MFAN partner Bread for the World Institute released a briefing paper, ‘Making Development Assistance Work Better’, as the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness gets underway today. Faustine Wabwire, Foreign Assistance Policy Analyst at the Institute, highlights opportunities for Busan in the context of past forums, prior commitments, and progress achieved so far. With attendees such as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and a US delegation led by Secretary of State Clinton, HLF-4 stands as a ‘critical moment’ in the global effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Discussions at previous High Level Forums on Aid Effectiveness have pinpointed reform principles, many of which form the basis of MFAN’s policy agenda. Bread for the World Institute’s paper provides a refresher course on outcomes of past conferences, from commitments to country ownership in Paris to an emphasis on inclusive partnerships in Accra. Leading up to Busan, the international community had reached a consensus on the importance of coordination, untying aid, and results.
Bread for the World Institute’s paper identifies new opportunities for Busan based on the changing development landscape. As more nations make the jump from aid recipient to donor, leaders at this year’s HLF will seek to expand partnerships and coordinate with emerging donors in a time of dwindling resources and other global challenges. For example, though the famine in the Horn of Africa poses an extraordinary challenge to donors, it offers them a chance to reexamine their engagement in fragile states.
Secretary Clinton’s participation in HLF-4 demonstrates the U.S. government’s commitment to meeting these challenges and reforming U.S. foreign assistance for the 21st century. In the wake of the PPD and the QDDR, the U.S. has begun to put aid effectiveness principles into practice. The Foreign Assistance Dashboard lays out financial data for the State Department, USAID, and, most recently, the Millennium Challenge Corporation “in a user-friendly and accessible way.” Presidential programs such as Feed the Future and the Global Health Initiative go beyond the provision of aid to build capacity and promote sustainability in developing countries. Commitments to increased transparency and country ownership enable the U.S. to hold itself and its partners accountable for results.
Bread for the World Institute calls upon the U.S. to keep the aid effectiveness conversation going. As the international community expands its prior pledges, the development agenda must include new partnerships, predictable aid, and a focus on results. Bread concludes that inclusive, transparent, and accountable development will ensure that the effectiveness conversation extends beyond Busan.
Download the full paper from the Institute’s website.