ECDPM's Weekly Compass update

European Centre for Development Policy Management Weekly Newsletter
17 July 2015

Melissa Julian

Head of Communications

Dear <<First name>>,

This week’s issue has a focus on the just concluded Financing for Development Conference in Addis. ECDPM’s James Mackie attended to discuss the importance of implementing clear policies to use finance effectively.

The Editor’s Pick is a blog from Mackie arguing that If the degree of consensus achieved in the process for the Third Financing for Development Conference (FFD3) is anything to go by, the omens look good for the post-2015 agenda and the agreements that need to be achieved for a new set of UN Sustainable Development Goals. But December’s COP21 Climate Summit in Paris is another matter.

We also feature a podcast interview with Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation, Alexander De Croo, on the risk of not taking risks in development cooperation

Other articles provide the 5 key facts on Financing for Development and a reflection on whether there is a paradigm shift in the post-2015 debate.

We also include an ECDPM survey on the role of the private sector in ACP-EU relations, an article on the ACP’s trade and development ambitions, and a video from our Food Security Programme on the policy strategies in place for adolescent girls and their role in the context of agriculture, food and nutrition security.

Read further for more and visit The Filter for all the news collected on EU-Africa relations and international cooperation from this week.

All the best,



Editor's Pick 

Financing for Development Conference – a steady start to a rocky road ahead?

If the degree of consensus achieved in the process for the Third Financing for Development Conference (FFD3) is anything to go by, the omens look good for the post-2015 agenda and the agreements that need to be achieved for a new set of UN Sustainable Development Goals. This was just the first hurdle to cross out of three international fora in 2015, but all things considered it went reasonably well. This bodes well for the UN General Assembly in September. But December’s COP21 Climate Summit in Paris is another matter, writes James Mackie in our latest Talking Points blog. Mackie was in Addis Ababa this week with our Press Officer Emily Barker, to discuss with many of the 7,000 delegates the importance of implementing clear policies to use finance effectively for development. He spoke at a side event on ‘ODA and Fragile Environments: The shift of Development Finance and Assistance in the Post-2015 Agenda’ and was interviewed by several African media organisations, including the Addis Standard and Addis Fortune. If any journalists are interested in commentary on the conference from James or any of our other experts who work on Financing for Development, please contact Rhys Williams at or call +32 495 56 17 89

Policy News 

LISTEN - PODCAST: The risk of not taking risks in development cooperation
In the margins of the Financing for Development conference, James Mackie interviewed the Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation, Alexander De Croo. They discussed how to manage the risks inherent in providing development cooperation assistance to developing and fragile states. De Croo said that there is indeed concern from parliaments and the public about providing development assistance to these countries. But the risk of not doing something is the biggest risk you can take, he said. To eradicate poverty in 2030, we have to invest in the ‘bottom billion’ now. And in dialogue with partners countries, we need to try to lower the amount of risks in order to ensure effective cooperation in areas like domestic resource mobilisation, foreign direct investment, and remittances.

5 key facts on Financing for Development
For positive development outcomes, both developed and developing countries need to ensure the right policy environment to make the best and most effective use of the resources available to them. We bring you 5 key facts about Financing for Development: (1) Taxes and other public resources are the largest source of finance for development; (2) We need a completely new approach towards financing international development; (3) Finance alone will not be sufficient to achieve the post-2015 development agenda; (4) The role of Official Development Assistance is changing; (5) The new development agenda will be universal – it affects us all. A modified version of this article was translated into Dutch and published in

Post-2015: A paradigm shift?
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are ushering in a new era for development. The EU has declared its support, but it is questionable whether Europeans really recognise some of the key changes that underpin this agenda and the paradigm shift they constitute, says ECDPM’s James Mackie in this article for Europe’s World. There are two fundamental changes. Firstly, the SDG agenda is universal and the EU will be expected to achieve its various goals in Europe. Secondly, the EU contribution to this international effort is not just about aid, more importantly it is about how European policies contribute to the wider international cooperation that tackles global challenges such as climate change, trade or global financial stability. For this we need allies and partners.

