Development package at the WTO? What do developing countries want from the Doha round?
By Sheila Page, Massimiliano CalÃ¬ and Dirk Willem te Velde
[Introduction]:The idea of what a minimum level for a â€˜development packageâ€™ implies has been evolving throughout the Doha round, following the interaction between the different negotiating positions. Almost every country has today a definition of its own specific interests in the trading system. The old model of developing countries led by a few major countries or outside advisers no long holds. As the latest â€˜final negotiationsâ€™ begin, this paper aims to summarise which of the issues still under negotiation are priorities for different developing countries. From the beginning of the negotiations, it has been clear that (as it was in the Uruguay Round) different developing countries have different priorities, and in some cases that the aims are directly opposed. Some groups have emerged which normally work together and present a common position. This paper therefore aims to summarise the interests of different developing country groups in each of the most important negotiating issues at this stage of the negotiations. This is a complex and imperfect exercise, but it provides a snapshot of the current constraints to the completion of a round which would need to be overcome in order to meet the interests of the various developing country groups.
To read the full paper, click here
Consenso de Monterrey: EvaluaciÃ³n y recomendaciones desde la realidad de AmÃ©rica Latina
Este artÃculo analiza la aplicaciÃ³n del Consenso de Monterrey en el contexto de Latino AmÃ©rica. En particular, sostiene que si bien el servicio de deuda se redujo ligeramente a inicios de la iniciativa HIPC, el impacto no fue mayor, la deuda externa volviÃ³ a incrementarse. A su vez, uno de los principales impactos de las condonaciones es el encarecimiento del nuevo financiamiento externo y la menor disponibilidad de las ventanillas concesionales. Esto se agrava aÃºn mÃ¡s si consideramos que los paÃses estÃ¡n acudiendo ademÃ¡s a otro tipo de endeudamiento: la deuda interna.
En este sentido, la aseveraciÃ³n sobre la â€œsostenibilidadâ€ de deuda que los paÃses han alcanzado no es totalmente cierta. Por un lado, porque no se estÃ¡ considerando toda la deuda; y por otro lado, no es suficiente porque no mide la capacidad de cubrir la deuda social con la poblaciÃ³n.
El artÃculo sostiene que la implementaciÃ³n del Consenso de Monterrey aun tiene brechas importantes que cubrir, compromisos que asumir y transformaciones a realizar, de acuerdo a los nuevos roles de algunos organismos financieros internacionales, e impulsando los cambios hacia una arquitectura financiera justa.
Para leer el artÃculo completo, haga click aquÃ
Increasing international financial and technical cooperation for development
By Vitalice Meja
In this article, the author comments on the current situation regarding the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA). On the one hand, he states that rich countries continue to use financial co-operation as a source of power to override national democratic systems in recipient developing countries, having a negative impact on the sovereignty of national governments. On the other hand, he presents doubts on the Paris declaration as the main instrument for reforming aid effectiveness since it is predominantly OECD driven and its failure to put human rights, gender equality, and sustainable development at the heart of heart of development co-operation.
Finally, he provides comments on the emerging challenges on Financing for Development (FfD) and recommendations on which the outcomes from Doha should be.
Development Finance, Governance and Conditionality: Politics Matter
Author: Carlos Santiso, 2003
The recent financial crises in Indonesia in 1997-98 and Argentina in 2001-02 constitute critical junctures for multilateral development finance and the reform of the international financial architecture. They have engendered debates about the adequacy in current arrangements for crisis prevention and management. There have been calls for a redefinition of the role of international financial institutions (IFIs) in the global aid regime.
One important point concerns the uses of governance conditionality by the IFIs. The debate tends to focus on the quantitative dimensions of conditionality, however, less attention is paid to the manner in which conditionality is applied and the politics of governance reform.
The essay argues that using conditionality to induce governance reform is confronted with a fundamental paradox, as it tends to make improvements in governance both a condition and an objective of development finance. Ultimately, it is argued, for the IFIs to substantially improve governance in borrowing countries, they should recognise the political economy of institutional reform and explicitly address issues of power, politics and democracy.
