The IMF has published the October 2014 installment of its Regional Economic Outlook For Sub-Saharan Africa. Bolstered by efforts to invest in infrastructure and by strong agricultural production, the report claims, the region anticipates continued strong growth with an economy forecast to continue growing, expanding by about 5% in 2014, and accelerating to around 5¾ % in 2015. This growth momentum is particularly pronounced in the region’s Low-Income Countries, where activity is forecast to accelerate to 6¾-7 percent in 2014-15.
However, the current Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone is exacting a heavy toll, with spillovers to neighboring countries. In addition, external threats to the region's overall positive outlook include global financial conditions and a slowdown in emerging market growth. Other topics covered by the publication are building resilience in fragile states and addressing the infrastructure deficit. More information can be accessed in this IMF newsletter article.
The Africa-focused briefing on public spending in core sectors is now available in French. Click here to find out about the extent to which African countries are meeting the spending targets.
The Commonwealth Secretariat has launched ‘Innovative Finance for Development: A Commonwealth Toolkit during their Finance Ministers Meetings in Washington DC. Co-authored by former DFI Programme Manager Nils Bhinda, this handbook is a toolkit containing a one-stop shop where countries can find information about suitable funding for development and aims at guiding countries, especially the smallest, poorest and most vulnerable, and their development partners, with ideas on identifying, evaluating and selecting financing options to boost their development plans. In a context where financing needs significantly exceed the finance available, even if the international community meets its existing ODA commitments, this manual intends to help policy makers navigate the innovative finance landscape and match sources to fund particular development goals.
A joint paper by GSW and the International Budget Partnership (IBP) was launched on Friday 11 October 2014 at the Washington offices of USAID. From Numbers to Nurses: Why Budget Transparency, Expenditure Monitoring, and Accountability are Vital to the Post-2015 Framework identifies how vital ensuring budget transparency, monitoring, and accountability will be to the success of the Post-2015 development framework.
The post-2015 framework will contain the most ambitious set of development goals ever agreed and will require a significant increase in the effectiveness and efficiency of government spending. Bringing together available evidence and new quantitative analysis, this brief shows that budget transparency, expenditure monitoring and accountability can contribute to increases in spending towards, and better results related to, development goals. Whether or not this occurs crucially depends on data availability, space for civil society engagement, political will, and government capacity. Ensuring positive outcomes in the post-2015 agenda requires a “data revolution” in tracking government spending, aid and results.
Following their first meeting in October 2012 in Tokyo, Francophone Finance Ministers met in Washington DC on 9th October in the margins of the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings.
Three main issues were on the agenda: (i) the revision of the current international taxation system which doesn’t take developing countries’ problems into account and which could translate into an unequal distribution of tax revenues from transnational companies paying taxes in their headquarters countries rather than in the countries where the source material are produced; (ii) the redefinition of aid by the DAC: ministers urged OECD donors to not only maintain aid flows but to also include lower-middle income countries as beneficiaries, and to choose a simple and transparent level of concessionality; (iii) the growing issues related to debt sustainability and vulture funds: ministers urge the international community to adopt laws prohibiting lawsuits against countries in favour of vulture funds and to use the UN backed legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring which is more rapid, comprehensive, transparent and impartial.
These issues were later presented in by the chair of the LIC Ministers’ network Mr. Patrice Kitebi, Deputy Finance Minister of DRC, at a press briefing attended by media and CSO representatives. You can download the press note here .
New Rules for Global Finance, in collaboration with its partners released the 2014 Global Financial Governance & Impact Report. Chaired by DFI Director Matthew Martin, the launch event kicked off with a keynote speech by Thomas Bernes, former Executive Director at the IMF and head of IMF’s IEO and high-level official at the World Bank and regional development banks. After a presentation of the report’s findings on the governance and impact of key international financial rule-making bodies (G20, IMF, World Bank, FSB, UN and OECD), panelists from the IMF, Jubilee Bolivia and InterAction discussed the challenges of assessing the development impact of financial institutions and development finance in developing countries, with a particular focus on the impact on poverty and inequality.
DRI participated in this workshop co-sponsored by the Center for Innovation in Global Governance (CIGI) and New Rules for Global Finance, and hosted by Jubilee USA. Participants from developing countries, civil society and think tanks discussed current proposals for reforming sovereign debt restructuring processes, ranging from clauses in bond agreements to fair and transparent arbitration. This workshop is part of a consultation on sovereign debt restructuring organised by New Rules for CIGI.
The "Financing Education for All: domestic resource trends for education in developing countries" brief was produced by GSW to coincide with the Global Partnership for Education's (GPE) replenishment conference on 26th June 2014. GPE is the only multilateral partnership devoted to getting all children in the world's poorest countries into school and learning. This partnership of governments, civil society, international organisations, students, teachers unions, foundations, and the private sector together help developing countries access critical technical and financial resources, to achieve their education goals. On June 26th all partners met to pledge new resources for the period 2015-2018.Leer más...
GSW produced “Providing health care for the world’s poorest: are governments delivering on their commitments?”, a brief to inform and support Oxfam and partners health campaigning. Using GSW data it analyses progress by developing countries - with a focus on Africa - in meeting two key financial targets for health spending. It finds that far too many countries are not meeting these targets, and investment in health in many countries is not growing at a sufficiently ambitious level. It concludes that with less than 500 days to go to fulfill the MDGs, this is no time to be reducing or slowing down spending. Estimates suggest that in 2015 one million child deaths will still need to be prevented to achieve the MDG goal 4 of cutting child deaths by two-thirds. On current progress, the world will not meet MDG 4 until 2028, which is 13 years later than the target deadline. Meanwhile, to meet the target of reducing maternal mortality by two-thirds, progress would need to be quadrupled between now and 2015.
Following the ministerial meeting on redefining ODA in Washington in April, DFI helped OIF and the Commonwealth Secretariat to mobilise developing country officials for this OECD seminar. Twelve countries contributed their views on preferred sources and types of development finance, and how the OECD should define and publish statistics on ODA and other flows. They strongly urged the OECD to i) ensure that tracking flows “beyond ODA” did not mean diluting OECD country commitment to 0.7% targets for ODA; ii) track aid in ways which are more helpful to their planning processes – eg aid which goes through their budgets, and uses their national systems; iii) harmonise methods of calculating concessionality with those of the IMF, using a single 5% discount rate, rather than a risk-weighted calculation which could encourage higher lending to the most indebted countries; and iv) monitor other genuinely development-oriented flows (official or private sector), in NET terms, and through a collaborative process involving the UN, MDBs and NGO/Foundation coordination organisations. A letter by OIF developing countries addressed to the DAC following the meeting is currently being finalised.
DFI participated in the Eurodad Policy Forum 2014 in Brussels, bringing together 50 CSOs from North and South to discuss key trends in financing for development, and begin preparations for the 2015 Financing for Development conference due to be held in Addis Ababa. More information can be found here.