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The session aimed to get a snapshot of how the effectiveness principles of development co-operation translate into action at country level and explore how to strengthen the effectiveness of development co-operation in the current context. 

Key Messages from the Session 

  • In an era of intertwined systemic challenges, effective development co-operation is more urgent than ever to mobilise the efforts and resources of all development actors to deliver better and more impactful results. To this end, the effectiveness principles represent a globally agreed framework. Academic evidence shows a positive correlation between projects and programs embodying the effectiveness principles and better development outcomes in terms of poverty reduction, health and education, stronger institutions, and greater security, among others. However, evidence to date does not demonstrate a statistically clear relationship, possibly due to shortcomings in the currently available data, which underlines the importance of the reformed GPEDC monitoring framework.
  • Panelists underlined that the effectiveness agenda and its principles are and remain crucial for development co-operation. Nevertheless, it is important that the GPEDC monitoring evolves towards focusing on disaggregated outcomes and not only on processes, enhancing data quality at the country level that allows to further analyse the evidence looking at the potential correlation between effectiveness and better development impact.
  • Delivering aid in accordance with the effectiveness principles is especially challenging in fragile contexts with weak or illegitimate national state institutions. Legitimacy may be higher at the local level than at the national level and thus, bottom-up approaches may be more effective. As potential approach in the way forward in fragile contexts, panelists identified the need to refocus attention from country ownership to inclusive ownership or collective ownership, while continuing to build on the natural synergies between the effectiveness agenda and efforts to support the SDGs, in particular SDG 16 around effective, accountable and inclusive institutions.

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Key Terms: Effectiveness principles, accountability, ownership