European Centre for Development Policy Management Weekly Newsletter
13 March 2015
|Dear <<First name>>,
This week’s Editor’s Pick features ECDPM and ISS Dakar work on a mapping and comparative analysis of Sahel strategies and initiatives of regional and international actors.
It considers that on paper, the identification of the Sahel issues are broadly shared, but in reality the various strategies play out in different ways, and there is a risk that competition supersedes coordination in the Saharan-Sahelian region.
We also feature our second blog in a series that will feed into an ECDPM study (to be published this summer) to contribute to a well-informed debate on the future of ACP-EU partnership through a ‘political economy approach’. It considers how fit for purpose the ACP-EU partnership is in relation to the universal Post-2015 agenda. There are several thorny questions that need to be answered.
Another article covers a blog from the President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, on regional integration. The political dimension in cooperation needs to be understood properly, also for regional cooperation. ECDPM and IDL will publish a study, funded by Swedish Embassy in Nairobi, on the political economy of regional cooperation in September.
We also give a sneak preview of the upcoming European Report on Development (to be published in May) and include articles on new papers on economic transformation, fragile states, food security, and China’s public diplomacy.
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,
Sahel strategies: Why coordination is imperative
The Sahel has been at the centre of international and regional efforts to solve the multiple crises that affect the region - lack of security, terrorism threats, governance failures and food insecurity. The Sahelian strategic environment has become more and more crowded as international and regional organisations propose their own solutions to tackle this multiplicity of challenges. At the request of the Bamako Ministerial Coordination Platform for Sahel Strategies and Initiatives, ECDPM and ISS Dakar have undertaken a mapping and comparative analysis of Sahel strategies and initiatives of regional and international actors. On paper, the identification of the Sahel issues are broadly shared, but in reality the various strategies play out in different ways, and there is a risk that competition supersedes coordination in the Saharan-Sahelian region. La version française est disponible.
Is education a hidden shortcut from crisis to stability?
Fifty-eight million children of primary school age are still out of school. Half of these live in conflict-affected countries. In such contexts, the challenges faced in education reflect and even perpetuate the fragility of the state, with governments unable or unwilling to provide access to education and other social services. ECDPM’s Matthias Deneckere and Fernanda Faria share their thoughts on the CAERUS project aiming to ‘bridge the gap’ in post-crisis stability. The EU is leading by example, increasing its funding to education in emergencies. Further steps are needed to link this initiative with broader peacebuilding agendas and governance reforms that can provide a more coherent and comprehensive approach. Follow next week’s CAERUS meeting on #bridgethegap
The tipping point for African regional integration
In a changing global world, regional integration in Africa is not just about politics, but also about economics, according to the President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, in this guest blog for ECDPM. Despite being a key means of development that Africa’s leaders call for, regional integration has made only modest progress on the continent over the last 50 years. This decades-long prevarication has led to low-level intra-regional trade, which today is the lowest in the world as a share total trade. The political dimension in cooperation needs to be understood properly, also for regional cooperation. ECDPM and IDL will publish a study, funded by Swedish Embassy in Nairobi, on the political economy of regional cooperation in September.
The universal Post-2015 agenda – how fit for purpose is the ACP-EU partnership?
A new universal post-2015 agenda will have far reaching consequences, but what does this mean for the ACP-EU partnership, Jean Bossuyt and Niels Keijzer ask in this ECDPM blog. At first glance, the Cotonou Agreement and the Post-2015 agenda share some key principles: ‘contractual relations’, ‘equal partnership’, and ‘joint management’. However, there are several thorny questions that need to be answered. Can an exclusive north-south partnership be reconciled with the new universal agenda? Can the ACP-EU partnership embrace the new global agenda (which goes beyond poverty reduction), and what type of partnership is possible ‘beyond aid’? It is, therefore, in the interest of all parties involved to check how compatible the new ‘software’ of the Post-2015 agenda is with the ‘hardware’ of the current ACP-EU framework.
Why the African Peer Review Mechanism must remain voluntary
Membership of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) - which stands at 35 of the 54 states of the African Union - is based on voluntary accession. A question that has been asked since the APRM’s inception is whether the process should remain voluntary, or become compulsory for all 54 member states of the African Union. A new policy brief by SAIIA argues that the APRM must remain voluntary. The briefing explains that it is precisely the voluntary commitment to undergo review that imbues the process with credibility, and its successes will serve to attract more members. This briefing makes the case that mandatory accession would actually undermine the mechanism.
The emerging messages of the 2015 European Report on Development
Under the theme of ‘Implementing a transformative post-2015 development agenda: Combining finance and policies’, the 2015 European Report on Development (ERD) will set out a new conceptual framework for thinking about development finance. ECDPM’s James Mackie was invited by Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the EU Delegation to Japan to present the emerging messages of the ERD in Tokyo. While there is progress in ‘means of implementation’ of the Post-2015 development agenda, they are not yet fit for purpose. Policy makers should consider all financial resources for sustainable development, focus finance on enablers of sustainable development, and consider policy and finance to enable a transformative post-2015 agenda. The ERD will be officially launched in Brussels on May 4th.
