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With increasing needs and demands from COVID, conflict, climate change and economic shocks around the world, the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation convened partners on the sidelines of the UN Financing for Development Forum on ‘Effective Partnering: A Compass for Financing in a New Era’ to address increasing challenges towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.


Partners agreed that more financing will not suffice for the challenges we face today and for achieving our long-term goals. They stated the need to transform the way we work together for more ‘effective’ use of our resources as crises demand an immediate, collective response from all partners. Moderator Ulrika Modéer, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy, UNDP, opened the event stating that while official development assistance (ODA) reached an all-time high of USD 179 billion in 2021, according to the latest OECD report, ‘how’ we use our resources merits equal attention.


Discussions centered around how ‘effective’ partnering between governments, multilateral organizations and private sector can strengthen trust and serve as a compass for using local, national and global resources in the best possible way for faster and more sustainable impact. With 120 global stakeholders from 50 countries attending, the event marked the launch of the road to the 2022 Effective Development Co-operation Summit taking place in Geneva,12-14 December.


“[Our challenges] further confirm that resources alone are not enough to achieve sustainable results in an effective manner and that official development assistance is not a panacea,” said Daniel Epembe, representing Global Partnership’s Democratic Republic of Congo Co-Chair, as he called all partners to be guided by the four effectiveness principles that more than 161 countries and 56 organizations committed to in 2011: Effective development co-operation that is country owned, focused on results, involves all type of partners, and is transparent and accountable, strengthens trust that leads to impactful partnerships and better results in countries. “We need more principled- and evidence-based partnerships that are more effective in maximizing every dollar spent and leaving no one behind.”


Countries and partners from the Digital Opportunity Trust, Global Affairs Canada, Peruvian International Co-operation Agency and World Bank shared Action Dialogues and case studies from Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Canada, Colombia, Honduras, Indonesia, Peru, Togo, and Tunisia. From the World Bank’s flexible crisis response during COVID to Bangladesh’s innovative COVID testing response to DRC’s accessible aid management platform to Peru’s inclusive national dialogues, these stories of collaboration and development co-operation showed how the effectiveness principles can guide how we effectively use our resources.


In his closing remarks, Thomas Gass from Switzerland, as the Co-Chair of the Global Partnership and host of the upcoming Summit, said that “crisis makes us think differently...we need all types of partners to ensure we optimize the use of our resources in these challenging times.” He further elaborated that “coming out of the [2022 Effective Development Co-operation Summit], we will have a reinvigorated commitment to action and readiness and determination by the international community to look at the ‘how’ of development co-operation – so crucial in time of emergencies to leave no one behind. The principles need to be part of our DNA.”


Watch the recording of the event here.

Photo credit: UNDP Bangladesh