The 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness was held from 29 November to 2 December 2011 in the City of Busan, South Korea. The Conference follows the High Level Forums held in Rome 2003, Paris 2005 and Accra 2008. Over 3,000 delegates from 160 nations reviewed the global process of Aid Effectiveness and made new commitments in supporting progress towards meeting the MDGs by 2015. At the end of the 3 day conference, there was commitment from all stakeholders to implement the Paris and Accra agendas in full. Delegates adopted the Busan declaration that established a new GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR EFFECTIVE DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION.
The Busan Declaration has four principles for achieving effective development:
a) Ownership of development priorities by developing countries. Partnerships for development can only succeed if they are led by developing countries, implementing approaches that are tailored to country-specific situations and needs.
b) Focus on results. Investments and efforts must have a lasting impact on eradicating poverty and reducing inequality, on sustainable development, and on enhancing developing countries’ capacities, aligned with the priorities and policies set out by developing countries themselves.
c) Inclusive development partnerships. Openness, trust, and mutual respect and learning lie at the core of effective partnerships in support of development goals, recognizing the different and complementary roles of all actors.
d) Transparency and accountability to each other. Mutual accountability and accountability to the intended beneficiaries, as well as to citizens, constituents and shareholders, is critical to delivering results. Transparent practices form the basis for enhanced accountability.
These shared principles will guide actions to:
a) Deepen, extend and operationalise the democratic ownership of development policies and processes.
b) Strengthen efforts to achieve concrete and sustainable results. This involves better managing for results, monitoring, evaluating and communicating progress; as well as scaling up support, strengthening national capacities and leveraging diverse resources and initiatives in support of development results.
c) Broaden support for South-South and triangular co-operation, helping to tailor these horizontal partnerships to a greater diversity of country contexts and needs.
d) Support developing countries in their efforts to facilitate, leverage and strengthen the impact of diverse forms of development finance and activities, ensuring that these diverse forms of co-operation have a catalytic effect on development.
My take-away from the Conference is that the ball is in the hands of developing countries to make sure that there is progress:
· Political will is vital for these principles and commitments to be achieved.
· We need to move away from aid dependency (aid effectiveness) to development effectiveness.
· There is need to strengthen institutions that fulfill state functions
· Need to recognize the importance of South-South Cooperation as it provides diversity and additional resources.
WP EFF will convene a meeting of representatives of all countries and stakeholders that have endorsed the document so that they can come up with working arrangements including the indicators and channels through which implementation will be monitored. This is to be done by June 2012.