The author arrives to two main conclusions regarding the difficult combination of governance and conditionality in development financing. One is related to the nature of policy advice. A second one is related to its insertion in democratic processes and the perverse effects of â€œreverse accountability.â€ A critical aspect of the reform of the international financial institutions resides in the need to rethink policy advice, both in terms of its contents and the manner in which it is applied, so as to restore the centrality of democratic processes.
To read the full paper, click here
Influencing International Aid Policy
By Simon Burall and Ajoy Datta
This paper has been prepared as background for the strategic planning process of the Forum on the Future of Aid (FFA) which takes place in Uganda in February 2008. FFA is a space for Southern research institutes and think tanks to exchange information, research and ideas in order to increase the impact of southern-led research on international aid policy and on the reform of the international aid architecture. The paper is based on the assumption that, while Southern organisations were unable to consistently access policy debates about the reform of the international aid architecture in the past, this situation has now changed; a number of relevant international fora have been developed or opened-up over the past three to five years. This paper presents evidence for this assumption and explores ways in which Southern researchers can increase the impact of their research in the light of this. The paper is presented in four sections.
The introduction briefly highlights recent changes to the international aid system. Section two describes the fora which Southern researchers could gain access to and use to contribute to and influence policy debates. Recognising the importance of both the national and international levels for determining the impact of aid policy on partner country development, the descriptions of the fora are split into two broad sections; the paper first briefly examines fora and processes in partner countries, before examining four key international fora where aid policy and the reform of the international aid architecture are discussed. These four are: the follow up UN Conference to Financing for Development; the UN ECOSOC Development Cooperation Forum; the OECD/DAC third high-level forum on aid effectiveness in Ghana; and the OECD/DAC Global Forum on Development. Under each forum, a brief description of the process is given, the key stakeholders and decision-makers are identifi ed, and where possible any parallel civil society processes are noted. A summary of the key issues that the forum will cover is also given.
Section three of the paper then takes a step back by drawing on the large body of literature which explores how research can infl uence policy. This section highlights the messy nature of the policy making process before looking at the role of evidence in the policy process. It explores the nature of evidence and how it is viewed within the policy process, using this understanding to explore how researchers can think about the type of evidence they generate in order to increase its impact. It then highlights how important it is for researchers to build links not only with policy-makers, but also with other stakeholders. This third section then briefly describes a theory of communication and proposes that Southern researchers should consider using research in order to infl uence the terms of the aid policy and architecture reform debates rather than focusing their energies on trying to influence specifi c aid policies. It highlights the importance of researchers developing a communications strategy at the beginning of any research project and suggests a number of questions to guide the development of such a strategy. Finally, the third section proposes a matrix which researchers could use to help the process of identifi cation of which international forum/fora are most important in terms of their strategic aims. This matrix consists of a series of questions and has been partially fi lled out in order to help stimulate discussion at the FFA strategic planning process.
Click here to read the full piece
Preparations for the High-level Biennial Review of the Financing for Development process
Source: New Rules for Global Finance Coalition
The preparations for the High-level Biennial Review of the Financing for Development process and commitments is moving ahead very quickly, as are the preparations for the follow-up conference in Doha, Qatar the end of 2008.
The earliest date is actually October 11 for the informal hearing featuring civil society and the private sector.
The time is RIPE to send recommendations for action on any of the 6 sections of the Monterrey Consensus:
A: Domestic Financing for Development
B. Foreign investment
E. Bilateral and multilateral foreign assistance
F. Systemic Issues: dealing with systemic crises and governance of international financial rule making bodies
Please send your organizationâ€™s recommendations for action either to Daniel Platz (UN Financing for Development Office, Focal Point for Civil Society email@example.com), or to firstname.lastname@example.orgâ€”who will keep your name attached, making sure you both receive the credit for the idea, as well as any requests for further information or follow-up action/implementation. Please encourage your international partners to do the same.
Invitation to International Seminar on development financing
Source: Global Policy Forum
Money may not be everything, but ...
Civil Society Perspectives on Financing the International Development Goals
Bonn, Germany, 15-16 October 2007
co-hosted by Global Policy Forum Europe, terre des hommes and Social Watch
Towards the end of 2008, the United Nations plans to hold its 2nd Global Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) in Doha. This conference will review progress on decisions taken at the first FfD conference in Monterrey in 2002 and the Summits of the following years (World Summit 2005, G8 Summit in Gleneagles, etc.). In addition, the conference will discuss what new financing initiatives are necessary to achieve the International Development Goals, particularly the MDGs.
