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Monday, November 12, 2007

Aid effectiveness: preparation on EU and NGO sides

Source: EU News no. 7, October 2007 (APRODEV, CIDSE, Caritas Europa)

In 2008 there will be increased global attention on aid quality, with two major international events in the autumn:

- September 4th-6th 2008: Third High Level Forum (HLF3) on Aid Effectiveness in Accra, Ghana, focussing on the Paris Declaration (PD) – targets agreed in 2005 for improving aid quality. This is an OECD (DAC)-managed, donor-led agenda, but has involved southern governments, and efforts to involve civil society have markedly increased recently. It will be a Ministerial level event, focussing on progress in implementing the Paris targets, but potentially also looking at other issues.
- Autumn 2008: UN Financing for Development (FfD) Conference, Doha, Qatar, (official website) a follow up to the 2002 Monterrey FfD conference. Though details are sketchy at the moment, aid quality issues will be on the agenda. See separate article on that issue.

Both processes present major opportunities for European civil society organisations to hold their donors to account for the commitments they have made, and to push them to make further commitments to improve aid quality.

The Paris Declaration represents widespread agreement across aid donor and recipient governments as well as multilateral development institutions as to how to improve the delivery and management of aid. The commitments and targets included in the Declaration are organised around five principles: Ownership, Alignment, Harmonisation, Managing for results, Mutual accountability.

The Aid Watch group of CONCORD decided at its annual seminar in the beginning of October to focus its 2008 work plan on the aid quality agenda with the twofold objective of producing a more quality oriented European aid watch report and lobbying the EU in view of influencing its joint position for Accra and encouraging MS and the EC to commit themselves beyond the targets of the Paris Declaration.

The European Aid Watch report will represent a major tool to attract media and public attention and strengthen the lobby work. The calendar is tight however as the GAERC1 meeting is planned at the end of April and the preparation of the Aid Watch report is highly dependent on the publication of the official DAC figures. It is the reason why a separate position paper focusing on aid effectiveness will be prepared in addition to the report.

Background papers and information available from K.sohet@aprodev.net

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