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The ECDPM Weekly Compass is your reliable source on the latest policy issues concerning international cooperation, with a focus on the EU and its relations with countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific - in your mailbox Friday afternoons.

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Editor's Pick

The Aid for Trade 4th Global Review – Aid for Productive Employment
ECDPM’s Bruce Byiers attended the WTO 4th Global Aid for Trade (AfT) Review this week in Geneva under the theme “Connecting to Value Chains”. Building on remarks made by WTO Secretary General Pascal Lamy at the event and in ECDPM’s GREAT Insights, this blog article highlights that while linking AfT discussions to the growing emphasis on value chains fits with the broad consensus that developing countries need better connected domestic, regional and international markets, questions remain on what scope and emphasis AfT should have. With several discussions at the event suggesting a greater focus on workers, and ECDPM work suggesting the role of corridors and the private sector, ultimately Byiers suggests the focus should be on supporting developing countries’ own strategies for economic transformation and employment creation. 

Policy News

€800 million per year could be saved with better EU development policy coordination
A further €8.4 billion (around 15 percent of EU development aid) is wasted because aid-recipient country allocation are not coordinated amongst EU Member States according to a new European Parliament study. Politically, better coordination would also result in increased impact and greater visibility of the EU development policy. Unfortunately, the practical achievement of an optimum level of EU coordination depends less on technical considerations than on political will. The report that calls for new coordination mechanisms to be explored, argues gains could be maximised with a fully integrated approach. ECDPM recently noted the drivers and challenges for joint programming, a EU aid coordination initiative that is gaining momentum. 

EU Delegations in foreign countries saves national governments money
Savings ranging from €420 million to €1.3 billion annually (between 6 percent and 19 percent of current spending of all EU Member States) could be realised if European embassies replaced national ones according to a new study from Bertelsmann Stiftung. This could offer European citizens more complete worldwide coverage than any single Member State. At the same time, these benefits could be achieved at lower costs as there are substantial economies of scale. The study acknowledges that it is less easy to exploit economies of scale for economic relations where special national interests are more prominent. The study also finds evidence that a more European approach on defence may be in the interest of taxpayers.
 
One step forward, two steps back - more needs to be done for greater peace in Africa
The recurring drivers of conflict in Africa can be addressed by accountable governance, strong institutions, and a healthy relationship between the state and the citizens according to a video discussion on intra-state conflict posted this week on the International Peace Institute’s website. Progress on frameworks and policies to promote peace and security in Africa has grown, but adherence to these remains weak according to panelists. African institutions are taking steps to address the drivers of conflict, but they need to be supported by African leaders for it to work, the Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo of South Africa said: “We're making two steps forward, one step back.” Lessons and recommendations on domestic revenue mobilisation in countries emerging from conflict are also discussed.
 
EEAS review an opportunity to strengthen conflict prevention
The degree to which the European External Action Service (EEAS) can facilitate and deliver integrated action and EU Member States’ commitment to this determines the extent which the institution can support the EU as a peacebuilder. The EU needs to act in an integrated way, which goes beyond coordination to common action (such as joint programming of aid) according to a new statement from the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO) released in the run up to the eminent review of the EEAS. The review should take into consideration the added value of the EEAS in ensuring consistency in EU external action, limit fragmentation of responsibility for response to conflict and improve cooperation between EU institutions to ensure long-term preventative action says EPLO.
 
The European Commission of the 21st century
The European Commission is arguably one of the world's most powerful international administrations. It plays a central role in the political system of the European Union. A new book aims to test popular beliefs held about this institution by asking: how does the Barroso Commission compare to previous Commissions?; how harmonious are relations between cabinets and the services?; and what has been the impact on the Commission of reform and of the 'big bang' enlargement? The book draws on original data from the largest attitudinal survey ever conducted by independent researchers inside the Commission, as well as a structured programme of interviews with senior officials.
 
