Against a backdrop of multiple global challenges – climate and socio-economic crises, growing poverty and inequality, conflicts, and instability that threaten the impact of development co-operation, the Global Partnership of Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) gathered more than 150 development practitioners from 100 countries and organizations at the UN High-Level Political Forum today. Discussions centered around trust-based effective partnerships between local and national actors that can transform the way we work together in the lead up to the 2022 Effective Development Co-operation Summit taking place in Geneva, Switzerland this December.


National actors from Cameroon, Alliance of Small Island States and USAID presented various examples of how they’ve catalyzed the power of local actors to achieve impact and progress towards the 2030 Agenda, such as a series of consultations frameworks with various stakeholders presented by Cameroon representative H.E Mr. Paul Tasong, through their Voluntary National Review and Action Dialogue, linking sectoral issues with national priorities.


Similarly, H.E. Dr. Walton Webson, Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States, spoke of the need to have country-led but flexible partnerships that can help bridge the “ambition and resource gap” where national capacities cannot. Ms. Michele Sumilas (USAID) spoke of new, effectiveness principles of localization for country-level impact.


"Ownership is perhaps the most important principle to advance in effective development co-operation and face today's challenges", Mr. Ian Mitchell from the Center for Global Development said, as he opened the UN High-level Political Forum Side Event. 


Mr. Farid Aziz from Bangladesh, representing the leadership of the GPEDC, stated: “today, we take a look at the local level, and how country and local-level actors can, by building on the effectiveness principles, work together in ways that enable and strengthen effective, trust-based, partnerships, at all levels of our interventions.”


Among local actors were panelists representing philanthropies, local governments, and civil societies. Ms. Nadya Hernandez from WINGS elaborated on catalyzing and unlocking philanthropies’ potential through avenues such as the SDG Philanthropy Platform. Representing United Cities and Local Governments, Mr. Berry Vrbanovic highlighted the role of local philanthropies and cities, emphasizing that “decentralized cooperation is an essential and concrete approach that can complement multilateral and bilateral co-operation”.


With their organizations being at the forefront of the pandemic in India and Uganda, Ms. Josephine Joseph (CPDE - India) and Monica Nyiraguhabwa (Girl Up Uganda) stressed the need for perceptual change towards CSOs as trusting actors that can help localize the SDGs and achieve rapid but lasting impact. Panelists stressed that conditions set on aid must be revisited as development must be community-centered not resource-centered. 


In closing, panelists highlighted that national development priorities should be home-grown - with local actors - and urged attendees to follow along key events and discussions in the lead up to the 2022 Effective Development Co-operation Summit.

About the UN High-Level Political Forum

The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. General Assembly resolutions 70/299 and 75/290 B provide further guidance on the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.


Photo credits: UNDP Benin | 2013

Please find the recording of the webinar here.