Enhancing the effectiveness of the multilateral system requires a shift in behavior – both by development partners and the multilateral organizations they fund. This session reflected on the comparative advantage of the multilateral system, the impact achieved on the ground when it aligns with national priorities, and its role as an inclusive policy space. Discussants advocated for better quality funding towards better quality results.  

Key Messages from the Session 

  • Given the crises and challenges ahead, now is the time to build a more robust, interconnected, aligned and inclusive multilateral system grounded in co-operation, solidarity and mutual trust. Collectively we have concluded that this requires a shift in both business models and behaviors within our respective organizations in the multilateral system. Development partners need to refrain from operating in silos or even in competition, and instead deliver on commitments and promises, shifting towards better coordination and co-operation across the system. 
  • The UN Development System has to deliver as one, thus we need funding to support this process. Building political commitment for quality funding will ultimately deliver quality results. In order to deliver on the SDGs’ ambition, it is important to avoid fragmentation of efforts and to pool resources effectively across sectors and actors.  
  • Building inclusive and transparent partnerships, working with all stakeholders and leveraging complementarities is essential to country-led development approaches. International Financial Institutions and Multilateral Development Banks play a crucial role in mitigation mechanisms and de-risking, and in enabling all actors to play their part in the most effective way. Multilaterals also need to ensure the space for civil society and local actors to contribute to decision-making processes, involve them in data gathering, invest in their capacities and support their advocacy efforts.  

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Key Terms: Effectiveness principles, quality funding, quality results, locally-led, deliver as one, business models, behavior change, inclusivity