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ECDPM's Weekly Compass update

European Centre for Development Policy Management Weekly Newsletter
31 July 2015

 
Melissa Julian

Head of Communications 
mj@ecdpm.org


 
Dear <<First name>>,

This week’s Editor’s Pick highlights an ECDPM blog arguing that the EU should frame the migration debate in terms of which policies can be reformed to support and create sustainable livelihoods in its neighborhood and beyond – for both current and potential future migrants.

We also feature a video interview with David Khoudour-Castéras of the OECD's ‘Interrelations Between Public Policies, Migration and Development: Case Studies and Policy Recommendations Project’.

Other articles include a briefing from SAIIA on the need to strengthen the African Peer Review Mechanism, an ECDPM blog on how Europe can implement the Sustainable Development Goals’ ‘universality’ principle, and videos on the future of farming and food security in Africa.

And ECDPM and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) are hiring a junior researcher - spending 6 months at ECDPM in Maastricht followed by 6 months at the IFPRI office in Dakar. You will have the opportunity to write papers and publications, and directly participate in key agriculture and trade policy processes in Western Africa.

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

There will be no Weekly Compass produced in August due to European summer holidays. The next issue will be sent to you on 4 September.

All the best,

Melissa


 

Editor's Pick 

Migration - Ask the right questions, get the right answers

The EU aims to make concerted efforts to address the situation of migrants arriving at its borders. While it has ambitions for ‘comprehensive’ action and pursues various policy avenues, the comprehensiveness of action is constrained by how the debate is framed. An example is the focus on root causes of migration, which has done little to foster a balanced and comprehensive view of what is a very complex issue. ECDPM’s Anna Knoll and Asmita Parshotam argue that rather than framing migration as an issue that needs to be addressed ‘out there’ through development aid, EU leaders should also look more ‘at home’ to which policies can be reformed to support and create sustainable livelihoods in its neighborhood and beyond – including for current and potential future migrants.
 

Policy News 

VIDEO: Coherent policies needed to address migration issues

Few countries, whether they be an origin of or a destination for migrants, have coherent policy frameworks that integrate migration into development strategies, according to David Khoudour-Castéras of the OECD's ‘Interrelations Between Public Policies, Migration and Development: Case Studies and Policy Recommendations Project’. In an interview with ECDPM's Anna Knoll, Khoudour-Castéras stressed the importance for all government ministries to understand how migration affects non-migration related public policies, and vice versa, and to ensure coherent policies across ministries to address these issues. Politicians and the public often view migration as a problem, but they should be educated to also understand the benefits of migration, he said. This interview followed a European Development Days debate on 'Shifting wealth, shifting migration flows', where both Knoll and Khoudour-Castéras were speakers.


A good governance driver: Is the African Peer Review Mechanism up to it?

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) needs to be reinvigorated and given fresh political impetus if it is to serve as a driver of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which recognises that Africa’s developmental challenges cannot be tackled unless its governance deficiencies are corrected. According to the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), APRM administrative reforms must be completed to streamline them, remove duplication and ultimately make them more efficient. And the funding system needs be reviewed to ensure Member States’ contributions are paid. Finally, SAIIA says the National Programmes of Action produced in response to the problems identified in Country Review Reports need to be implemented.

From ‘universality’ to European reality: Is the EU up to the job of sustainable consumption and production?

The principle of ‘universality’ in the post-2015 development agenda implies that all countries need to contribute to and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Europe will have to think hard on how to translate globally-agreed goals and targets into ambitious, meaningful, fair and context-specific national and regional policies that are relevant and in its strategic interests. One of the most important aspects of the SGDs will be in finding adequate solutions to current consumption and production patterns that put the planet’s resources and its environment at risk. In the first of a series of blogs, ECDPM’s Sebastian Große-Puppendahl delves deeper into one of the case studies of a recent Discussion Paper on Universality and Differentiation in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.


Inclusiveness is key for conflict countries to transition to a better future

Countries that have experienced repression and armed conflict have an opportunity to transition to a better future. Yet, only a minority succeed. “Inclusive Transitions Framework”, a new publication from the Institute for Integrated Transitions, outlines a new conceptual and operational framework aimed at improving transition outcomes by zeroing in on inclusiveness as a guiding principle and taking a practicable approach to overcoming challenges and obstacles. The paper provides tools to assess the local conditions for pursuing inclusiveness and to help national and international actors to adeptly focus on key threats, obstacles, and opportunities. It also highlights priority areas of action that will need attention in the early stages of a transition in order to help get a country onto a more inclusive track.

VIDEOS: Future of farming and food security in Africa

ECDPM’s Director, Ewald Wermuth, and several members of the Food Security Programme attended the recent ‘Future of farming and food security in Africa’ conference organised by FoodFIRST in Utrecht (see our blog on the future of African farming written ahead of the meeting). In the margins of the conference, we interviewed Ishmael Sunga, CEO of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), who explained that African Farmers' Organisations need to modernise to ensure that the complex and dynamic developments that lie ahead “don’t leave smallholder farmers behind, so that they learn to manage the risks and opportunities that come with the future.” We also spoke with Irene Visser, Managing Director of the Netherlands-African Business Council (NABC), who told us that engaging the Dutch private sector in Africa’s agriculture and food security requires an approach that takes into consideration the entire value chain - not only farmers, but also producers of equipment, fertilizers, animal feed, etc.


