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

The Rules of the Game Have Changed for Development Assistance
As the lines between developed and developing countries blur, the role of development assistance must adapt to a rapidly changing world says Erik Solheim, Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee in our new blog. Eradicating poverty and reducing inequalities will require billions of dollars, but the most important thing is that development assistance is used to reduce poverty wherever it is found, support development and help unlock all available resources. With new geopolitical and economic balances of power old distinctions between rich and poor, developed and developing, donor and recipient are becoming less clear. 

Policy News

A Real Breakthrough on Migration and Mobility in the Africa - EU Partnership?

For the migration and mobility partnership between Africa and the EU to lead to real results, cooperation needs to include genuine plans for mobility and overcome a focus on the ‘root’ cause argument to fight irregular migration. Three challenges need to be overcome to make the partnership an actual breakthrough, writes ECDPM’s Anna Knoll and Essete Abebe Bekele. Both parties need to take the partnership seriously and actively work on tackling the constraints outlined – otherwise there will be very little worthwhile substance to show for the next EU-Africa Summit in 3 years time. 

How Can EU-Africa Relations Move Forward?

The EU-Africa Summit is behind us, and now it is time to look forward to a renewed EU-Africa partnership. This is the core focus of a conference organised by EARN in Lisbon, Portugal on April 29th, and attended by ECDPM's Geert Laporte. The conference will discuss the main changes in the priorities, needs, expectations and ambitions of both continents, as well as the added-value of EU-Africa relations vis a vis the growing diversification of partnerships available to Africa. The event is free upon registration.

VIDEO Poverty in Fragile States: Getting Elites On Board

"What the poor lack most of all is opportunity" - Watch the recorded livestream of this lunchtime seminar. Hosted by ECDPM and led by Seth Kaplan, author of the new book Betrayed: Politics, Power, and Prosperity, participants informally exchanged views on the ideas put forward in the book and their implications for public policy. The key theme is that the poor lack the opportunities to put their agency, resourcefulness and drive to use in improving their life conditions. In the book, Seth examines ways to foster political change and economic opportunity that will produce more inclusive societies and empower the poor. The seminar was an opportunity to ask questions and discuss these ideas.

New Deal for Fragile States Needs Time and Political Commitment to Flourish

Some claim the 2011 Busan agreement is already in crisis, but statebuilding demands patience, resources and resolve argues the general secretary of the g7+, Helder da Costa. The g7+, the group of post-conflict states, have felt the pain of the tragic series of events that struck South Sudan and the Central African Republic. The two are pilot countries for the New Deal for engagement in fragile states. Helder da Costa explains that far from being in crisis: “With the New Deal, we will get out what we put in.”

VIDEO What to Expect from the New Deal and the Peace and Statebuilding Goals

Conflict and fragility are intercontinental risks. Looking towards 2015 and beyond, effective partnerships and more targeted and decisive action to address conflict and fragility are needed to eradicate extreme poverty, enable sustainable growth and better manage the environment. The International Dialogue on Peace and Statebuilding, which produced the New Deal, is the forum that brings together leaders, civil society and others from the g7+ group to drive change and find new ways of development cooperation.

Emerging Economies and Africa: GREAT Insights

The role of emerging economies in Africa cannot be ignored. China is the single biggest exporting country to Africa, accounting for 18% of African imports in 2013. This bumper issue of ECDPM’s GREAT Insights magazine looks at the increasing role of emerging economies such as China, Brazil and India in Africa. As traditional arguments about emerging players in Africa are over simplistic, our articles this month bring together a wide array of contributions on the multi-dimensional role and influence of emerging global economies in Africa. The latest update on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) is also online, detailing this months the blocked ECOWAS deal.

Are Africa and Europe Turning a New Page in Their Relationship?

