We Can Get the 2030 Agenda Back on Track – With More Empowered, Inclusive, & Equal Partnerships

Credit: United Nations

By Ulrika Modeer and Susanna Moorehead

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
, universally adopted in
2015, is a plan to create a better and more sustainable future for
all in just 15 years, through 17 Sustainable Development Goals (the
SDGs). It sounds implausible.

And yet, when we work together, across international borders,
and social boundaries, we are capable of extraordinary progress.
But that progress is by no-means guaranteed.

Success will depend on more equal and trusting partnerships
between aid donors and recipients; the ‘development partners’
and ‘partner countries’ in the jargon of the sector.

How we go about achieving these is one of the key issues for
discussion at a senior meeting of the Global Partnership for
Effective Development Cooperation, the GPEDC, in New York on 13-14

Development progress and challenges

Take sub-Saharan Africa. Since 1990, maternal mortality has
halved; and the mortality rate for children under five has fallen
by more than half. In South Asia the risk of child marriage for
girls has almost halved. In the poorest countries, the share of the
population with access to electricity has more than doubled. Each
of these numbers is life-changing, and life-saving, for millions of

But the pace of change is still too slow, and too many people
are being left behind. A recent special edition of the UN
Secretary-General’s report on
‘Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals’

identifies some of the challenges: hunger is rising, due to
conflict and climate change; more than half of the world lacks
access to managed sanitation facilities, increasing the risks of
disease; and more than a million species are facing extinction.

A call for principled collective action

Investing in our common future demands urgent action. The SDGs
provide a clear and measurable vision of what we
want to achieve. And the
Financing for Development
process provides a good understanding
of what this vision needs.

Now is the time for a concerted effort to work out
how we work together: focusing on results and
inclusive partnerships; and based on country ownership, mutual
accountability and transparency.

These four ‘principles of effectiveness’ were agreed by 161
nations and 56 international organisations in Busan, the Republic
of Korea, in 2011. They are the basis of the Global Partnership for Effective
Development Cooperation
– a voluntary alliance of
governments, civil society, trade unions, the private sector and
other development partners, committed to making development more

They agreed that if we invest in partnerships that are more
responsive, inclusive, and transparent – more equal – we will
achieve more sustainable development results.

Making development cooperation more

During 2018, a record 86 countries and territories that receive
aid took part in an exercise (along with hundreds of civil society
organisations, private sector representatives, foundations, trade
unions, parliamentarians and local governments) to monitor the
extent to which all partners are walking the talk in terms of
promises made on development effectiveness.

There’s good news and bad. Relationships between development
partners are increasingly based on mutual trust. Development
planning, led by recipient governments, has improved in quality and
in scope.

International development actors are increasingly using local
procurement systems, meaning more of the resources intended to
support development overseas are staying where they are most

But donor reluctance to fund government activities means that
fewer resources are available for the public sector in partner
countries. Recipients of aid find that it is now less predictable
and long term, undermining countries’ efforts to plan.

In some places, state-civil society relations have worsened and
space for civil society actors is shrinking. These findings
demonstrate that while progress has been made, there is much more
to be done.

Particularly so against a backdrop of falling levels of official
development assistance (ODA) from major donors from 2017 to 2018: a
decline of 3% to the group of least developed countries, and a drop
of 4% to Africa.

Looking to the future

To achieve the SDGs, our collective development efforts need to
be as effective as possible. We need to protect the space for
different development actors to make their contributions, to invest
in national capacity to measure progress, to use country systems in
ways that can build trust, and to make sure all actors are living
up to their commitments under the 2030 Agenda.

These are some of the messages we hope will stick in the minds
of decision-makers, as they leave the senior level meeting of the
Global Partnership in New York this month. That how we do things
matters; that working together on a more equal footing, can lead to
better, more sustainable outcomes for us all; and that committed
international action can make even the implausible a reality.

*Ulrika Modeer
also represents the UN Sustainable Development Group on the
Steering Committee of the Global Partnership. Prior to this, she
served as the State Secretary for International Development
Cooperation and Climate at the Swedish International Development
Cooperation Agency. She has undertaken assignments across Latin
America and Africa.

also represents the DAC on the Steering Committee of
the Global Partnership. She has previously served as British
Ambassador to Ethiopia, Djibouti, and the African Union, and as an
Executive Director at the World Bank.

About the Global Partnership:

The Global Partnership is led by four Co-Chairs, currently:
Mustafa Kamal, Minister of Finance, the People’s Republic of
Bangladesh; Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary to the
Federal Minister for Economic Co-operation and Development, the
Federal Republic of Germany; Matia Kasaija, Minister of Finance,
Planning and Economic Development, Republic of Uganda; and Vitalice
Meja, Executive Director of the CSO Reality of Aid Africa.

Twice a year they convene a 23-member Steering Committee, which
includes representatives of civil society, trade unions, the
private sector, parliamentarians, local government, civic
foundations, international financial institutions and the
international multilateral system. The Steering Committee guides
the work of the Global Partnership, including the biennial
development effectiveness monitoring exercise, with support from
the OECD and from UNDP.

More information on the Global Partnership and the up-coming
Senior-Level Meeting can be found here.

The post
We Can Get the 2030 Agenda Back on Track – With More Empowered,
Inclusive, & Equal Partnerships
appeared first on Inter Press Service.


* is Director of UN Development Programme’s
Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy & Susanna Moorehead*
is Chair of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), at the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The post
We Can Get the 2030 Agenda Back on Track – With More Empowered,
Inclusive, & Equal Partnerships
appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News
We Can Get the 2030 Agenda Back on Track – With More Empowered, Inclusive, & Equal Partnerships