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

Entrepreneurship: A solution to the EU’s African migration programme?
The cold Rome November drizzle is a long way from the heat and conflict of Somalia. Mohamed Ali, a New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute and founder of the Iftiin Foundation, paints a picture of Somali migrants in Europe and how that reflects on the EU’s Africa migration policy in our Africa-Europe Relations-Looking Beyond 2014 blog. In a timely article following yesterday’s tragic sinking of a boat off the coast of Lampedusa drowning more than 300 African migrants, mostly from Eritrea and Somalia, he notes that despite attempts at creating a European fortress, the demand for migration hasn’t lessened. Instead, he advocates the use of money spent defending Europe’s borders to be re-allocated to inspire entrepreneurship within Somalia in order to give people a chance at a better life in their own country, so that the youth will not feel compelled to set themselves adrift into the Mediterranean Sea in search of jobs.
Policy News

Africa Rising? Little change in grassroots poverty despite a decade of growth
Economic growth in Africa appears to benefit only a few according to new findings from the Afrobarometer, based on surveys conducted with ordinary citizens in an unprecedented 34 African countries between October 2011 and June 2013. The survey reveals that Africans overwhelmingly reject their governments’ management of their economies, giving failing marks for job creation, improving the living standards of the poor, and narrowing the gaps between the rich and poor. Popular opinion is thus increasingly out of sync with the “Africa Rising” narrative that has been gaining traction among government officials and international investors. The evidence also suggests, however, that investments in infrastructure and social services are strongly linked with lower levels of lived poverty.

Effectiveness of EU assistance for governance in the DRC limited
EU support for governance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has achieved some results according to the European Court of Auditors, but fewer than half of the programmes examined have delivered, or are likely to deliver, most of the expected results. Sustainability is an unrealistic prospect in most cases. The DRC is one of the world’s most fragile states, but the EC did not take sufficient account of the challenges when designing EU programmes. The EC needs to be more realistic on what can be achieved and about the design of EU programmes and more demanding of the congolese authorities when monitoring compliance with the conditions agreed and the commitments made. The EU Development Commissioner believes it premature to draw conclusions regarding their results.

The EU-CARIFORUM EPA: Regulatory and policy changes and lessons for other ACP countries
Many Caribbean countries are very far from fully implementing Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the EU says a note from The South Centre. It shows that the regulatory, legislative and policy changes necessary for EPA implementation in the areas of trade in goods and services are at varying stages among member states. No country is near completing these changes. The report cites a major reason for the slow implementation is that countries are not receiving the financial and technical support anticipated in 2008 when their Agreement was signed. CARIFORUM warns that states will continue to strain under the weight of EPA implementation, which will only further delay the process of the regulatory and policy changes necessary for the EPA to be fully put into effect.

Taking think tank communications to the next level: Becoming fit for purpose (Part 3)
This is the latest part of the series described as a “commsversation” between Jeff Knezovich, Melissa Julian and the communications team at ECDPM. This post looks into the detail of conducting a strategic review, and recommends that it’s important to understand what materials you have to work with, and what your niche is as compared to similar organisations. Proving insight into how communications teams approach their work, the post covers how clearly understanding the audience of a particular think tank or initiative is key. It might be a given, but how to achieve this deeper understanding? The blog gives tips and examples for tools and methods from ECDPM’s and Knezovich’s experience.

More news from The Filter

Can Results-Based Payments Reduce Corruption? A common objection to results-based programs is that they are somehow more vulnerable to corruption. This paper from CGD explains why results-based approaches to foreign aid may be less vulnerable to corruption than the traditional approaches.

New UN report on the state of the Least Developed Countries in 2013 calls for strengthened cooperation between the world’s 49 Least Developed Countries and their development partners.

Promoting peace in the post-2015 development agenda, a note from the co-chairs of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding confirms peace as a key pillar to eradicate poverty and to realize global development prospects.

