Our expectations in Mexico

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) will convene for its first high level meeting tomorrow in Mexico City. Established following the Fourth High Level Forum in Busan, South Korea in 2011, the Global Partnership aims to make development cooperation more effective.

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More than 1300 representatives from governments, civil society, multilateral organisations and the private sector will be addressed at the meeting’s opening session by Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

As a campaign for transparent information about development cooperation, which grew out of the High Level Forum in Accra in 2008, Publish What You Fund will be following these discussions closely.

And naturally, we have some clear expectations.

Let’s not forget that the commitments made in Busan on transparency provided one of the Forum’s most concrete and ambitious deliverables: donors committed to fully publishing information about their development cooperation in accordance with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) by 2015. To date, 235 organisations have started publishing to IATI, an open data standard that can be used by multiple stakeholders.

Along with over 40 CSO partners from across the globe, we have sent letters to ministers, heads of agencies, multilaterals and other development cooperation providers, asking for their support in making sure governments stay on track to meet their transparency commitments. At this week’s meeting in Mexico, we will be pushing hard to ensure that the development community accelerates and deepens progress on transparency by:

  • Agreeing concrete actions to publish timely, comprehensive and forward-looking information  on all development flows
  • Supporting actions to improve data quality and use by all stakeholders at country level
  • Ensuring information on development cooperation is compatible and aligned with partner countries’ budgets and systems

The meeting in Mexico is a stock take. As we said a couple of weeks ago with the release of the monitoring report, the GPEDC will measure how far donors are from delivering on their Busan promises.

All development providers must publish to IATI by the end of 2015. We already know that a small group of donors are making progress on aid transparency, however the vast majority are off-track (the paper that we were asked to write for this week’s meeting provides more analysis on this). However if there is a genuine political will to be held accountable, address bottlenecks and make improvements then we depart from Mexico with a real sense of things moving forward.

In order to be relevant to a post-2015 agenda, we hope the Global Partnership takes advantage of this unique opportunity to provide strong leadership in delivering an effective, accountable and transformative agenda.

Liz Steele

Liz is the EU Representative for Publish What You Fund. You can reach her at liz.steele@publishwhatyoufund.org.
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