Will we look back in a few years and the see the 4th EU-Africa Summit as a threshold moment in Africa-Europe relations?  ECDPM’s Faten Aggad and James Mackie explain it has planted the seeds for a potentially stronger, more balanced partnership between the EU and Africa. However, to gather real momentum Mrs Dlamini-Zuma will need a strong counterpart on the EU side – a challenge for the incoming EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security? The Summit's Roadmap is a starting point, but we will have to watch to see if this is a real shift in Africa – EU relations that will last for the long term.

How Does the EU Make Decisions That Matter for Africa?

ECDPM’s latest guide is for African audiences eager to know more about how the European Union makes decisions on Africa in an ever changing and interdependent relationship between the two continents. What guiding documents, financial and other instruments does the EU use? What are the main dynamics and challenges? No death by powerpoint here! This new guide is an in-house presentation  supported by infographics and narrated by our own Essete Abebe Bekele and Clem Silverman. It is based on previous ECDPM research and body of knowledge.

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No 186, 18th April 2014

Dear <<First name>>,

Melissa Julian is away this week, so I am stepping in as Deputy Editor with help from Emily Barker and Clem Silverman. Please check our Twitter feed for up-to-the-minute news on international development cooperation. There is currently no news collection through The Filter, but it will start again this coming Tuesday.

Global development cooperation, fragile states, emerging economies and post-summit Africa-EU relations…..

Controversy surrounded the First High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (HLM) in Mexico, which reviewed progress on the commitments made at Busan in 2011. India, China and the G-77 boycotted the high-level meeting with major concerns over the conference's approach to South-South cooperation and the binding nature of the meeting's outcome document. Would the Communique become a "binding input" to the UN processes?  India maintains that poverty eradication should be the main pillar of global development, and should not be linked to issues like human rights protection, according to reports. 

The Global Partnership aims to bring together aid donors and recipients, emerging economies, civil society organisations, private sector companies and foundations in the hope of eradicating poverty through better cooperation.

38 new initiatives were announced by governments officials, business leaders, private foundations and civil society representatives. These included an initiative to measure aid flows into tax administrations, a commitment by the UK to explore development impact bonds and the launch of a new partnership road map.

The EU had two main priorities for the HLM in areas it has made progress since Busan - Transparency and Joint Programming. At a recent meeting of the Development Committee of the European Parliament (DEVE) CONCORD stressed that the EU as the largest donor should play a key role in this process and can lead by example. The EU and its member states should agree on ambitious joint positions and deliver a plan to accelerate progress. However, as shown in the 2013 Concord AidWatch Report only seven EU member states have a full strategy in place for implementing the Busan commitments. Read CONCORD’s HLM Storify.

Pin Collacott of Development Initiatives argues the most significant Busan commitment was the pledge for a ‘common, open standard of timely, comprehensive and forward-looking information on resources provided through development cooperation’ which she argues is an essential tool to eradicate global extreme poverty by 2030. The good news is that three EU states (UK, Netherlands and Sweden) demonstrate that it is technically possible via the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) or the OECD DAC Forward-Spending Survey.

The challenge this week at Mexico is to agree concrete actions that will help the rest match the best. ECDPM’s Florian Krätke recently asked how donors can support a demand-led post-2015 data revolution in his latest blog ‘By the numbers’. Efforts to improve data are mostly donor-driven and given fluctuating aid levels, they’re rarely systematic - he argues for a global goal to improve the quality and availability of economic, demographic, environmental and social data.

DEVEX reported that masked civil society representatives took the stage briefly at the HLM closing plenary, which was discussing the role of the private sector in development. Activists lamented the event didn’t foster cross-sectoral discussions. With little focus on accountability, there was a general feeling that this is not an inclusive partnership - with business, civil society and government representatives often participating in separate tracks.

Two burning questions remain on the HLM - how does this process fit into the wider post-2015 development agenda discussions and where do we go from here? Our latest blog is by Erik Solheim, Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee, in which he outlines his vision of development cooperation in a multipolar world.

All the best,

Rhys Williams

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