How we work effectively in partnerships must be at the heart of our response to COVID-19 and is key to the ‘trajectory shift’ needed to realise the 2030 Agenda
According to the 2020 SDG Report, governments and other actors remain off track in reaching the SDGs and in mobilising the necessary resources. The current COVID-19 global pandemic only adds to the challenges for the international community and risks undoing hard-won development gains and undermining the ability to achieve national development plans and the SDGs by 2030. Socio-economic impacts are already being felt and have long-lasting consequences, possibly reversing decades of progress in poverty eradication and sustainable development, pushing up to 71 million people into extreme poverty in 2020, according to the World Bank. The crisis is also already having impacts on economic systems and financing for development, including on remittances, capital outflows depressing tax revenues, and high public debt.
In this context, there is broad consensus that international cooperation will be key. The efforts to respond and recover from COVID-19 must be guided by the principles of effective development cooperation to build resilient societies and deliver long-lasting results contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Country ownership matters, to engage in effective response and sustain support to communities and social and economic systems to build back better. All actors must build on developing countries’ systems and priorities. Aligning with countries’ priorities is especially essential in these times to rally support where it is needed most. In this vein, the declining trend of development partner’s alignment to partner country priorities, plans and country-owned results framework must be reversed.
- Inclusive Partnerships are crucial for creating enabling conditions to maximize the contribution of all actors during this pandemic and beyond. It is now more important than ever to include local governments, civil society, and the private sector in the responses and urgent attention is needed to enable partnerships’ environment for inclusive engagement. Their voices must be heard, and their actions should be enabled to reach out to all people, particularly to vulnerable groups.
- Results-focus must mean that development cooperation addresses the need of most vulnerable. The responses must be guided by priorities and results sharpened inclusively by national stakeholders for greater impact and to reach those most in need.
- Transparency and Accountability are at the core of working together effectively. The fast-changing nature of the crisis requires an uninterrupted exchange of information, knowledge and lessons learnt to adapt responses rapidly and ensure public support and cooperation. As new partnerships emerge, and the sources of cooperation become even more diverse, domestic accountability, through a strengthened role for parliamentary oversight for instance, must be protected. To do this, partner countries must ensure cooperation resources are captured on budgets that are approved by parliaments. Development partners must facilitate this by providing timely, comprehensive and forward-looking information on their development activities and cooperation.
The private sector also plays a key part in responding to the multi-faceted impacts of COVID-19 and in delivering national and global development priorities. In this context, the Global Partnership’s ‘Kampala Principles’, building on the effectiveness principles, provide new guidance on how private sector assets, innovation, and financing can be amplified through development cooperation and focused on those furthest behind, including through systematic and inclusive dialogue with all relevant development partners.
The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation is the primary vehicle for driving development effectiveness to "maximize the effectiveness of all forms of co-operation for development for the shared benefits of people, planet, prosperity and peace." Global Partnership stakeholders have produced a wealth of evidence and information on what works and what doesn’t in terms of implementing these agreed effectiveness principles. A record number of 86 partner countries and territories together with over 100 development partners, and hundreds of representatives from civil society organisations and the private sector have participated in the third Global Partnership Monitoring round in 2018. The results of this monitoring, including 86 country profiles, can shed lights in how we work effectively in partnerships to realise the 2030 Agenda and drive the “Decade of Action”.
The Global Partnership is committed to building more effective development partnerships to the “decade of action” for the 2030 Agenda to deliver sustainable solutions for people and the planet and leave no one behind. In this spirit, the new Work Programme of the Global Partnership (2020-2022) will take a new focus on placing partner country realities front and center and catalize efforts of all partners for effective and impactful contribution to the 2030 Agenda. As the 2030 Agenda half time is fast approaching in 2022, the Work Programme offers the opportunities to demonstrate that effective development co-operation is relevant and make a difference together, especially for those furthest behind.
The Global Partnership is led by four Co-Chairs at Minister/Ambassador-level, representing Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Switzerland, and a CSO representative (currently, from the Reality of Aid Africa). Its work is driven by a 25-member Steering Committee, reflecting the spirit of inclusive partnerships, and a ‘whole-of-society’ approach, that achieving the 2030 Agenda requires.