In a new “study on the uptake of strategic evaluations in EU development cooperation”, the EU reviews how evaluations of long-term thematic and country strategies are used. The study was carried out by a team of ECDPM and ODI over the course of 2013 and is part of an on-going review of the EU’s external assistance architecture. The results suggest that evaluations often remain underused to improve policy and practice and that the institutional environment does not always favour uptake. This “uptake study” proposes a systemic approach to strengthening the evaluation culture that looks at the evaluation function itself as well as possible incentives for making better use of evaluation data. Unlike most evaluations, this report comes with an action plan to strengthen the evaluation system in EuropeAid. This is driven by the evaluation unit in the European Commission’s Development Cooperation Directorate, but it also involves a much wider group of institutional stakeholders from the Commission, the European External Action Service, EU Delegations as well as the European Parliament and Member States.
The relationship between the extractive sector and development is complex. It is often addressed in two ways - the governance of extractive resources and links between the extractive sector with the rest of the economy. The latest issue of ECDPM’s GREAT insights magazine addresses some of the key questions and challenges at stake, looking at the continental and some sub-regional perspectives and concrete actions towards the realisation of this objective. It includes an exclusive interview with Commissioner Acyl from the African Union Commission on the critical role of the extractive sector in Africa’s industrial transformation. Dr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of UNECA, unpacks the game-changing role that the extractive sector can play in transforming the economic landscape in African countries. The issue also zooms into national initiatives and provides views from the private sector perspective. Aussi disponible en français.
Our series of blogs on international strategies in the Sahel aims to better equip practitioners working in the region. We started by comparing Sahel strategies (African Union, European Union, World Bank, African Development Bank, Economic Community of West African States, United Nations) looking into the geopolitical stakes behind coordination and identifying ways of working regionally. Our fourth blog on the financing of international efforts in the Sahel argued it is still difficult, on the basis of open sources, to give a clear-cut and comprehensive picture of the amount of funds available for the Sahel region. Our fifth blog, recently published in French, brings further examples and insights and raises some questions on the implementation of the various Sahel strategies. You can read, download and share all of our work on the Sahel in ECDPM’s New Sahel Dossier. Aussi disponible en français.
There is no magic bullet to improve political dialogue on human rights issues in EU external action, explains this European Parliament study on the Political Dialogue on Human Rights under Article 8 of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)-EU Agreement undertaken by ECDPM. Based on a systematic literature review of the legal provisions in place, as well as an analysis of the human rights dialogue in practice in a selection of country-cases, the study offers an assessment of current practices. It recommends that the EU develop a more strategic and structured approach to political dialogue and to fully exploit the potential of development programmes and financial instruments to underpin and strengthen the dialogue.
Sustainable levels of public debt may need to be reconsidered in the context of Africa’s high economic growth rates and improved debt management among other factors, says a new ECDPM report on ensuring public debt sustainability in Africa. It explains current African debt is the lowest in decades, with the fastest decline posted by the most indebted countries thanks to debt relief and accompanying policies that made relief possible. There is scope for debt management strategies to emphasise growth for countries with borrowing space, this includes prudent borrowing for growth-enhancing outlays, and the report recommends African policymakers adopt sound fiscal policies and complementary monetary policies, while seizing opportunities for growth-enhancing investment.
Roman Grynberg from the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) provides his unique insight into the effects felt across Africa, and specifically in Botswana, of China’s domestic policies. Recently, Botswana’s copper and base metals firms have been in discussions along with the government over the road ahead for beneficiation in the country. Two things are pretty clear: the copper companies want nothing to do with the country’s desire to beneficiate its base metals; and the iron ore and coal miners do, at least for the moment. Why? Well, ‘it’s the price – stupid’, says Grynberg.
The third in our series of Regional Economic Community updates on the CAADP (Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme) from the Food Security team at ECDPM. This time Fabien Tondel gives the latest on the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa - and the three priorities for a COMESA regional compact. See our other updates from ECCAS and SADC on our dedicated page
In his article ‘Building inclusive societies in fragile states’, Seth Kaplan looks for ways to make the elite work more for the benefit of their countries and populations. ECDPM’s Frauke de Weijer responds in this article in The Broker saying that approaching the problem in this way is commendable, but we might ask whether the tools presented would ultimately be used by those elites that are in the position to use them effectively.
Jeske van Seters contributes to the review of Dutch food security policy which is underway. By the end of this year, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Affairs will send a joint food security policy paper to the Dutch Parliament. In this process, the Food & Business Knowledge Platform has launched an online consultation to ensure that the newest topics and debates on food security are included in the paper. The consultation is structured according to the five international targets of the Zero Hunger Challenge. van Seters responds to target 3: “All food systems are sustainable”
A short working paper from the African Governance Institute. The evolving dynamics in the world of geopolitics reinforce the relevance of the question of the future of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)-EU Cotonou Agreement and the ACP Group of states. The paper has a number of points, including challenges for the ACP such as the quick rise of emerging economies, and asks the question: how to rethink the partnership of the ACP Group?
The eradication of extreme poverty is a key component of the post-2015 MDG process and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. This paper by the Institute of Security Studies uses the International Futures forecasting system to explore this goal and finds that many African states are unlikely to make this target by 2030. In addition to the use of country-level targets, this paper argues in favour of a goal that would see Africa as a whole reducing extreme poverty to below 20% by 2030 (15% using 2011 purchasing power parity), and to below 3% by 2063. See also the video of the 3 September launch event.
