ECDPM's Weekly Compass update

European Centre for Development Policy Management Weekly Newsletter
30 October 2015

Melissa Julian

Head of Communications

Dear Linda,

This week’s Editor’s Pick highlights an Afronline article outlining the draft agreement for the EU-Africa migration summit on 11-12 November. The article includes the views of ECDPM’s Anna Knoll.

In our Policy News items we feature a Devex article interview with ECDPM’s Geert Laporte and James Mackie on the future of EU leadership in global development and articles on the EU’s new trade and investment strategy, the EU’s approach to fighting piracy, and the lessons learned from programming EU aid.

We also feature an new book on the politics of the Horn of Africa, an presentation on culture, development and peace in Niger, and research on developing countries preferred partners for development efforts.

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 

Valletta, the summit of dissent
As part of its response to the current global refugee crisis, the EU is holding a summit with African partners on 11-12 November. The conference aims to address the root causes of the crisis by working to help create peace, stability and economic development, and to improve legal migration channels, protect asylum seekers, tackle migrant traffickers, and improve cooperation on return and readmission. Joshua Massarenti of Afronline examines the draft declaration and action plan that are due to be agreed at the summit. He says return arrangements and the fight against irregular migration take precedence over mobility. But legal migration channels and mobility do feature as the second point of the five points on the Action Plan. “It’s an encouraging sign”, says ECDPM’s Anna Knoll. “The other positive sign concerns the recommendations and commitments that appear for the first time at the end of each point on the Action Plan. Nonetheless, the commitments are still too generic”, she says. She also finds “it is surprising to read in the draft agreement that the first senior officials meeting to assess the implementation of the Action Plan will only take place in 2017.”


Policy News 

EU trade and investment: A bumpy road
The catchy title of the European Commission’s new EU Trade and Investment Strategy – ‘Trade for All’ – is both auspicious and ambitious. It has promising elements for global development, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, says experts from ECDPM, ODI and the German Development Institute (DIE) in an article for Euractiv and a longer blog for ECDPM. They welcome the fact that the Commission supports the role of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the prime driver of trade liberalisation, provides incentives and support for human rights, sustainable development and good governance, and addresses the perspective of third countries in mega-regional trade negotiations. But they argue that the strategy’s implementation requires the details of each policy to be defined and quickly put into action. And that success depends on the Commission adopting a strong cooperation approach with other players in international fora and more actively engaging in multi-stakeholders processes. 


Policy, politics and power: The future for EU leadership on #globaldev
The EU remains the world’s biggest donor of official development assistance (ODA), but is that enough for the bloc to keep its position as the pre-eminent player in global development efforts? This was the debate in Lisbon this month at a conference entitled “Is Global Development Achievable?”. Devex interviewed ECDPM’s James Mackie and Geert Laporte in the margins of the meeting. “While the contribution EU Member States make on ODA is vital, policy is also important”, said Mackie. Laporte stressed that for the EU “a ‘whole of government’ type of approach is needed in order to make the Sustainable Development Goals work in practice”. He also said the EU needs to conduct political economy analyses to determine where it can best support change in developing countries.  At the meeting, ECDPM launched, in partnership with Camoes Institute, an animation on ‘How the EU makes decisions on Africa’. 

The European Union needs a comprehensive approach to piracy
The EU is fighting piracy in West African waters with a less comprehensive approach than the one used around the Horn of Africa, argues Enrico Gunther, for the College of Europe. In the Horn, a preventive approach and international cooperation were the keys to the EU’s success. The EU is drawing on its successful leadership in international political and military cooperation from around the Horn of Africa in order to make more effective use of available resources in the Gulf of Guinea. But it is reluctant to use crisis management instruments. A thorough analysis of the coastal countries’ willingness and capabilities to fight piracy must form the basis of the EU’s approach, says Gunther.

