The ECDPM Weekly Compass is your reliable source on the latest policy developments and analysis on EU-Africa, Caribbean and Pacific trade, development and governance issues, in your mailbox Friday afternoons.


Editor's Pick

New conflict-free standard meant to build confidence in gold
Mining is a driver of development but despite its capacity to create wealth and alleviate poverty, it can also be a potential source of finance for armed conflicts in certain high-risk and fragile areas. A number of multilateral initiatives are setting up benchmarks, standards and processes to address this issue and to reduce the risks. The World Gold Council is pioneering in developing an industry-led conflict free gold standard. Its purpose is to establish a common approach for producers in the formal sector to demonstrate that their gold does not fuel conflict or finance armed groups. ECDPM is organising a consultation in Brussels on 12 June to gather inputs from various stakeholders before the World Gold Council finalises the standard. In a guest contribution on the Talking Points blog Terry Heymann from the World Gold Council provides an overview of this important process.

Policy News

Charting change at the EEAS
Inside the European External Action Service (EEAS) institutional changes are happening - at least this is what the most recent edition of its organisational chart, which has only recently become available publically, indicates. In an article on ECDPM’s Talking Points blog Andrew Sherriff briefly analyses the “creation” of a Political Affairs Department, evolutions in the Crisis Management Structures and personal changes in the EEAS’ units dealing with Africa. Sherriff also takes a look at where development issues fit in. He observes that there has not been a major institutional shake up, more some fine-tuning. Significant changes will probably have to wait until the EEAS undergoes institutional review in 2013, yet the organogram does give some clues to organisational priorities.

Newest issue of GREAT Insights out: trade and regional integration
The 4th issue of ECDPM’s new monthly, GREAT Insights, focuses on international trade agreements and regional integration. In the lead article, Jean-Pierre Chaffour argues that “today’s international trade is radically different and more complex than yesterday’s” and that preferential trade agreements will need to adjust to these new realities. While a feature story spotlights the birth of Africa’s largest free trade area ranging from the Cape to Cairo, another one zooms into the role of regional integration for food security in East Africa. The issue also comprises an article presenting lessons learned from Brazil’s transition to a major exporter. Another contribution focuses on how emerging economies’ approach to development financing influences debates on aid effectiveness and political conditionality. Furthermore, the regular EPA update is also included in this issue.

EU’s SPRING programme 9 months on: time to take stock
In response to the transitions in the Arab world, the EU has set up an ad hoc programme to support democratic reforms and inclusive growth, drawing on its 'more-for-more' approach. The cunningly-named SPRING programme initially covered 4 countries and was recently extended to the remaining partners in the Southern Neighbourhood. Nine months after its establishment, ECDPM’s Nicola Tissi assesses the programmes’ track record. Tissi finds that the EU might face considerable challenges in implementation due to its unclear benchmarking and misunderstandings on the root causes of the Arab uprisings.

Geography of poverty has implications for aid
Using data from around the world, a new study by Ugo Gentilini and Andy Sumner of the Institute of Development Studies estimates that globally 1.5 billion people live in poverty, two thirds of these are in middle-income countries. 1 in 10 of world’s poor live in high-income countries. The study bases its definition of poverty on national standards, not a global one, like the $1/day indicator.  By approaching the question of poverty as defined where those poor people live, this study’s findings have implications for debates about global poverty targets and international assistance. In a related paper, Jonathan Glennie of the Overseas Development Institute finds that around 75% of poor peo­ple have long lived in countries that receive very little aid. This raises the question whether other actions might be more important than aid to support poverty reduction.

Development cooperation and emerging powers: new partners or old patterns?
South-South cooperation is becoming increasingly important and as emerging economies are engaging more and more in development cooperation, they are also making their voices heard in international fora. The new Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, the outcome of the Busan forum, is a reflection of this. A new book by Sachin Chaturvedi, Thomas Fues and Elizabeth Sidiropoulos examines how the development policies of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa are different to traditional donors. It also discusses whether the divide between North-South and South-South cooperation can be bridged this transitional phase of the architecture of development cooperation.

Private profit for public good
As global aid flows stagnate, several development agencies have suggested a dramatic scaling up of public finance devoted to supporting private sector investments. By 2015, the amount of donor support to the private sector is expected to exceed $100 billion – making up almost one third of external public finance to developing countries. A new report by Eurodad assesses grant and loan trends in the portfolios of some of the largest multilateral and bilateral development agencies. It looks at which types of companies are benefiting the most from public aid and how development institutions ensure they support responsible investments that contribute to equitable and sustainable development.

