So, what was that Busan thing, anyway? And what do I need to know about it?
How implementers and advocates need to work together to make sure the global community delivers on its promise of more effective aid.October 2nd, 2012 | by Gregory Adams
Aid is a vital tool in the fight against global poverty. But too often, aid delivers less than it promises.
If you follow the debate over development aid, you’ve probably heard that there was a big conference last year in Korea that was meant to make aid work better. Oxfam’s new briefing paper—“Busan in a Nutshell”—is intended as your guide to what happened at that conference, the “Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.” “Busan in a Nutshell” explains what happened at Busan, and how implementers and advocates need to work together to make sure the global community delivers on its promise of more effective aid.
Since the Paris Declaration of 2005, donors, recipients, advocates, and others have been working to improve aid so it delivers better poverty fighting results. Last year, in Busan, these groups met to form the “Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation,” which sets the international standard on the principles of effective aid and good development to which all development actors should subscribe.
“Busan in a Nutshell” documents the commitments made at Busan, and recommends how to ensure aid effectiveness commitments are implemented. These principles include:
- country leadership and ownership of development strategies;
- a focus on the ‘right’ results that matter to the poor in developing countries;
- inclusive partnerships among development actors based on mutual trust and transparency and accountability to one another.
All development stakeholders—including traditional donors and emerging providers—must respect and uphold these key principles by fulfilling the promises they made at Busan. For this to happen, the Global Partnership will need to rely on strong vision, high-level political engagement and a robust but flexible global accountability mechanism.
The US government has already begun its efforts to implement its Busan commitments. A few big changes include their efforts to increase transparency of the aid they give, put more American aid dollars through local systems, and end complicated rules that make local investment difficult. Ultimately, however, the real verdict on US efforts will come from how well citizens and leaders in developing countries think the US is supporting their efforts to develop themselves.
Check out “Busan in a Nutshell” to learn more about what is at stake for the leaders of the Global Partnership at their first meeting next week in Tokyo.