Last week, more than 200 participants from around the world and diverse backgrounds joined a Global Partnership webinar on Effectiveness in Action: Current Perspective on Partnerships, Challenges & Solutions at Country Level, bringing to light the importance of effective development co-operation partnerships in combatting the ongoing COVID pandemic. 

The webinar, part of a new and ongoing series, was hosted by the Global Partnership Co-Chairs - H.E. Mr. Thomas Gass (Assistant Director General, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) as the moderator, H.E. Mr. Mustafa Kamal (Minister of Finance, Bangladesh), H.E. Ms. Elysée  Munembwe  Tamukumwe (Deputy Prime Minister, The Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Mr. Meja Vitalice (Executive Director, Reality of Aid Africa). Participants also heard from a wide array of countries including Bangladesh, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya and Nepal. 

With H.E. Mr. Mustafa Kamal present, officials from Bangladesh opened with the remark,

“this pandemic, unlike other crises in history, has provided challenges on two fronts: lives and livelihoods,” 

reiterating that the effectiveness principles - importance of country ownership and alignment with national development strategies, a focus on results, transparency and accountability, and inclusive partnerships – are the critical elements to combating COVID and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

H.E. Mr. Thomas Gass stressed that “the capacity of solidarity is increasing. The pandemic has reminded us how connected we are beyond our borders” and that “alignment in a moment of crisis means alignment to priorities that are changing”.  

While the COVID crisis has created challenges, both economically and socially, it has also given countries a renewed opportunity to discover new ways of working better together. To this end, H.E. Ms. Elysée  Munembwe  Tamukumwe stressed the need to propose multi-stakeholder forums, bringing all development partners to “walk together in the same direction”, highlighting the DRC’s own successful collaboration with non-state actors, including the private sector and civil society, to reach results.  

The interactive panel discussion highlighted other collective actions taken by governments, including Indonesia’s success in innovative private sector partnerships for COVID, Colombia’s adaptation of over 50 South-South Co-operation projects going digital, Nepal’s new information system for repurposed finances and to harmonize activities, Haiti's new partnership framework with the government and other multi-stakeholder actors, and Kenya’s opening of a COVID-19 response fund, inviting the country’s private sector, civil society and the general public to raise critical resources. 

As discussants, Mr.  Debapriya  Bhattacharya (Southern Voice) and Ms. Máire Matthews (DFAT, Ireland) further shed light on this renewed opportunity to work together on better solutions in line with the effectiveness principles that are at the heart of the Global Partnership: 

“It’s going to take global resources and global cooperation if we’re all going to get through this” - Ms. Máire Matthews

In follow up to the webinar, the Global Partnership Co-Chairs invite all countries and their stakeholders to learn more about the newly-announced Tools & Dialogues for Action for further reflection, to scale up collective action, unlocking the full potential of partnerships to help build back better and achieve the SDGs by 2030.  

During the webinar, participants were asked about their main challenges to achieving effective development co-operation and development results. A poll revealed that 42 percent of participants saw the lack of inclusive partnerships as the main challenge.   

Shedding light on the importance of inclusive partnerships, in 2021, future Global Partnership webinars are planned around the role of civil society and private sector engagement.

You too can help us decide on the topic for the next Global Partnership webinar by signing up to the Knowledge Platform and responding to our discussion thread: Global Partnership webinar series: What would you like to discuss at our next webinar?

To stay updated, please also sign up to the monthly newsletter to access resources, events and discussions around effective development co-operation and the Global Partnership’s 2020-2022 Work Programme.  

Click here to watch the full webinar.