Improving governance is a question of sheer luck
Oxfam has published a series of papers on how aid agencies can promote local governance and accountabilty. The papers conclude that “as well as being informed by good analysis, [future governance work] will also be informed by serendipity – watching for the chance combinations of the right person/people, the right moment, the right focus, the right alignment with other events – requiring good judgement and probably inevitably, whatever the expectation about how change will happen, a certain amount of sheer luck.”

Additional Articles in the Weekly Compass-Extended Version

More recently uploaded resources are available in the Weekly Compass-Extended Version.


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No 112, 8 June 2012

Dear *|FNAME|*,

     Our apologies for not publishing the Weekly Compass last week due to other pressing commitments. This week’s issue is a bit longer as a result.
     Last week, ECDPM held an informal briefing for a group of ACP Ambassadors and ACP Secretariat officials on the EU multiannual budget negotiations and possible implications for the ACP group. The meeting also discussed programming for the 11th European Development Funding.  Analysis presented at the meeting was based on previous ECDPM publications on a financial analysis of the 11th EDF, EU member-states positions on the budget negotiations, and whether there would be “billions less for development”.  It also utilised ECDPM’s recent publication covering 11th EDF programming 2014-2020.
     This week, the EU Council discussed the multiannual financial framework for the 2014-2020 period on the basis of a negotiating box. The European Council will hold a first substantial discussion on the MFF on 28-29 June. The aim is to reach an agreement and adopt the MFF regulation before the end of this year. The latest version of the draft EU Regulation on the financial rules applicable to the EU budget has also been published.
     ECDPM’s Geert Laporte gave a presentation on “What future for the ACP-EU relations beyond 2020” to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly’s Committee. The full Assembly discussed policy coherence for development, regional integration and Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). The EU Trade Commissioner made the case for signing EPAs. The European Parliament’s Development Committee this week rejected the EC’s proposal to withdraw market access to developing countries they refuse to sign an Economic Partnership Agreement. The vote in the full Parliament is due before summer. The report of the African Union-Regional Economic Communities Economic Partnership Agreement Negotiations Coordination Meeting held in May was also posted. Next week, ACP and EU Ministers will meet in Port Villa to discuss trade and finance issues.
     Also next week, ECDPM’s Faten Aggad will be speaking at the African Union Commission’s will launch the African Governance Platform next week in Lusaka. The Platform will aim to foster exchange of information, facilitate the elaboration of common positions on governance and strengthen the capacity of Africa to speak with one voice. The EC’s capacity4dev website published the EC’s presentation on the importance of the African Governance Platform of last year. The site also published presentations (click also here) on the EU’s Governance Initiative (GI) Support Study (carried out by ECDPM and the African Governance Institute). The study found that the GI did not succeed in generating the expected benefits in terms of inducing governments to take governance reforms more seriously, improving political dialogue and getting results. It aims to inform future EU approaches to supporting governance that include more realistic strategies and implementation approaches to supporting domestic processes of change that are better embedded in local dynamics and reform agendas.
     The papers for the OECD Development Assistance Committee meeting next week have been posted. They cover green growth and developing countries; food security; and multilateral aid. The updated OECD proposals for indicators, targets and process for Global Monitoring of the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation were also posted. The United Nations launched an online platform to track progress on implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Integrated Implementation Framework will identify gaps between the support provided and what is required for achieving the MDGs. At the same time, there are fears, including from the EU, that the this month’s Rio+20 Summit could collapse after countries failed to agree the draft declaration and texts disagreements on the processes to be followed.
     Finally, ECDPM’s Neils Keijzer will be presenting the European Development Report in Berlin next week. If you didn’t have the chance to attend any of the Report’s launch events, you can watch this video of the presentation James Mackie recently gave in Paris.
     For more on this and all the latest information relating to EU-Africa, Caribbean and Pacific trade, development and governance issues, see the Weekly Compass-Extended Version.

All the best,

Melissa Julian

Off The Track   

Afghanistan in Transition: Looking Beyond 2014
This World Bank report shows that development progress since 2001 has been mixed. Key social indicators, including life expectancy and maternal mortality, have improved markedly. Yet in other respects, particularly governance and institution building, the country has fared less well, and many indicators have worsened in recent years.


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