Development effectiveness: what lessons can we learn from programming EU aid?
If you are interested in development cooperation and effectiveness, then you will surely want to know about how the EU has programmed €15 billion in 74 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. More funds are directed to least developed countries and low-income countries, and EU aid now concentrates on a limited number of sectors per country. However, programming followed a very top-down approach and as a result, development effectiveness principles were eroded. Future EU aid programming processes may need to place even further emphasis on analysing the added value of EU aid in different contexts and how aid fits in with partner country strategies for transition towards sustainable development. ECDPM’s Alisa Herrero writes for the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation based on the recent study ‘Implementing the Agenda for Change: An independent analysis of the 11th EDF programming.

The real politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, war and the business of power
Alex de Waal provides a contemporary history of how politicians, generals and insurgents in the Horn of Africa bargain over money and power and use war to achieve their goals. He shows how leaders operate on a business model, securing funds for their political budgets which they use to rent the provisional allegiances of army officers, militia commanders, tribal chiefs and party officials. This political marketplace, fuelled in large part by oil exports, aid funds and western military assistance for counterterrorism and peacekeeping, is eroding the institutions of government and reversing statebuilding, say deWaal.

Learning from the practice of culture, development and peace in Niger
ECDPM’s Greta Galeazzi made a presentation on learning from the practice of culture, development and peace in Niger at last week’s annual ENCACT conference on the ecology of culture. She examined the rationale for multimedia research & storytelling and proposed a methodology to apply it to two culture and development projects. She argued that the potential added value of a multimedia approach (including storytelling) to understand the role of culture in development lies in its co-creation, context specificity and accessibility. ECDPM has a growing body of work on how culture and development interact and you can read more at our Dossier ‘Culture and international cooperation‘.

Which development partners do developing countries prefer?
AidData explains how decision-makers in low- and middle-income countries assess the relative performance of development partners in supporting them to address their most pressing problems. The report also examines to what extent the performance of development partners enhance or constrain the countries they seek to assist. AidData then sets out the attributes of development partner institutions that may make them more influential and useful from the perspective of public sector decision makers who are seeking to prioritise and implement reforms.


- Growth in sub-Saharan Africa has weakened after more than a decade of solid growth, according to the IMF’s “Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa - Dealing with the Gathering Clouds”. The report discusses the fiscal and monetary policy adjustments necessary for these countries to adapt to the new international environment.

- The IMF also examines the role of fiscal and market institutions in economic stabilisation in West Africa and says that developing a well-defined fiscal rule framework at the national level would help to build the necessary fiscal space for shock-smoothing.

- Entrepreneurs in 122 economies saw improvements in their local regulatory framework last year according to the World Bank’s “Doing Business 2016: Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency”. Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for about 30% of the regulatory reforms.

- Implementation of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement has the potential to increase global merchandise exports by up to $1 trillion per annum. Developing countries will capture more than half of the available gains. This according to the WTO’s World Trade Report 2015.

- The WTO Ministerial Conference in December should focus the Aid for Trade Initiative on improving connectivity, boosting sustainable investment, promoting green growth and, thus, contribute to the delivery of the SDGs, according to the OECD’s “Aid for Trade 10 Years On: Keeping it Effective”.

- The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) published “The Mining Policy Framework: Assessing the implementation readiness of member states of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development”.

- There is a growing trend in policy innovation from central banks, financial regulators and standard setters, who are incorporating sustainability factors into the rules that govern the financial system, says UNEP’s report “Inquiry Global Report: The Financial System We Need”. It offers a Framework for Action that shows how a systematic approach can now be taken at both the national and international levels.

- The OECD’s “Official Development Finance for Infrastructure: Support by Multilateral and Bilateral Development Partners” contributes to the debate on how to fill the financing gap. The report includes support by major development partners that do not report to the DAC.

- UNCTAD’s “Investment Policy Monitor” finds that the share of liberalisation and promotion measures reached eighty-five per cent. All investment promotion measures granted tax incentives for investments or facilitated investment procedures   

- The African Development Bank published “Africa Climate Change Fund - Supporting African countries to access international climate finance: Enabling a transition towards climate resilient, low carbon development”.

