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.
Based on DFI’s experience of organising and supporting Finance Minister’s meetings for HIPCs, the Commonwealth, OIF and the G20, the Commonwealth Secretariat has commissioned DFI to analyse the efficiency and effectiveness of all major global meetings of Finance Ministers, in order to provide suggestions for how to reinforce the Commonwealth Finance Ministers’ Meetings. The final report will be delivered to Commonwealth Finance Ministers in October.
The latest African Economic Outlook released at the African Development Bank Group’s Annual Meetings shows that Africa has weathered internal and external shocks and is now in a position to achieve healthy economic growth rates. Produced annually by the AfDB, the OECD Development Centre and UNDP, this year’s report reveals that he continent’s growth is projected to accelerate to 4.8 % in 2014 and 5 to 6 % in 2015, levels which have not been seen since the global economic crisis of 2009. It also argues that by participating more effectively in the global production of goods and services, Africa can transform its economy and achieve a development breakthrough.
The 2014 installment of the Africa Progress Panel Report entitled “Grain, Fish, Money” takes an unflinching look at the risks and opportunities facing the continent and puts its natural resources and assets at the heart of its transformation. While acknowledging Africa's undoubted economic successes , the Panel highlights that its progress in reducing poverty is less than impressive, with Governments failing to transform economic growth into opportunities for all. The report was recently the subject of a High-Level Dialogue held at the AfDB Annual Meetings in Kigali, Rwanda.
DFI conducted a pilot mission for OIF to help Senegal’s government design a development financing policy to support the Plan Sénégal Émergent. The mission examined financing policy issues, including project design, the overall matching of projects and programmes with financing, and sources of finance such as tax revenue, international and regional bonds, aid, South-South cooperation, Islamic financing, and PPPs. It also looked at institutional issues of laws, regulations and coordination structures to support the policy.
Fair and effective public services are a strong weapon in the fight against economic inequality. This Africa-focused briefing examines the extent to which African countries are meeting the spending targets that governments in the region have set for themselves at regional ministerial meetings. It shows that most African governments are falling far short of their pledges on agriculture, health, education and social protection.
At the request of multiple international organisations and CSOs, DFI has begun analysing breakdowns of spending by province, region or district within countries so as to assess whether spending is equitable in terms of being related to need, poverty or other indicators or factors. Analysis has so far been completed for Guatemala, India, Mozambique, Peru, South Africa, Spain and Uganda. A summary of findings will be posted on the GSW site shortly.
An ODI study reveals that Africans are losing $1.8 billion a year due to high fees levied on funds sent from abroad by relatives. The report found that African faces some of the highest charges in the world for international transfers and claims that reducing African charges to the global average would generate enough revenue "to put some 14 million children into school, almost half of the out-of-school total in the region, and provide safe water to 21 million people". In a context where global remittance charges are meant to be cut by 5% by 2014, the think-thank urges governments to increase competition in money transfer remittances and to establish greater transparency on how fees are set by all market operators.
OECD and UNDP have produced the first progress report on implementing the Busan Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. The report shows virtually no progress since 2010 on untying or using country systems, and three indicators – on civil society space, private sector engagement, and use of country results frameworks, are still being “piloted.” The only clear areas of progress are on aid transparency, putting aid through country budgets, and tracking allocations for gender equality. Interestingly, the report shows that South-South providers perform better on putting aid on budget, and on predictability. Much more will need to be done to meet the targets set in Busan for 2015.
DFI held discussions with UN agencies and CSOs in Washington and New York about future cooperation on government spending data and analysis, as well as on ensuring that monitoring of government spending is a key component of the monitoring framework for the post-2015 global development goals. For more details please contact Matthew Martin.