The UN General Assembly decided to hold a High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development on the 23 and 24 October 2007 at UN Headquarters in New York. This event will mark the starting point of the preparatory process leading up to the Doha conference. Many NGOs will use this process to assess progress and identify obstacles and constraints. Based on this analysis, they will formulate expectations and demands for the Monterrey follow-up conference.
Our international seminar seeks to contribute to this process. We see our seminar as a brainstorming session. We invite participants to share experiences and expectations and contribute to the formulation of civil society benchmarks for the Financing for Development Conference. Unfortunately, travel and accommodation costs cannot be reimbursed by the organisers.
For full program and registration for the event, please click here
Jens Martens, Global Policy Forum
Peter Mucke, terre des hommes
Roberto Bissio, Social Watch
Paris Declaration Baseline Survey - Country Chapters
THE 2006 SURVEY ON MONITORING THE PARIS DECLARATION was undertaken in 34 countries that receive aid. The results of the survey are presented in two volumes. Volume 1 provides an overview of key findings across 34 countries. Volume 2 presents the baseline and key findings in each of the 34 countries that have taken part in the survey. These chapters are based primarily on the data and findings communicated by government and donors to the OECD through the Paris Declaration monitoring process. A more detailed description of this process, how this chapter was drafted and what sources were used is included in Volume 1, Chapter 2. Both Volume 1 (Overview) and Volume 2 (Country Chapters) of the 2006 Survey on Monitoring the Paris Declaration can be downloaded at the OECD website: www.oecd.org/dac/effectiveness/monitoring A second round of monitoring will be organised in the first quarter of 2008 and will be an important contribution to the Accra High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in September 2008.
Click here to read the full report
From Paris 2005 To Accra 2008: Will Aid Be More Accountable and Effective?
Source: International Civil Society Steering Group for the Accra High Level Forum
This draft policy paper has been prepared by the International Civil Society Steering Group for the Accra High Level Forum. It aims to provide the basis for further discussions with civil society about the aid effectiveness agenda, in particular at the regional and national consultations planned for September-November 2007. It is hoped that these discussions will help to develop and prioritise the positions and recommendations of CSOs on aid effectiveness.
The document will form the basis for a civil society position paper for the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, to be held in Accra, Ghana, in September 2008; and for advocacy with donors and governments in the interim.
Consultation discussions of this draft should consider the following questions:
How relevant are these recommendations to the reality of how aid works on the ground? Would they make a difference?
Are there new recommendations or ideas which should be added? What would you do to make aid more accountable and effective?
Are there recommendations or ideas in the draft which should be removed?
Which are the most important areas for reform to deliver real change on the ground? Which recommendations should CSOs prioritise in advocacy work?
What are CSOsâ€™ experiences of the aid effectiveness agenda in practice? Are there examples of good or bad reforms which could inform the development of this paper?
Click here to read more
Betteraid.org is a campaign website that aims to provide information and updates on aid effectiveness issues, framing in the basic development issues; provide support for advocacy purposes; and provide opportunities to conduct web-based advocacy/campaigning.The website is published by the CSO Parallel Process to the Ghana High Level Forum Network
The CSO Parallel Process to the Ghana High Level Forum network brings together various local, national, regional and international NGOs who are engaged in development issues, particularly the aid architecture and the aid effectiveness agenda. This network is involved in a multi-stakeholder process of engagement leading towards the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, to be held in Accra, Ghana, in September 2008.
The network is keen to develop awareness of the aid effectiveness agenda at the local and national level and sees the Ghana HLF as an important opportunity for bringing about discussion and debate and the engagement of CSOs on the said agenda. CSO concerns include among others, governance and accountability, ownership, effective aid delivery, tied aid and conditionality, at the same time ensuring that the core issues of gender equality, human rights and solidarity in the aid architecture are seriously addressed.
The list of current partner networks involved in this initiative include Alliance 2015, Eurodad, Social Watch, Civicus, IBIS, Reality of Aid, Third World Network (TWN), IBON, and Concord. The International Steering Committee is currently under the chairmanship of IBON.
Click here to go their website