WE ARE HIRING! Join ECDPM and IFPRI as Young International Professional

The selected candidate will work with ECDPM and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) as a junior researcher - spending 6 months at ECDPM in Maastricht followed by 6 months at the IFPRI office in Dakar. This exciting position offers the possibility to gain practical experience: you will have the opportunity to write papers and publications, and directly participate in key agriculture and trade policy processes in Western Africa. We are looking for candidates with at least one year of relevant work experience and a recent postgraduate qualification in agricultural economics, international economics, development studies or other related social science and a keen interest in the area of food security in developing countries. Deadline for applications is 9 September 2015.
 

 

- This interview with Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in the East African, looks at five ways to ignite intra-African trade in services to support growth.

- While the world is “more connected, more contested and more complex”, the reality remains that Europe needs to take care of its neighbourhood first, according to the European Council on Foreign Relations. The Western Balkans, Turkey and the Eastern Neighbourhoods should be at the heart of the EU Global Strategy Review.

- Increasing food staples supply can be met by better connecting African markets to each other. This World Bank report builds on the lessons of ‘Africa Can Help Feed Africa’ by looking into the specific circumstances in West Africa, with a regional trade agenda for ECOWAS that connects food staples and input markets.

- Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) can ease growth volatility according to this IMF paper which uses a sample of 170 countries with data spanning 1978-2012. Empirical estimations suggest the benefits outweigh the costs and countries that are more prone to shocks are more likely to join a RTA.

- Curbing illicit financial flows and recovering stolen assets means governments can unlock precious resources needed to close the financing gap in achieving the sustainable development goals and countering climate change, according to this Transparency International report.

- In this video Daniel Keohane of FRIDE discusses the implications of the June European Council on Defence at the IIEA in Dublin. While he argued there was “no progress made and defence was not even discussed” he does delve deeper into the issues faced by Federica Mogherini in her mandated review of an EU Global Strategy.

- What has been the impact of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) between developed and developing countries on economic development in developing countries? What does the evidence tell us about how developing countries might best benefit from new FTAs (such as Economic Partnership Agreements) and how can they avoid harm? This Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) report addresses these two questions by looking at North–South and South–South agreements.

- The German Development Institute look into the structure, modalities and actions of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation and conclude with a critique of its record to date and an assessment of its future prospects.

 


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Recent and upcoming events

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs announced the adoption of a modified organisational chart of the European External Action Service. As from mid-September, the Secretary General will be assisted by three Deputy Secretaries-General. The Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs, the Deputy Secretary General for Common Security and Defense Policy and Crisis Response and a new Deputy Secretary General in charge of Economic and Global Issues. Six geographical and thematic Managing Directors will report to the Deputy Secretaries General in charge of Political Affairs and Economic and Global Issues. The Managing Directors are empowered by becoming the key interlocutors for relations with countries and international organisations under their responsibility.

The European Commission issued a status report of implementation of UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. It shows that much has already been achieved at EU level in terms of implementing the UNGPs on business and human rights, given the limits of the EU's competencies in this field. Through its 28 Member States and its institutions, the EU is widely seen as leading by example in business and human rights and in corporate social responsibility. The report aims to serve as an important reference point for the development of future actions in the context of the revision of the European CSR (Corporate Social Responsability) Strategy.

Africa50, the new and innovative infrastructure investment platform promoted by the African Development Bank held its Constitutive General Assembly. Twenty African countries and the AfDB have subscribed for an initial aggregate amount of USD 830 million in share capital.

The United Nations General Assembly endorsed the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for financing sustainable development that was adopted two weeks ago. The UN Secretary General said the agreement is the foundation for success at the UN summit to adopt the UN post-2015 development agenda this September and for the Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in December.

Two weeks of UN meetings end today and should result in the final post-2015 development agenda document to be presented to the UN Sustainable Development Goals Summit in September. The revised draft of the outcome document for the UN summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda was released last Sunday. IISD notes that the section on Means of Implementation and Global Partnership no longer contains the MOI-specific targets from the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, which are contained in the previous chapter, along with the rest of the goal and target set. As we go to press, questions remain over the implementation and evaluation of the new SDGs. The final adopted document will be posted here next week.
 
The co-chairs of UN talks geared towards negotiating a post-2020 emissions-cutting deal released a document last Friday clarifying and streamlining the various options countries have tabled so far, as well as outlining a possible legal structure for its adoption. ICTSD outlines the three main sections of the document - “obviously appropriate” for including in some kind of agreement; “obviously appropriate” to include in a decision; and areas where further clarity is required among parties in relation to the draft agreement or draft decision.

France’s top climate ambassador has said she is very concerned at the slow rate of progress on a negotiating text that will form the basis of a new international deal on global warming in Paris later this year. But Laurence Tubiana also said that negotiators from nearly 200 countries were making headway on the document, and made clear that the French government would take action in October on the text if more progress has not been made.

The next round of climate negotiations will be held in Bonn from 31 August to 4 September. A round of informal talks between ministers on climate finance and technology transfers is set for September 6-7 in Paris.

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme’s (CAADP) Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) will hold a conference to discuss transformation of the African economy and to review the CAADP agenda on 1-3 September.

The African Tax Research Network will hold its annual meeting on 2-4 September to discuss contemporary tax challenges for African countries.

The Steering Committee meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation will be held  in Mexico on 3-4 September. The meeting will assess progress and challenges in the Global Partnership’s role in supporting the implementation of effective development co-operation in the post-2015 agenda; to agree on the next steps of the monitoring process; and to share expectations for the ambitions and agenda of the second Global Partnership High-Level Meeting in 2016.





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.

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