ECDPM provides demand-driven technical and facilitation support, focusing on institutional innovations that have the potential to enable Africa to internally promote good governance. Particular emphasis is placed on promoting good governance at continental and regional levels, promoting a ‘shared values’ agenda for its potential to strengthen accountability and enhancing the linkages between governance and security. The programme also aims to facilitate EU-Africa dialogue in the area of governance.
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- The German Development Institute analysed domestic factors within European donor countries that have influenced their provision of budget support. They found that based on theoretical considerations, the econometric analysis for the 2002–2012 period shows that government ideology, the economic context in donor countries, as well as the structure of their aid systems have been important determinants of budget support provision.
- It has been three years since the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States was endorsed, however there has been minimal progress made of fragile states in achieving the Millenium Development Goals. Brookings have released a new study to provide insights on current efforts and to provoke discussion on how implementation can be improved.
- The Global Competitiveness Report 2014 - 2015 from the World Economic Forum assesses the competitiveness landscape of 144 economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity. The Report series remains the most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide.
- Globally, extreme poverty has been halved in 20 years, and could be virtually wiped out by 2030. But much of the progress that has been made is at risk – not because of natural disasters or new diseases, but because of something far more insidious. Analysis by the ONE Campaign suggests that at least $1 trillion is being taken out of developing countries each year through a web of corrupt activity that involves shady deals for natural resources, the use of anonymous shell companies, money laundering and illegal tax evasion.
- African governments are increasingly turning to partnerships with donors and multinational companies to stimulate investment in agriculture, after decades of neglect. Such public–private partnerships (PPPs) ‘at scale’ offer the allure of increased capital and technology, rises in productivity and foreign exchange earnings. Oxfam assesses the effectiveness and potential of these mega-PPPs as a vehicle for poverty eradication and rural livelihoods.
- The National Bureau of Economic Research’s new paper presents descriptive statistics which show that foreign aid to very poor countries accounts for very little of total global aid, and reviews the evidence that foreign aid is often determined by the objectives of donor countries rather than the needs of recipient countries.
- Negotiations to set up a grand free trade zone encompassing 26 countries in eastern and southern Africa are progressing well and may be completed in 2015, a year before schedule, officials with Southern African Development Community (SADC), one of the three participating regional blocs, have revealed.
- East African countries are scheduled to hold a meeting in September to resolve outstanding issues in order to conclude negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs) with EU.
- Global Witness warmly welcomes regulations published by the UK Government that will implement the EU Accounting Directive. The Directive requires all 28 EU Member States to introduce legislation that compels oil, gas, mining and logging companies to publish detailed accounts of the billions of pounds-worth of payments they make to governments across the world, such as taxes, royalties and licence fees, for access to natural resources.
- The Center For Global Development asks: How has the developing world changed since the late 1990s? They found development taxonomy in the more recent period of 2005-2010 consisted of five clusters from: countries with high poverty rates and largely ‘traditional’ economies, to unequal and highly polluting “emerging economies” with low dependence on external finance.
- The EU and Peacebuilding: From European Peace Project to Global Actor was an 18-month project co-financed by the European Commission. Its aim was to engage a broad range of actors in a dialogue on the EU’s role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, and its history as a peace project.
- The International Monetary Fund found that good administration of oil and mining revenues is vital. Their new publications states that extractive industries warrant special attention from taxation policy-makers, and management of government revenues from extractive industries are important to overall budget.
- The African Union strategy for the Sahel region focusing on three main pillars: (i) governance; (ii) security; and (iii) development.
- This paper from the World Bank uses detailed aid data spanning 60 developing countries over the past two decades to show that social aid significantly and directly benefits the poorest in society, while economic aid increases the income of the poor through growth.
- This UN General Assembly International financial system and development report reviews recent trends in international official and private capital flows to developing countries and current efforts to strengthen the international financial system, towards the post-2015 development agenda.
- UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies looks at how the European Union can develop its approach towards global policy networks. They review the relevance of networks in three broad policy fields which directly affect European foreign policy making: energy and environment, trade and finance and human security. Afterwards, they propose eight measures to better involve networks in European Union policy making.
- This paper from the World Bank presents a base case scenario with the International Futures model that forecasts a 32 percent poverty rate for fragile states by 2030 given current conditions and trends. The paper considers alternative scenarios to identify a range of possible outcomes and explores the effects of improved institutions and improved security in fragile states and of a set of poverty reduction policies that would be conditional on security and good governance to be effective.
- This publication from the United Nations Environment Programme reviews the current context and future implications of Climate Change impacts in Africa. It highlights the impact these changes have had and will have on the people of Africa.
- Modelling adaptation to climate change in agriculture. Analysis from OECD.
- Integrating ACP countries into global and regional value chains. The growth of global value chains provides opportunities for development, but countries must satisfy certain preconditions in order to participate in them.
- An OECD note exploring the scope for collecting data on amounts mobilised from the private sector by official development finance in the DAC statistical system.
- Public financial management in infrastructure in Africa. How do public authorities manage public spending on infrastructure in Africa? To what extent do budgetary processes and institutions hamper the continent’s infrastructural development?
- This IDS Bulletin focuses on China’s development strategy and its own development experience, its increasing involvement in development activities in low- and middle-income countries, as well as its collaboration with OECD-DAC members in international development, and its growing engagement in global governance structures.