The implementation of the New Deal in Somalia took a new step forward at the Conference on a New Deal for Somalia held in Brussels on the 16th of September. At the conference Somalia’s New Deal Compact was endorsed by the Federal Government of Somalia and development partners with mutual commitments to support its implementation.

Is the Arab Spring: A Litmus Test for the EU's Women's Rights Policy in the Euro-Mediterranean Area? This paper examines the promotion of women’s rights as a priority within the external action of the European Union.

This collection of papers illustrates the way in which the role of local government is evolving in different parts of the Commonwealth and provides practical examples of new local government at work.

A video stream from the drivers of Agricultural Transformation in Africa meeting at the European Commission.

An International Peace Institute summary from a meeting on the security and development in the Sahel-Sahara region.

The ACP local government platform newsletter, includes main orientations tabled by the EC towards Non-State Actors-Local Authorities thematic programme 2014-2020.

Sustainable development and growth at country level, what needs to be done to make the most of extractives? African Union proposes The Country Mining Vision.

What progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Africa? Changes are critically assessed in a Centre for Conflict Resolution meeting in Cape Town.

Aid to middle-income countries. What should be done? Follow the debate in a BOND report.

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No 162, 4 October 2013

Dear <<First name>>,
The UN General Assembly High-level Dialogue on Migration and Development (HLD) opened yesterday (and continues today, watch live) with a call from UN Secretary-General to implement measures that protect the rights of millions of migrants as well as recognise their contributions to society. The SG presented the report on International Migration and Development, which makes eight key recommendations to “make migration work” for all. ECDPM’s Anna Knoll examines the polarised discussions in EU Member States on migration in a post on our Talking Points blog. The EU is committed to maximising the positive impact of migration on development and broadening the approach to migration and development, but for many European politicians it is considered a taboo to be positive about migration. She thinks the HLD is an opportunity to depolarise discussions also since the EU believes the meeting  should be part of continuing process, including the post-2015 development framework.

Some 842 million people, or roughly one in eight, suffered from chronic hunger in 2011-13, not getting enough food to lead active and healthy lives according to a report released by the UN food agencies this week. The number is down from 868 million reported for the 2010-12 period.

The European Commission put forward a proposal for an EU Council Decision regarding transitional European Development Fund management measures from 1 January 2014 until the entry into force of the 11th European Development Fund. The Commission proposes a ‘Bridging Facility’ to ensure the availability of funds for cooperation with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. It is proposed that funds committed under this Bridging Facility shall be accounted for under the 11th EDF, which means that they would not constitute additional resources to the fund.

The African Union has called a special summit next week to discuss a mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court in protest at the trial of Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.

‘Blessing or Curse: Making Earth's Riches Work for Poor and Fragile Countries’ a World Bank Webcast and Live Blog will be held on 11 October 2013.

The ACP and ACP-EU Ministerial Trade Committees meet next week to discuss WTO issues and the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements future perspectives and implementation. They will also discuss an EU initiative on responsible sourcing of minerals originating from conflict-affected and high risk areas. An African Union coordination meeting on Economic Partnership Agreements negotiations also takes place next week. ECDPM’s Isabelle Ramdoo will be attending this meeting.

ECDPM’s San Bilal will attend next week’s International Economic Forum on Africa 2013: Harnessing natural resource wealth for economic transformation.

ECDPM’s James Mackie will present a paper on ‘How serious is the EU about reducing fragmentation?’ at the German Development Institute’s Conference on ‘Fragmentation or Pluralism? The organisation of development cooperation revisited’ next week.

For more on the latest policy issues concerning international cooperation, with a focus on the EU and its relations with the developing world, see ECDPM’s The Filter.

All the best,


Melissa Julian
Communications Manager


Off The Track   

  EU and Indonesia sign historic deal to curb illegal timber.
Under the agreement, only verified legal timber and timber products will be exported to the EU. Indonesia is the first Asian country to enter into such an agreement

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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, Sweden and Switzerland.

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