Why we need more and better jobs in the developing world
“Working for economic transformation”, a new study by ECDPM’s Bruce Byiers in collaboration with ODI, discusses what the challenge of generating more and better employment opportunities means for developing countries, particularly in the context of economic structural transformation. ODI and ECDPM, alongside research partners in Sri Lanka and Uganda, have been working on a set of case studies on employment progress, as well as in a more broad discussion paper on employment and structural transformation. “Work in Progress: Productive Employment and Transformation in Uganda” is one of the papers setting out the key reasons on why the poverty in Uganda has fallen substantially. See all the reports here.
Fragile states: an urgent challenge for EU foreign policy
Around a quarter of the world's states are classified as 'fragile', meaning that they generally suffer from weak governance and persistent poverty while being prone to conflict. State fragility is a particularly urgent challenge for EU foreign policy because a large proportion of fragile states can be found in Europe's extended neighbourhood. FRIDE analyses the global drivers of state fragility – such as natural resource competition, demographic growth and climate change – which will likely intensify in the coming years, as well as the changing types of fragile states. It calls on the EU to further join up the disparate instruments of its foreign policy to better tackle state fragility.
Food and nutrition security: Inclusive partnerships
This month’s issue of ECDPM’s GREAT insights magazine covers partnerships for food and nutrition security through three lenses: the latest developments in Africa and within the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), the evolving global context, and the role of the private sector in ensuring such partnerships are really inclusive. It includes interviews with Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD; Sindiso Ngwenya, Secretary-General of COMESA and articles on family farming by the Director General of the World Rural Forum, Auxtin Ortiz.
The benefits – and challenges– of regional economic integration in Africa
Regional economic integration holds potential and strong benefits for Africa, but this is true only if the continent succeeds in finding a formula to counter the challenges that go with regional integration, according to TRALAC’s latest edition of its Monitoring Regional Integration Yearbook. It considers capacity issues, financial and resources concerns, expertise, overlapping membership to different Regional Economic Communities, and, most importantly, the political will to succeed with the project. ECDPM’s Bruce Byiers and Jan Vanheukelom contributed one chapter to the book, “Political drivers of Africa’s regional economic integration: Lessons from the Maputo and North-South Corridors”.
China’s public diplomacy: Implications for Europe
EU-China cooperation is impressively expanding and deepening, especially in the field of research and innovation. But could this cooperation be culturally deeper? What does the rapid development of China’s public diplomacy mean for Europe? At a recent event hosted by Clingendael and the Madariaga Foundation, ECDPM’s Damien Helly argued that cultural relations are important and that the EU should invest to become an enabling power, an interpreter and a ‘composer’. The EU should create a European Foundation for external cultural relations at arm’s length from the EU institutions and Member States. A meeting report prepared by Madariaga, a College of Europe Foundation, can now be found online.
-The Brookings Institution outlines six priorities for Africa in financing development, ranging from domestic finance to remittances, financial regulation, illicit financial flows and philanthropy.
-The FAO has released a report on ‘Making economic corridors work for the agricultural sector’ and outlines how economic "agrocorridors" can be a strategic tool to draw private capital and large-scale investment to projects that can boost food security in lower-income countries.
-The ten richest Africans own as much as the poorest half of the continent, according to latest ‘Let's Talk Development’ blog from the World Bank.
-The WTO has created a new webpage dedicated to the issue of quantitative restrictions, measures imposed by governments limiting the quantity or value of goods that can be traded.
-The European Parliament has collated European Court of Auditor’s findings on external relations, including reports on EU climate finance and aid, the European External Action Service, blending and EuropeAid evaluations systems.
-Edward Carr of the ‘Open the Echo Chamber’ blog argues that the SDGs are in need of rescue in this two-part blog. He suggests that the SDG process should engage with climate negotiations, implementers and donors earlier. Part 2 can be found here
-This UNECA report shows the progress in the implementation of the priority areas of the Istanbul Programme of Action for least developed countries.
-IDS asks if China’s role in African fragile states is exploitative or developmental?
-This European Parliament report looks at Community-led local development as an approach to territorial development where local actors work in partnership to design and implement their own strategies.
-The OECD DAC have published their workplan to implement the December 2014 high level meeting decisions on the measurement and monitoring of development finance.
-This Development Progress report, synthesises findings from two country case studies and analyses the progress made in security in post-conflict contexts when caught ‘between liberal peacebuilding and elite interests’.
-This CSPPS paper analyses the implementation of the New Deal in South Sudan, particularly from the perspective of South Sudanese civil society.
-This FOI report analyses regional peace operations launched by the AU and sub-regional organisations, identifying advantages, challenges and trends.
For more, see The Filter