Creating a solid framework to assess OECD food security policies
ECDPM’s Quentin de Roquefeuil discusses a new methodology, being created by ECDPM and the OECD, to assess the impact of OECD policies on food security in developing countries. In a video interview with the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, he explains that the motivation behind the initiative is that after 10 years of Policy Coherence for Development, there is still a lack of evidence to show impact. The methodology will be flexible and will provide a solid framework that can be used beyond just OECD countries. De Roquefeuil hopes it will feed into the “institutional machines” of developed countries to help them take into account the effect of their policies on other countries. This work builds on ECDPM’s recent Discussion Paper Insights from Developments in National Policy Coherence for Development Systems: Key Cross Cutting Issues and Dilemmas.


Additional Articles in the Weekly Compass-Extended Version

A report from the OECD and WTO shows that the Aid for Trade initiative is delivering tangible results in improving trade performance and bettering people’s lives, notably those of women, in developing countries.

All trade takes place within value chains, but there are different types. A study from ODI reviews how Aid for Trade engages with global value chains, focusing on specific country case studies including Kenya.
 
The Annual Report of the first of the EU blending facilities - the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund - has been released. The fund had a strong performance and reaffirmed its important role in providing European aid for the development of the African infrastructure sector.
 
The biggest ever survey tracking world-wide public opinion on corruption was published by Transparency International. 14,000 people in 107 countries were asked for their views.
 
The Centre for Global Development puts forward the case for direct transfers of resource revenues in Africa. Their new paper shows that countries could increase both private consumption and the provision of public goods through transferring a portion of government revenues as direct payments to the population.

The World Bank revisits inclusive growth and asks: how can the micro and macro dimensions of inequality and growth be integrated to reflect both the pace and distribution of economic growth? What has driven inclusive growth in emerging markets?  
 
A report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development argues that for African countries to reap expected gains from intra-African trade and regional integration, they will need to place the building of productive capacities and domestic entrepreneurship at the heart of the policy agenda.
 
The African Development Bank released three papers focusing on Africa as the fastest growing continent in the world, promoting resilience and inclusive growth in North Africa and supporting the transformation of the private sector on the continent.
 
DFID releases its Global Partnerships Department operational plan 2013 and rethinks ‘conditionality’ in partnerships for poverty reduction.
 
ODI analyses the current proposals for goals and targets in a post-2015 agreement.


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No 155, 12 July 2013


Dear Jacquie,
 
Bilateral trade between India and Africa grew at a much faster rate of 32.4% compared to overall China-Africa trade that rose by 27% during 2008-2011. During the period India emerged as the fastest growing export market for Africa growing by 41.8% while China grew by 28%, according to a report released jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the WTO.

Last Friday saw the conclusion of another round of trade negotiations between Pacific ACP States (PACPS) and the EU on the Economic Partnership Agreement. Amidst serious divergences over a number of contentious issues, including the EU’s request to introduce significant changes in PACPS’ national laws dealing with the management of fisheries resources, the EU could not agree to the PACPS’ request to continue negotiations in September 2013, and asked for a period of reflection to consult their stakeholders.

Global Integrity is embarking on a partnership with the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to prepare the African Integrity Indicators 2013-2014. The project assesses key social, economic, political and anti-corruption mechanisms at the national level in all African countries. Through an expert assessment methodology, the project evaluates both legal frameworks and the practical implementation and enforcement of those frameworks across various categories, including safety and the rule of law, sustainable economic opportunity, and human development.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is due to give his response next week to the High Level Panel report on the vision and priorities for the post-2015 development framework.

The Infrastructure Africa annual conference next week will present stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss the growth potential in addressing Africa’s infrastructure needs. It will also bring together business representatives to plan a way forward to address some of the continent’s requirements. Sectors for discussion will include agriculture, energy, transport, information and communication technology, and water.

Also next week, ECDPM is co-organising, together with the Network of Farmers and Agricultural Producers Organisations of West Africa (ROPPA) and the West African Research Network (REPAD), a Peer Review Workshop in Bassam on 'Ten Years after the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security: An Assessment of Progress in West Africa'. Jeske van Seters and Fabien Tondel will attend.

For more on the latest policy issues concerning international cooperation, with a focus on the EU and its relations with the developing world, see the Weekly Compass-Extended Version.

All the best,

Melissa
Melissa Julian
mj@ecdpm.org


Off The Track   

  Americans must change their Africa tunnel vision
Karen Bass argues the US needs to remove the negative stereotype and learn to see Africa as a continent of immense opportunity.

 

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