ECDPM survey on the role of the private sector in ACP-EU relations
In 2020, the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)-EU Partnership Agreement agreement will expire. Both sides are preparing their positions for a new arrangement. To contribute to these discussions, ECDPM is conducting a political economy analysis that looks at the practice of EU-ACP cooperation. To inform our study, and considering that one of the major innovations of Cotonou was the greater emphasis on the role of private businesses, we would like to invite you to participate in a short survey on the role of the private sector in ACP-EU cooperation. We very much hope you can invest ten minutes of your precious time for this important exercise.  Please feel free to forward this email to any of your peers or colleagues who may have experiences and suggestions to share on this topic. The survey is available in English and in French. ECDPM guarantees the utmost discretion. We will not quote anyone without his or her explicit permission.

The ACP and the WTO: what ambitions in trade and development?
The discussions on the future of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group beyond 2020 are picking up speed. One area in which the ACP leadership sees a clear added value for further collective action is in promoting trade, industry and regional integration. ECDPM’s Alfonso Medinilla Aldana ask what we can learn from almost four decades of ACP engagement in multilateral trade negotiation. And what can we expect in terms of ACP collective positioning in the WTO’s trade and development agenda? One key lesson we can draw is that building a coalition around a more ‘defensive’ agenda, like maintaining trade preferences and securing Special and Differential Treatment, is easier than around more ‘offensive’ interests or real economic integration across regions. Is the ACP, as a political body, equipped for this kind of task which requires a much stronger political cohesion and proper mobilisation of resources for delivering the necessary accompanying technical preparation?

VIDEO: Food security: Starting from girls - they are the source to trigger a change!
Girls and women remain marginalised despite playing a major role in agriculture production and the nutrition of their community, explains Simona Seravesi from Save the Children in this ECDPM video made in the margins of the Milan EXPO’s Save the Children Italia dialogue on the policy strategies in place for adolescent girls and their role in the context of agriculture, food and nutrition security. Also in the video, Malawi’s Principal Secretary for Gender, Mary Shawa, explains that in her country 80% of food producers are women, but they own as little as 1% of land, making it very difficult to improve their livelihood. Watch our video to see more interviews on the role of women in agriculture, the reasons behind the ‘Milan Charter’ and what the Sun Movement does to scale-up nutrition. See also ECDPM’s Francesco Rampa’s presentation on “The role of the private sector and public-private partnerships in the Agriculture, Nutrition and Food Security Sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa”.

Improving the business climate in developing countries: a realistic goal or another holy grail?
The Netherland’s policy in support of private sector development in developing countries puts the private sector where it ought to be - at the centre - say ECDPM’s Paul Engel and Bruce Byiers. The policy emphasises improving the business climate to ensure sustainable, locally-owned economic development. But putting this policy into practice is a challenge. There are obstacles that put the brakes on pro-poor economic development. For transformation to occur in practice,  there needs to be a greater focus in the political economy of change, argue Engel and Byiers. This blog was originally published by Platform OiO (Ondernemen in Ontwikkelingslanden), a digital platform that provides information to Dutch entrepreneurs about doing business in new markets.


- A new dossier from The Broker links up the analysis of conflicts in the Sahel-Sahara to Central Africa, based on analysis from the recent ‘Governance in Connections’ conference. It is also based on fieldwork in Mali, Chad, Nigeria, South Sudan, Darfur, Somalia, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.

- The Institute of Development Studies seeks to understand how public-private-producer partnerships (PPPPs) in agricultural value chains can be designed and implemented to achieve more sustained increases in income for smallholder farmers and broader rural development.

- African governments should start with a strengthened focus on fiscal policy and equitable public spending on infrastructure, health, education, water and sanitation according to the Africa Progress Panel in this report. It sets out an agenda for maximising Africa’s natural resource wealth and using it to improve well-being.

