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