Friday, March 29, 2013

UN Panel Highlights Development Reform

The Devex Newswire recently had a summary of the results of a high-level UN panel looking toward a post-2015 development agenda. Authored by Johanna Morden, the summary includes the five key areas for reform emerging from the  high-level meeting on the post-2015 global agenda concluded March 27). An extract is below:

The vision: a transformative, people-centered and planet-sensitive development agenda that ends extreme poverty in the context of sustainable development, while enabling sustained prosperity for all.

It also advocates for coherent and mutually-enforcing post-2015 intergovernmental processes and outcomes.

The five key areas highlighted by the panel “on which progress is needed” to attain its post-2015 vision are outlined below:

1. Reshaped and revitalized global governance and partnerships. The approach to addressing today’s challenges should be universally applicable, while at the same time implementable at the national, subnational, community and individual levels. 

2. Protection of the global environment. The agenda must be grounded in a commitment to address global environmental challenges, strengthen resilience and improve disaster preparedness capacities.

3. Sustainable production and consumption. The future development framework should consider the challenge of the predicted peak of human population to 9 billion to 10 billion in 2050 and the need to manage the world’s production and consumption patterns in more sustainable and equitable ways.  

4. Strengthened means of implementation. The agenda should clearly specify the means of implementation, including financing for development. Adequate, stable and predictable financing, as well as the efficient use of resources, is required to support development.  

5. Data availability and better accountability in measuring progress. Substantial improvements in national and subnational statistical systems, including local and subnational levels and the availability, quality and timeliness of baseline data, disaggregated by sex, age, region and other variables, will be needed. 
In the coming weeks, the panel will be preparing the final report on post-2015 agenda recommendations, to the U.N. secretary-general at the end of May.

Read the full article here.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Linking resources to results: A transparency narrative for the G8

A recent commentary on Devex by Alan Hudson discusses priorities for an upcoming G-8 summit.  An extract is below....

G8 leaders at Camp David in the United StatesG-8 leaders during a working session on global and economic issues on May 19, 2012 at Camp David in the United States. Photo by: Pete Souza / White House

... plans for the G-8 Summit are taking shape. In addition to tackling the threat of extremism and terrorist violence, and addressing issues around agriculture, food and nutrition at a pre-G8 event, the key issues on the agenda are trade, tax and transparency – government transparency and corporate transparency.

On tax and transparency, a number of issues seem to be competing for attention on the G-8 agenda. These include transparency about the revenues that companies pay to governments to extract oil and other natural resources, transparency about land deals, transparency about tax matters, transparency about who owns and controls shell companies, transparency about budgets, and transparency about development assistance. 

Alongside these proposals are others to ensure that the information unleashed by various transparency initiatives is user-friendly and that civil society groups and others are able to make use of that information to hold governments and companies to account.

Faced with a plethora of proposals and initiatives, there is a need both for some prioritization and for a clear and compelling narrative about how the various initiatives will work together to drive progress against poverty and preventable disease. This is fundamentally a narrative about linking resources to results, with transparency and information the main storyline. Here’s how the story might go:
  • On resources, the G-8 countries commit to make faster progress on implementing the International Aid Transparency Initiative to meet their aid transparency commitments. They support robust EU laws on extractives transparency, help to develop a global standard on extractives transparency and, where relevant, sign up to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. And, they establish public registries of beneficial ownership.
  • On results, the G-8 countries support another World Bank initiative, called Service Delivery Indicators, which looks to improve the information that is available about how health, education and other services are delivered in developing countries. Straddling the resources and budgets and spending categories, the G-8 also do more to support better and more open contracting.
 See further recommendations linked here.