- The Climate Summit in December will make strong progress toward limiting climate change, but countries’ pledges also leave a substantial ‘emissions gap, says Oxford University. The summit’s success, therefore, depends in large part on whether it launches a credible basis through which to ratchet up climate action, especially over the next five years.

- There are concerns about the capacity and intent of rising powers’ foreign businesses operating in Africa and claiming to be responsible corporate citizens, according to the Institute of Development Studies.

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



Recent events

European Union and Western Balkans leaders agreed on 17-point plan on migration. Details of the agreement were left to be worked out in the coming weeks at ministerial level.

EU Development Ministers discussed how development cooperation can help address the current challenges faced by Europe and its partner countries on the refugee crisis. They also adopted conclusions on Policy Coherence for Development and the EU Horn of Africa Regional Action Plan. And they held an first in-depth discussion on the development dimension of the EU-ACP relationship after 2020.

EU Environment Ministers discussed how to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. They highlighted the importance of policy coherence. The debate followed an informal discussion with EU Development Ministers focusing on common challenges and integrated approaches to implementation.

The EU requested the opening of political dialogue consultations with Burundi.

The Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Southern African Development Community was published.This follows the SADC-EU Ministerial Level Political Dialogue meeting.

The European Commission published its 2016 workplan. It stresses the need for policy coherence in external action and includes plans for policy proposals for climate, migration, and ACP-EU relations.

The European Commission launched the Global Climate Change Alliance+. It is one of the EU's major contributions to the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda that calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impact, and to the upcoming COP21 Climate Conference.

The European Commission published itsmeta-evaluation of EU private sector development support to third countries. It finds that several factors undermine the ability to reach development goals and maximise impact. Almost all are internal to the operations and can be addressed solely by the EU – mainly DEVCO. A roadmap for doing so is provided.

The EU-Africa Socio-Economic Actors Network called for an approach based on full cooperation with African countries and respect for human rights in tackling the refugee flows into the EU.

At the India-Africa Forum Summit, the Indian Prime Minister promised to deepen co-operation with Africa and pledged to provide the continent with $10bn in soft loans over the next five years, and $600m in grant aid.

The WTO Director-General warned members that insufficient progress was being made to achieve outcomes at the WTO Ministerial Meeting in December.

The African Development Bank High-Level Conference on Agricultural Transformation agreed to execute a bold plan to achieve rapid agricultural transformation across Africa through raising agricultural productivity.

A revised draft text for the Climate Agreement to be adopted in December was published following a week of negotiations. Deep divisions between rich and poor countries were again at the centre of the disputes. Much work remains to be done to reach an agreement.  Discussions will continue at the Pre-COP meeting on 8-10 November and the G20 summit on 15-16 November.

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation launched its 2nd monitoring round to track progress on the implementation of global commitments for more effective development co-operation. The report will be published in September 2016.

Upcoming events

The OECD’s Task Force on Tax and Development will meet on 2-3 November to discuss advise to give to the OECD Committees in delivering a Tax and Development Programme to improve the enabling environment for developing countries to collect taxes fairly and effectively.

The annual African Economic Conference from 2-4 November will discuss the implementation of Africa’s vision and the identification of concrete actions necessary on poverty and inequality reduction in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.

Events attended by ECDPM

ECDPM’s Volker Hauck and Paul Engel will attend The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs meeting “Planetary Security: Peace and Cooperation in Times of Climate Change and Global Environmental Challenges”. The aim of the conference is to enhance knowledge sharing and international cooperation amongst leading decision makers, academics, think tanks and security organisations and create momentum for more coherent policy and action.

Jean Bossuyt will participate in the German Institute for Development meeting “Evidence on a Silver Platter: Evaluation Results for Policy Making in Development”. The conference will encourage new thinking for teaming policy relevance with methodological quality in development evaluations.




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 Migration summit | Is global development achievable? | EU trade & investment | Programming EU aid - Read the Weekly Compass newsletter  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.