Statement to the Ministerial Roundtable II by the Civil Society FfD Group (including the Women’s Working Group on FfD), delivered by Amy Dodd, UK Aid Network on May 23, 2017 (FfD Forum 2017)

Effective international public finance has an important role to play as many of the panellists in today’s discussion have emphasised – so I’d like to talk briefly about the commitments made in Addis and before on aid, on international development cooperation:

  • Meeting the long standing 0.7 commitment remains an ever-elusive commitment but a commitment which must be met nonetheless;
  • We support the need to guarantee aid to LDC countries where it is currently falling, though we recognize that poverty and inequality are pervasive in middle income countries, and share the view that there needs to be a nuanced approached to graduation.

There is no hiding from the ambitious agenda before us and so meeting these commitments on quantity of public finance must be met. It is equally important, however, to improve the quality and effectiveness those resources.

Notably, Addis committed to advancing the development effectiveness agenda – which is central to the successful achievement Agenda 2030 but also an ambitious commitment in its own right.  Ownership, inclusiveness, transparency and accountability and results focus are key pillars to all forms of development cooperation—from north-south to south-south to blended finance.

  • We are pleased that the forum recognizes the successful and ambitious outcome of the second HLM, which was an important political moment to renew work and commitment to this agenda;
  • Despite this progress has been slow on the development effectiveness agenda giving way to widescale stagnation;
  • The unfinished business from Paris and Accra remains unfinished, critical areas like improving country ownership are going backwards, civil society space is shrinking in many corners of the world north and south, aid remains tied and so on;
  • There is a real need to step up efforts on this front in particular from the donor community.

The Addis agenda also contained some important commitments with respect to blended financing and PPPs:

  • It recognised the need to develop principles for blended finance or PPPs that would be developed in an inclusive and transparent manner – principles that should set conditional criteria on the use of private investment vehicles. Criteria which should include democratic governance in decision-making on where and how to invest, adherence to established principles of development effectiveness and human/women’s rights standard and inclusive monitoring and assessment down to the project level;
  • This is an area where we are concerned that this work is being taken forward in forums that aren’t as inclusive as promised – as was emphasised by the last panellist from Mexico – there is a challenge in Europe (in the UNECE for example) defining what is a good PPP in a forum that is, at best, more representative of and open to some stakeholders than others – instead of that process happening in a forum which is more open, inclusive and equal.

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