Sunday, June 22, 2008

CIDSE Makes Recommendations for Improvement of Draft Accra Agenda for Action

Source: CIDSE Advocacy Newsletter 39, June 2008

Ministers from Northern and Southern countries will come together this September in Ghana to discuss progress made so far on the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. The ‘Paris Declaration,’ as it has come to be called, was agreed in 2005 and established global commitments for donor and recipient countries to support more effective aid in the context of a significant scaling up of aid that was predicted. The High Level Forum that will take place in Ghana’s capital Accra will discuss progress made and challenges faced by governments in achieving commitments they made in 2005. The Accra Agenda for Action (AAA), which will be signed by Ministers on the final day of the Accra Forum is intended to provide a roadmap for governments to build on progress made and overcome obstacles faced between 2008 and 2010 (the deadline for achievement of commitments made in the Declaration). Current discussions on the draft AAA have raised CIDSE’s concerns that important issues that impact on the ability of aid to contribute to overall sustainable development are being ignored.

Overall, CIDSE fears that the AAA would suffer for having too narrow an approach unless it systematically addresses the link between human rights, gender equality, environmental sustainability and social inclusion and the Paris Declaration’s commitments and indicators. Another important omission of the AAA so far is that it fails to recognise the role of civil society as an essential development actor. This

should be rectified and an explicit acceptance that diversity and independences is part of civil society’s strength should be included in the AAA.
CIDSE also recommends that donors commit to operating in the context of a broader definition of ownership as needing to be democratic and involving all relevant actors in policy dialogues to increase accountability, in the AAA. A related commitment that donors would need to make in this regard is to achieve the highest standards of predictability and transparency of their development cooperation. Important issues that so far are insufficiently or not at all addressed, including targets to end tied aid, harmful donor imposed economic policy conditions and demand driven technical assistance should be adequately addressed.

Finally, convinced that the existing aid architecture cannot serve the objectives of impartial and non-arbitrary monitoring of commitments, CIDSE believes that the AAA should acknowledge the need for an independent institution to monitor both donor and partner countries progress against commitments made.

Various member organisations from the CIDSE networks have called upon their governments to take account of our recommendations in negotiating the final AAA. A policy paper “CIDSE Views on the Paris Declaration and Recommendations for Positive Changes in Accra” dated May 2008, briefly explains our position on the Paris Declaration and substantiates our recommendations. This paper, in combination with supporting a collective civil society lobby document and efforts led by the International CSO Steering Group to coordinate the CSO Parallel Process to the Ghana High-Level Forum is the basis of CIDSE’s lobby work for Accra.

See also Euforic's CIDSE newsfeed; also its newsfeed on aid effectiveness