwanda

Mapping the SDG 17 – GPEDC monitoring report

The overall use of the country’s results frameworks in development cooperation (Indicator 17.15.1), is 67.5%, reflecting the potential for improvement in the short and medium terms. This trend is extremely important if a country is to be able to finance its own development on a sustainable basis and to avoid fragmentation and duplication of efforts.” (page 63)

2019 Rwanda Voluntary National Review Report

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Key Messages from the GPEDC to the HLFP in the margins of UNGA 74

24. September 2019 - 19:14
Photo Courtesy from the United Nations / 2019

Beginning today, Tuesday, 24 September, following the opening of the 74th General Debate, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will convene a meeting of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which will take place on the afternoon of 24 September and all day on 25 September.

At the HLPF, Heads of State and Government will gather at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to follow up and comprehensively review progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event is the first UN summit on the SDGs since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in September 2015.

In preparation for this important occasion, the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) wishes to fulfill its commitment to share important messages from the 2017-2019 programme of work, the 2019 monitoring results and the recent Senior-Level Meeting, to make clear the contribution of development effectiveness to the 2030 Agenda.
As such, find here some key ‘political messages’ that aim to do just this, along with the headline messages from Parts I and II of the monitoring report. Our hope is that all GPEDC stakeholders help us to convey these important messages, at the Summit and beyond; and demonstrate that the effectiveness principles, as a basis for more equal and empowered partnerships, are part of the path to inclusive, sustainable development.

Read the GPEDC’s key messages for the 2019 HLPF in the margins of the 2019 GA here.

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September Newsletter – Spanish edition

6. September 2019 - 20:15
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September Newsletter French Edition

6. September 2019 - 20:14
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Leaving no one behind in private sector engagement

30. August 2019 - 18:17

Civil society organisations (CSOs) recognise the importance of effectively engaging all stakeholders in the pursuit of sustainable development. The rise of private sector engagement is a trend that demands our close attention. In truth, for the most part, we have yet to see the positive impacts of private sector engagement; whether their efforts truly make a dent on poverty and inequality. However, we also believe that some members of the private sector – especially the national micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) – have the potential to become real partners for development, and create good, lasting impact for the benefit of communities. 

If they are to truly contribute towards sustainable development and help alleviate global poverty and inequality, private sector operations must demonstrate such objectives, and be open to monitoring efforts. They must be held accountable for their commitments and roles as development actors. 

Establishing PSE principles

The GPEDC recently developed the Kampala Principles, a set of principles for Private Sector Engagement(PSE) through development cooperation. Underpinning this initiative, and drawn from the effectiveness principles, are five mutually reinforcing principles: inclusive country ownership; results and targeted impact inclusive partnership; transparency and accountability; and leaving no one behind. 

The principles provide standards that businesses ought to abide by in their operations. Furthermore, their future operationalisation will provide criteria for the actions that each stakeholder group should take to ensure that the efforts of the private sector contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

To us in the development world, we appreciate this initiative as a significant first step to make sure that we are all working towards a common vision – sustainable and transformative development. 

Civil society’s role

Civil society plays a critical role in ensuring that PSE responds to the needs of those who are often in the margins of society.

At CPDE, we have relentlessly rallied CSOs around the world to exercise vigilance in holding the private sector accountable to communities, governments, and other regulatory and policymaking bodies. 

For us, it begins with learning to ask the tough questions: are private sector actors truly willing to accept responsibility for many cases of rights violations, environmental destruction, and other negative impacts of their operations? If so, how will they rectify these errors (or, in economic-speak, how will they try to internalize these ‘externalities’)? Moving forward, how can the private sector improve their accountability? Perhaps even more importantly, are these players keen on changing their business models, in order to create truly inclusive markets that endeavour to contribute to the achievement of SDGs? 

As we ask these questions, we also bring with us the demands of the people. For example, as articulated by trade unions, for: better business practices; the provision of decent work and living wages; the promotion of women-friendly workspaces; and, the reduction of companies’ negative impact on the environment.

Over the years, we have been equipping CSOs, campaigners, and advocates around the globe with the requisite knowledge and skills for waging awareness campaigns, as well as policy advocacy efforts around the notion of effective development cooperation. Through these efforts, our message of effectively engaging the private sector is amplified many times over, and brought to global, regional, and national policy arenas.

We believe that systems must be in place to make sure that both public and private actors are complying with existing frameworks. These include International Labour Organisation(ILO) and United Nations (UN) Conventions and protocols, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, OECD Guidelines on Due Diligence, and now, the provisions under the Kampala Principles.

Furthermore, we advocate for involving communities and people’s organisations in the decision-making process for development, so that all risk factors can be addressed. For instance, CSOs have been pushing for a people-powered view of sustainable consumption and production, which puts people’s rights at its core. According to a research study by CSO IBON International:

‘[p]utting people’s rights at the centre of the whole production and consumption chain stresses that every aspect of the system should be guide[d] by the concept and principles of people’s rights….People’s rights highlight the role of a community or social group asserting their rights in a collective way to ensure a truly sustainable consumption and production system.’[1]

Through practices and policies that put emphasis on people’s rights, we can take care of the most vulnerable segments of our population, and reach the furthest behind first, as we pursue development initiatives.

‘Leaving no one behind’ and other Kampala principles

Leaving no one behind is the critical complement to the aforementioned guidelines in private sector engagement. We promote democratic ownership in view of what development means to a nation’s people. We define the success of development outcomes based on its impacts for all. We foster partnerships that include all sectors,while pursuing our crucial role demanding transparency and accountability, keeping in mind the welfare of those furthest behind and at the margins, who stand to suffer from any failures in accountability. 

We hope that members of the private sector will be truly open to hearing people’s voices, and consider our criticisms, inputs and recommendations to improve the way they do business. Moreover, we call on governments and multilateral bodies to strictly implement the pertinent laws and regulations governing the operations of businesses in development. For instance, we advocate for the institutionalisation of mechanisms to penalise companies whose interventions cause negative social, environmental, and economic impacts. 

Over the next period, we look forward to engaging with the operationalisation of the Kampala Principles. And CPDE will remain vigilant in making sure that the poor and marginalised are not be left behind in these development discussions, and that we are working toward truly sustainable, and transformative, development.  

[1]IBON International, 2019. People-powered Sustainable Consumption: A visioning & mapping study. Manila: IBON Books

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