The European Commission (EC) and EU Member States have embraced a new agenda aimed at enhancing overall aid effectiveness. Captured in the Paris Declaration (PD), and subsequently enriched in the AAA, the agenda builds on the need to put ownership and governance of aid at the forefront and move towards country systems. In 2010, the EC has committed to use 50% of its development spending for direct budget and sectoral support to its partner countries.
CSOs & LAs have welcomed this commitment but claim that debates need to move forward, and shift from a technical focus (on cost-effective aid delivery mechanisms) to a broader and deeper PD process, based on the notion of development effectiveness. This broadens the scope of country ownership to democratic ownership, thus allowing for citizens, CSOs and LAs to occupy a central position in the aid process .
At the same time, the European Union, as an international donor, as well as its Member States, as bilateral donors, have embraced a multi-stakeholder paradigm of development, which recognises that long term development is only possible when actors (government at different level, donors, CSOs, private business, etc.) take joint responsibility and share goals that make use of strengths of individual stakeholders. In addition, the EC, similarly to other donors, is committed to act as a political player towards the promotion of democracy and good governance.
Achieving this overall commitment– a political approach towards multi-stakeholder partnerships to ensure development effectiveness and, ultimately, societal transformation - requires rethinking of key notions like ownership, alignment or accountability and confronts the EC with new strategic and operational challenges. A number of these challenges have already been analysed and formulated as recommendations in recent studies and evaluations (i.e. “the implementation gap”).
The structured dialogue has identified the following issues as central for a more effective engagement with CSOs & LAs.
(i) New Aid Modalities and CSOs & LAs: challenges and opportunities? (ii) Coordination and Harmonization among donors: Division of labour (iii) Complementarity among EC instruments in support to CSO within EC development external cooperation (iv) The Right of Initiative of CSOs in EC external cooperation, in light and in view of the AAA
Central theme I: New aid modalities and CSOs and LAs challenges and opportunities?
Central theme II: Coordination and Harmonization among donors: division of labour
Central theme III: On the coherence and complementarity among EC instruments in support to CSOs & within EC development external cooperation
Central theme IV: the Right of initiative of CSOs and LAs in EU external cooperation, in view of the AAA
Getting prepared for the working sessions
BRUSSELS WORKING SESSIONS
- 1st Session – 27 April
(am) and (pm) New aid modalities and CSO/LA: challenges and opportunities? (Theme 1)
- 2nd session - 12 July
(am and pm) Complementarity and Harmonization among donors: division of labour among donors (Theme2 )
- 3rd session - 13 October
(pm)The Right of initiative of CSOs and LA in EC external cooperation, in light and in view of the AAA (Theme 4)
- 4th session - 2011
The Multistakeholder Approach, Wrapping up and Preparation of Final Conference
- New aid modalities and CSO/LA: challenges and opportunities?
- Complementarity and Harmonization among donors: division of labour among donors
- Complementarity among EC instruments in support to CSOs & within EC development external cooperation
- The Right of initiative of CSOs and LAs in EC external cooperation, in light and in view of the AAA
- “An Exploration of Experience and Good Practice” Advisory Group on civil society and aid effectiveness
available on http://www.cso-effectiveness.org/-Advisory-Group-on-Civil-Society-.html
- “Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness Concept Paper”, Advisory Group on Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness, September 2007.
- “Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness Issues Paper”, Advisory Group on Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness, September 2007.
- “Synthesis of Findings and Recommendations Paper”, Advisory Group on Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness, Augustus 2008.
- The Role of Civil Society in Enhancing Aid Effectiveness; Advisory Group on Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness, September 2008
- Contribution to the “EU Aid Effectiveness Roadmap to Accra & Beyond” - CSOs and the principles of the PD, CONCORD, January 2008
- “Determinant of Civil society Aid effectiveness: a CCIC discussion paper”, November 2006
- “Outreach Toolkit”, Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness, September 2008.
- D’Accra à Séoul, la voie vers l’efficacité du développement – La contribution des organisations de la société civile comme acteurs de plein droit du développement, Henri Valot, CIVICUS, Avril 2009
- UCLG Position Paper on “Aid Effectiveness and Local Government: Understanding the link between governance and development”
- Background paper 2 “CSOs and New aid modalities” (CIDSE, March 2010)