- There is recognition by African leaders that regional trade agreements have enormous potential to foster regional trade and development. However, the low rate of their implementation has left this potential largely locked up. This UNCTAD paper identifies some of the main barriers to implementation and proposes remedies for them.

- PAEPARD analyses the evolution of undernourishment and other forms of malnutrition in Africa. It highlights policy developments that are relevant and individual country success stories.

- The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have placed substantial emphasis on inequalities within countries but relatively less has been said about inequalities between countries, an equally important component of this agenda. This Development Progress paper argues that a country-based focus needs to feature prominently.

- As much as $100 billion, or more, could be raised annually by developing countries mobilising diaspora savings and reducing remittance costs and other related policies according to this World Bank blog.

- Conflict levels in Africa were at a low in the mid-2000s, but have risen since 2012, largely due to escalations in Egypt, CAR, DRC, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia, according to data from the ISS Conflict Tracker.

- This Center for Global Development blog asks if stopping tax dodging by multinational enterprises can close the gap in finance for development. The best estimates reveal the dilemma that the potential gains are both too small and too big to fulfil this hope

- This OECD dashboard on governance contains key indicators to help you analyse international comparisons of public sector performance.

- This World Bank book seeks to critically examine the challenges of fragility and security in West Africa, along with the factors of resilience, identifying key lessons in the dynamics of resilience against political violence and civil war, drawn from countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cote d’Ivoire. Under the auspices of the regional organisation ECOWAS it argues, West Africa has become a pioneer on the continent in terms of addressing regional challenges.

- Politics, power, interests and ideas define organisational policies, procedures and behaviours., ‘The politics of evidence and results in international development’, edited by Rosalind Eyben, Irene Guijt, Chris Roche, and Cathy Shutt, notes the key role of individuals’ personal power to question, create and act.  This required people being astute political actors who understood their context, organisational histories and how to leverage organisational values.

For more, see The Filter 

How helpful was this newsletter?
lowest 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   highest
Sorry, voting is closed.



Recent and upcoming events

The EU Council adopted the financial reference amount of EUR 9,800,000 to cover the expenditure related to EUCAP Sahel Niger for the period 16 July 2015 to 15 July 2016. This decision follows the agreement by the Council to reinforce the civilian mission EUCAP Sahel Niger as part of the actions of the European Union to prevent irregular migration.

The European Commission Staff Working Document ‘Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights - State of Play’ describes the EU’s current regime relating to business and human rights. It addresses the current implementation of the UN Guiding Principles.

The European Union and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation launched new programmes to boost food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture and resilience. The new initiative consists of two linked five-year programmes: The Food and Nutrition Security Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) facility and the Information for Nutrition Food Security and Resilience for Decision Making (INFORMED) programme.

The European Investment Bank and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding that seeks to foster investment operations in the field of agriculture, private sector development and value chains that promote both EIB's priorities and FAO's strategic objectives.

The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group, the EU and the United Nations Development Programme launched the “Capacity development of mineral institutions and of small-scale private sector operating in low-value minerals in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries”.

The EU-Cariforum Joint Economic Partnership Agreement Council met to take stock of the first five years of the EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and plan the next phase of cooperation.  The EU Trade Commissioner highlighted notable achievements so far, but also acknowledged that the 2008 financial crisis and incomplete implementation have hampered the EPA's ability to create economic opportunities for people in the region. She urged agreement on a work programme to the get deal fully up and running as soon as possible.

