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.


Editor's Pick
Post-2015: Can a development goal help tackle youth exclusion?
87% of all under 25-year-olds live in developing countries. As it is often the young who make up the bulk of the un- or underemployed, exclusion of youth is a major concern to many governments. Including a specific objective for youth in the next development framework that will replace the Millennium Development Goals after 2015 is a possible response to tackle the issue. “But, what then should we be identifying as a goal?” asks ECDPM’s James Mackie, the team leader of the next European Report on Development that will identify elements for the post-2015 global development agenda, in an article on ECDPM’s Talking Points blog. “Employment is the most obvious answer, but it is not very evident how a specific international goal might influence a government’s policy on growth”, Mackie points out. Goals on education or migration might equally help tackle youth exclusion.

Policy News

Newest issue of GREAT Insights out: Trade and development-making the link
The August issue of ECDPM’s monthly, GREAT Insights, focuses on the challenges of tailoring trade and economic reforms to the specific conditions of the country or region where they are undertaken. While the onus lies primarily on developing countries to determine their own path to equitable and sustainable development, the EU can be a great ally to developing countries in better linking trade to development objectives. This issue of GREAT includes articles looking at the past 10 years of ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations and the challenges ahead in the next decade of EU trade policy. Other articles look at the EU’s sugar reform, aid for trade, market integration in Eastern Africa and export diversification in the CFA Franc zone. Combining international, regional and national endeavours in trade in services is also examined.

Thematic evaluation of the visibility of EU external action
The image of EU external action has generally been in-line with official priorities although the quality of EU's image could be improved, notably by communicating more on results, according to this evaluation carried out for the European Commission. The recommendations call for reaffirming, renewing and strengthening the current image of the EU external action by delivering clear messages, communicating on results and avoiding raising unrealistic expectations. ECDPM’s James Mackie led the consortium that carried out this study. He is presenting the main findings to an EC seminar today which will discuss follow-up on the evaluation’s recommendations.
“Everything that comes out of Political Economy Analysis is dynamite”
In an interview with, ECDPM’s Jean Bossuyt, a member the European Commission’s Political Economy Analysis (PEA) Team in Senegal, outlines some of the key aspects of the EC’s PEA methodology.  “Political Economy Analysis’ purpose is to better understand where the reform processes come from, where the dynamics come from, who are the ‘blocking’ actors, etc.,” he says.  “Everything that comes out of Political Economy Analysis is dynamite, so you have to be sure that you can use it properly and politically.” He considers the first important step is to ensure that the process has the full support of the EU Delegation. Secondly, the objectives of the evaluation must be clearly defined and a multi-disciplinary team, with a mix of international and local expertise, should undertake the process. “The initial PEA cannot solve all problems, but can provide a better overview of what really drives reforms and this can be used later on, in a sequenced way, to perhaps do more targeted PEAs, for instance in a sector,” Bossuyt concludes.
Central African farmers gear up to influence future agricultural policy in their region
Agriculture employs about 50% of Central Africa’s labour force and feeds many more. Nevertheless, the food security situation in the region has been worsening over the last two decades. To address this challenge, Central African states embarked on a process to develop a common agricultural policy and to put the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) into practice. Farmers’ organisations from all member states are now shaping up to influence these policy-making processes. In doing so, they could learn from their counterparts in West Africa, which managed to play an important role in the formulation of the region’s common agricultural policy, highlights ECDPM’s Jeske van Seters in an article on the Talking Points blog. 
Ideas for post-2015: a 'Development Friendliness Index'
As the biggest source of financing for development available to Southern governments is domestic revenue, and as remittance flows from migrants to their home countries outgrow the amount of global ODA, is the 0.7% aid target still relevant? In a commentary published on The Guardian’s Poverty Matters Blog, Niels Keijzer argues that measuring development efforts needs a much stronger focus on actions in policy areas beyond aid and presents research about a new reporting system, a Development Friendliness Index. But how would countries agree to being assessed and compared on their different non-aid policies, such as banking transparency and agricultural subsidies? 


Additional Articles in the Weekly Compass-Extended Version

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No 120, 7 September 2012

Dear *|FNAME|*,
     After a refreshing summer break, the Weekly Compass is back to provide you with 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. We’ve included a lot in this first issue, but would still encourage you to visit the Weekly Compass-Extended Version to ensure you didn’t miss anything you may need for your work.
     While we were away, the European Commission published its Annual Report 2012 on the European Union's development and external assistance policies and their implementation in 2011 and accompanying Staff Working Document.
     The final accounts of the 8th, 9th and 10th European Development Funds for Financial year 2011 were published as was the EU Council Decision on the position to be taken by the EU within the ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors concerning the reassignment of a part of the unallocated resources of the 10th European Development Fund to Intra-ACP cooperation.
     A special EU summit has been called for 22-23 November to negotiate the EU's budget for 2014-20 after it became clear after an informal meeting at the end of August that a political agreement on the multiannual financial framework would not be within reach of a summit scheduled for 18-19 October.
     The EC also published it’s Communication on Social Protection in European Union Development Cooperation.
     The Interim Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Central Africa was published on the EU’s website on 16 August (see also the addendums here and here). Negotiations on the EAC-EU EPA are also apparently on track despite hitches. And conclusion of the EPA negotiations was encouraged at the Pacific ACP meeting held in August. A pivotal meeting of Caribbean EPA functionaries, also in August, allowed for sharing of experiences on the status of EPA implementation at the national and regional levels, as well as the strengthening of coordination and network-building among regional EPA officials so as to improve the flow of EPA relevant information across CARIFORUM.  The Caribbean EPA market intelligence platform is one step closer to becoming reality. Finally, Cariforum and Caribbean export chiefs charted a way forward for EPA support.
     The UN Secretary-General appointed the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. A joint initiative of civil society and the United Nations launched The World We Want Beyond 2015 web platform to host global civil society conversations to help shape the post-2015 development framework and to give input to the UN high level panel.
     The working arrangements for the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation - co-chairs, steering committee members and secretariat contact points – were all confirmed.
     The OECD DAC published a background paper for the joint meeting of the OECD DAC and Working Party of the Trade Committee on Aid for Trade being held next week entitled Succeeding with trade reforms: The role of Aid for Trade. The DAC also released Tax and Development: Aid Modalities for Strengthening Tax Systems drawing on three sources: a review of the relevant literature; a survey of aid agencies officials; and six case studies that afford a ground-level view of how various modalities work in practice.
     The Department of Political Affairs of the African Union, in collaboration with its partners, presented an update of the Shared Values and the Africa Governance Architecture at a technical meeting in Lomé in August. The draft rules of procedure for the African Governance Platform were also published.
All the best,

Melissa Julian

Off The Track   

  Africa Doesn’t Need the Pentagon’s Charity 
There are calls for US AFRICOM to take on non-traditional military roles in Africa as part of a new “whole-of-government” approach. While security is a pre-requisite for development in Africa, Kate Almquist of the US Center for Global Development argues there is little evidence that the Defense Department understands how security and development intersect in specific situations. She calls for USAID to continue it’s lead role in fostering development.


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Publisher: The Weekly Compass is produced by ECDPM with financial resources provided by our core and institutional funders: The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Luxemburg, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.

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