Development cooperation must change radically and rapidly for #2030Agenda

Development cooperation needs to change more radically and at a vastly accelerated pace to meet the deadlines and expectations set out in the 2030 Agenda. To get on track to meet the SDGs by 2030, policymakers and practitioners must show leadership and swiftly act now, based on the latest thinking, evidence and research.

This was the clear message of the 2018 high-level meeting of the Development Cooperation Forum this May. The Forum brought together over 300 high-level and senior representatives of governments and stakeholders to assess progress in adapting development cooperation to the demands of the 2030 Agenda, including the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

Key messages
          (i)      Development cooperation needs to change more radically and at a vastly accelerated pace to meet the deadlines and expectations set out in the 2030 Agenda. The situation demands both bold and inclusive leadership and timeliness of action on the part of policymakers and practitioners at all levels, drawing on the latest thinking, evidence and research from around the world.

(ii)     Development cooperation must do more to truly focus policies and action first on those furthest behind. It must boost inclusiveness and put cross-cutting emphasis on gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls and the inclusion of youth and other marginalized groups.

(iii)   Recalling and reaffirming that the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income for ODA is not enough to bring needed change for the poorest and most vulnerable countries and peoples, specific steps must be taken to: (a) ensure that commitments on official development assistance (ODA) are met; (b) bring more ODA to least developed countries and countries in special situations; and (c) strengthen the effective allocation and use of ODA. This should be done without further delay.

(iv)    Development cooperation has to become more risk-informed, conflict-sensitive and resilience-smart, with stronger links to climate action. Silo and short-term approaches will fail.

(v)     Development cooperation should bring innovation and more focused action to the means of participation, with a view to enabling people to engage meaningfully in development processes and other efforts to strengthen not only capacity but also confidence in public institutions.

(vi)    Development cooperation should help to seize the opportunities that digitalization brings, including in mobilizing national resources and building national statistical capacity, bearing in mind the risks and without worsening the digital divide.

(vii)  Priority should go to putting in place national development cooperation policies as part of public sector reform and alignment with the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Evidence shows that such policies can be powerful tools for getting better results from development cooperation and lifting the quality of partnerships over time.

(viii) Stakeholders in public-private partnerships should build on the principles of inclusiveness and transparency, as well as on existing capacities, plans and exchanges, while recognizing that the effectiveness and impact of such partnerships are context-specific. Analytical work and policy dialogue on blended finance that aligns with country priorities and brings about sustainable development must urgently be accelerated, without reversing gains in quality and effectiveness.

(ix)    The second high-level United Nations conference on South-South cooperation, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries, should reaffirm the principles of South-South cooperation, reinforce its strategic focus and capture current dynamism and innovations to propel a concrete plan of action for all stakeholders. The Development Cooperation Forum should contribute to that effort in its role as a unique and trusted space for sharing knowledge and advancing the global policy dialogue on South-South and triangular cooperation.

          (x)     Support to build the capacity of Governments and other actors to monitor and review development cooperation must be greatly stepped up and tailored to country-specific contexts, with regular reviews informing the voluntary national reviews of progress towards the 2030 Agenda.

(xi)    The Development Cooperation Forum should be strengthened as a platform for interregional and multi-stakeholder learning with regard to the monitoring, review and impact assessment of development cooperation, all of which are fundamental to the dynamics involved in achieving and scaling up sustainable development results with a view to having greater impact.

The Forum generated concrete policy guidance in key strategic areas. It also contributed directly to the 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

Learn more about the Forum and its outcomes.

Official summary
Event webpage
Webcast of the opening session

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