I am on my way to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for a meeting next week with a diverse range of government representatives and members of global development organizations that will focus on a single subject: a stable and prosperous future for Yemen, and how to achieve it. It will be an opportunity for a broad cross section of the international community to discuss with the transitional government the many challenges the country faces.
Since my Blog on regional integration, I have been thinking about the possible role of an Arab Development Bank in the region, especially but not exclusively to spur regional and global integration. Colleagues who know a thing of two about the region, economic development and Arab organizations had mixed views. Some liked the idea, others thought the idea not very useful, especially since it is often voiced and then shot down. The feeling was that yet another institution would be confusing and redundant.
I am flying out of Busan after a very stimulating discussion on the new aid architecture at the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness. We organized this panel discussion with the goal of learning what our development partners, particularly new partners, think about the future of aid—the challenges and opportunities.
In May 2011 a diverse and inclusive group of procurement practitioners from around the world—representing countries ranging from middle-income countries to fragile states, as well as development partners and civil society organizations—met in Cuzco, Peru, to discuss and agree on the messages to be sent to the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4) in Busan. They signed a declaration providing important inputs to the Effective Institutions and Country Systems themes that would be discussed in Busan. Participants endorsed an important strategic direction: to increase po
Here in Busan, at the High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, there is strong momentum around South-South Cooperation and Knowledge Exchange. The main Thematic Session on South-South, moderated by WBI Vice President Sanjay Pradhan, drew a crowd of close to 500 people. In the intense negotiations over the Busan Outcome Document, the South-South agenda is also front and center. Why?
First of all, South-South is a great way to support development. Let me give an example.
The International Health Partnership (IHP+) has done an exceptional job the last three years in bringing together countries, donors, international financial institutions, civil society, the United Nations, and many other partners to agree on how, concretely, we would implement the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.
As many of those gathered here in Busan, I feel very excited about the chance we have to collectively shape the way in which development is practiced.
The International Health Partnership (IHP+) has done an exceptional job the last three years in bringing together countries, donors, international financial institutions, civil society, the United Nations, and many other partners to agree on how, concretely, we would implement the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. It’s a complex, demanding, and crucial task.
We support countries’ efforts to improve the lives of millions of people—but we often accompany this support by burdening countries with many different reporting, fiduciary, monitoring, evaluation, and other systems. Five years ago, we didn’t have a venue to discuss, or know, what good harmonization and alignment could look like, and we hadn’t agreed to common fiduciary, monitoring, and evaluation systems.
But today, in large part to our shared efforts in the context of IHP+ and country leadership, we’ve agreed on a joint assessment of country health strategies, a common financial management approach, and on some aspects of monitoring and evaluation. And we have outstanding country examples such as Nepal.
Why, then, isn’t this happening at a speed compatible with the urgency of the task? If we have examples and agreements, what’s stopping us?
I have some good and some not so good news about aid. First, the good news. The aid landscape has seen three important changes during the last decade that have had a transformative, positive effect on the very nature of aid.
One of these changes has been the increased focus on the quality of aid—especially on the results being achieved on the ground. The World Bank and IDA, the Bank’s fund for the poorest, have placed a premium on having a real impact in the work we support, and the results show.