Enhancing accountability and policy coherence in SSC: Monitoring quality and documenting impact at country level

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Side Event in the UN DCF High level Meeting in July 2016


Background
South-South cooperation (SSC) continued to grow despite the slowing down of the emerging economies and dropping commodity prices. The 2016 Report of the Secretary-General on “Trends and Progress in International Development Cooperation” points to the boost in momentum of SSC with the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, 2030 Agenda, and the Paris Agreement. There has been growing diversification of financing sources for South-South Cooperation beyond government revenues. National development banks have taken a more prominent role in financing regional and sub-regional infrastructure. Multilateral development banks initiated by Southern partners provide additional sources for developing countries to finance their sustainable development needs.[1]

The rise in quantum, geographical reach, and diversity in approaches in SSC make it a crucial additional resource in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. While SSC may be motivated by principles of solidarity in pursuing partnerships within developing countries, if not left unprotected, it may slowly evolve into new forms of inequalities and underdevelopment.

The movement towards development of tools and indicators for SSC has gathered momentum amidst efforts to improve understanding of SSC in order to achieve better sustainable development results. A number of initiatives from different Southern governments to address methodological challenges in capturing SSC are already well under way. The work of UN system organizations, Southern think tanks, and efforts by civil society organizations (CSOs) are also helpful in this regard.

CSOs from the South are leading a huge range of South-South development cooperation (SSDC) initiatives. To date, the growing interest in Southern countries’ role in international development has mostly focused on government-to-government development cooperation activities. There is hardly ever mention of citizens’ participation in steering these initiatives. This risks ignoring the important role played by CSOs in shaping these countries’ contributions to international development. The serious lack of transparency also precludes any real democratic ownership of SSC.

Major declarations from key SSC conferences such as Bandung (1955), Buenos Aires (1979), Nairobi (2009), and Bogota (2010) have shaped the principles that guide cooperation between Southern partners. Worth noting is how the historic Bandung Conference of 1955 underscored the fundamental principles of human rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, while rejecting domination and oppression in all its forms. Providing equal weight on human rights and rights-based approaches in SSC processes, however, remains to be realized.

Promoting overall policy coherence and social accountability in South-South partnerships is crucial in improving its development impact. Implementation of programs and policies consistent with international human rights commitments, environmental sustainability, and sustainable development objectives, can bolster effectiveness of SSDC at the national level.

A monitoring framework anchored on the principles of horizontal development cooperation, i.e. solidarity, mutuality, respect for sovereignty, human rights, inclusiveness, non-conditionality, is crucial towards enhanced accountability and impact of SSDC, particularly in the country level. The activity will bring together representatives from Southern governments, international organizations, academia, and civil society to share experiences in country level monitoring of SSDC policies and programs. It will define the elements of a monitoring framework for SSDC anchored on the principles of horizontal development cooperation. It will utilize the principles of horizontal development cooperation, i.e. solidarity, mutuality, inclusiveness, respect for sovereignty, human rights, and non-conditionality, in its assessment and analyses. Issues, challenges, and obstacles in the promotion of horizontal development cooperation in SSDC will also be tackled towards developing partnerships to address the bottlenecks.

Objectives

     • Establish the importance of an SSDC monitoring framework anchored on horizontal development cooperation,and highlight
     how it can improve the effectiveness and development impact of SSDC

     • Discuss elements and possible value-added of a framework for horizontal development cooperation

     • Prepare the ground to collect input and feedback in a proactive way, and stimulate multi-stakeholder involvement in the
      development of a monitoring framework

     • Conduct assessment of national policies and practices of Southern governments through the lens of policy coherence,
      inclusiveness and multi-stakeholder participation, rights-based approaches, and horizontal development cooperation
      principles

     • Learn from participating stakeholders relevant methodologies in measuring development impact of SSDC policies and
      programs

  Expected Outcomes
     • Recognized and defined value-added of a framework for horizontal development cooperation in monitoring SSDC

     • Concrete working proposals and inputs on how to improve national level monitoring of SSDC using principles of horizontal
     development cooperation

     • Documentation of good practices, issues and challenges, in promoting the framework for horizontal development
     cooperation in country level monitoring of the development impact of SSDC

     • Strengthened multi-stakeholder partnerships towards active promotion of horizontal development cooperation framework in
     country level monitoring of SSDC

Organizing Partner/s
The organizing partner/s are the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) in collaboration with the Reality of Aid Network (RoA), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Format
In pursuance of the set objectives, the organizers undertake to convene a meeting of the representatives from the governments from the South, development partners, and civil society organizations. The side event will have panel speakers and discussants, depending on the allotted time. Participatory methods and facilitation will be used to raise awareness, stimulate discussion and generate input and feedback from participating stakeholders. The meeting will be conducted in English.

Side event date and venue
The side event will take place on Wednesday, July 20, 2016, before the high-level meeting of the UN DCF in New York. It is scheduled from 13.15 to 14.45PM, in Conference Room E of the UN Headquarters.

Speakers and Discussants*
Paulo Esteves, BRICS Policy Center
Noel González, AMEXCID
Jennifer Malonzo, IBON International
Ziad Abdel Samad, Arab NGO Network for Development
Artemy Izmestiev, UNDP
Richard Ssewakiryanga, Uganda National NGO Forum
Giulia Massobrio, Trade Union Confederation of the Americas
Karin Vazquez, Brazilian Center for International Relations


  [1] Report of the Secretary-General, Trends and progress in international development cooperation, United Nations Economic and Social Council, 10 May 2016, http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=E/2016/65