Pacific ACP Trade and Fisheries Ministers expressed concerns at the EU's proposal to defer the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations and reaffirmed their intent to continue engagement in the comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations as a region with solidarity.The Pacific Islands Forum’s Secretary General said it is particularly disappointing that the European Commission has conditioned any further progress of the comprehensive EPA negotiations on commitments by the Pacific region in the area of fisheries.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda agreed at this week’s Third International Conference on Financing for Development presents an ambitious financing framework that includes policy commitments in areas such as a new social compact for quality investment and a package for least developed countries.  There were, however, few concrete commitments. Discussions focused on mobilising the private sector and domestic resources in the developing world to fund the Sustainable Development Goals being launched in September. While it is the first global agreement that notes the harm of illicit financial flows and calls to stop them by 2030, civil society lamented the rejection of their proposal to establish an intergovernmental UN body on tax matters. See The Filter for all the reports and commentary on the Financing for Development meeting.

Multilateral development banks and the IMF signaled plans to extend more than $400 billion in financing over the next three years and vowed to work more closely with private and public sector partners to help mobilise the resources needed to meet the historic challenge of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The World Bank and IMF launched a new initiative to help developing countries strengthen their tax systems. It has two pillars: deepening the dialogue with developing countries on international tax issues, aiming to help increase their voice in the international debate on tax rules and cooperation; and developing improved diagnostic tools to help member countries evaluate and strengthen their tax policies.

More than 30 countries, regional and international organisations signed the Addis Tax Initiative. It intends to generate substantially more resources for capacity building in the field of domestic resource mobilisation / taxation as well as more ownership and commitment for the establishment of transparent, fair and efficient tax systems.

The OECD and the United Nations Development Programme launched Tax Inspectors Without Borders, a new initiative to help developing countries bolster domestic revenues by strengthening their tax audit capacities.

Top climate envoys from the US, China, Brazil, Russia and 18 other countries have offered the clearest signal yet they feel a UN climate deal will be reached in Paris this year. A summary of their views has been released by the Washington DC based C2ES think tank, the consequence of eight informal discussions since March 2014 with senior negotiators.

On Monday, the EU is to decide on plans for relocating 40,000 migrants.

The next round of intergovernmental negotiations on Post-2015 Development Agenda will take place from 20-31 July. The sessions will focus on negotiating and finalising the outcome document of the September 2015 summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda.

Climate ministerial talks take place in Paris from July 21-22.

ECDPM’s Sean Woolfrey and Hanne Knaepen are facilitating the consultative meeting on the COMESA Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Regional Agricultural Investment Plan in Victoria, Seychelles. The focus is on the creation of public-private platforms for regional value chains, more precisely the value chains of fish and maize, for four selected islands in the Indian Ocean. You can also read about the first consultative meeting held in Kigali in November 2014 and a blog by Francesco Rampa and Fabien Tondel on the issue on Talking Points.

ECDPM’ Rhys Williams will be attending a Wonkcomms panel discussion which will explore what impact means for think tanks in London. How can think tanks measure and evaluate success?

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, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.

Subscribe to The Weekly Compass

Share This Newsletter
Like 🌍Our reaction to FFD3 | Alexander De Croo | Private sector in ACP-EU relations - Read the Weekly Compass news 📬 on Facebook   Google Plus One Button   share on Twitter

Melissa Julian

Head of Communications,

Call or SMS +32 (0)47 328 11 65

Fax +32 (0)2 237 43 19

Visit Melissa's Profile

Editor: Rhys Williams 
Communications Officer,
Visit Rhys' Profile

Emily Barker

Communications Officer,

Visit Emily's Profile

Tanit Parada-Tur
Communications Officer,

Visit Tanit's Profile

Designer: Yaseena van 't Hoff
Information Officer Publications – Art Direction and Design,

Visit Yaseena's Profile

Disclaimer: This newsletter has been created with great care though it may contain links to websites which are created and maintained by other organisations and which have information that is not complete or accurate. The contents of this message may express personal views which are not the views of ECDPM unless specifically stated. Reproduction is authorised provided that the source is acknowledged. However, we are not liable for the subsequent use of the information. 

Copyright © 2015 ECDPM, All rights reserved.