IWTC WOMEN’S GLOBALNET #344

ACTIVITIES & INITIATIVES OF WOMEN WORLDWIDE

 

TRACKING THE MONEY TRAIL: WOMEN SPEAK OUT ON DEVELOPMENT AID

Helena Gronberg & Natalie Raaber

October 8, 2008

 

1.    ACCRA WOMEN’S FORUM – KEY RECOMMENDATIONS for 3rd HIGH LEVEL FORUM IN ACCRA, GHANA

2.    OUTCOME OF 3rd HIGH LEVEL FORUM 

3.    REGISTERING FOR DOHA DECEMBER 2008

4.    MEASURING PROGRESS OF THE PARIS DECLARATION

 

Over 100 governments convened in Accra, Ghana from September 2 to 4, 2008 in a third of a series of High-Level Forums that examined the flows of development aid and the most effective means of achieving results through its distribution. The Third High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness follows up on a process that began at a meeting of senior diplomats in Paris (2005) and led to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness – an agreement between countries on reforming and streamlining the process of giving and receiving aid. Though civil society has an enormous stake in the outcomes of these summits, their participation went unsolicited and was negligible at the Paris meeting. Since then, civil society - including women’s organizations – has actively and effectively sought openings and opportunities to influence the process. In Accra, representatives of women’s groups, advocates and experts joined other civil society organizations, prior to the High-Level Forum, to develop recommendations that were fed into deliberations at the governments’ summit.

 

There have been and there will continue to be several meetings on financing for development and aid effectiveness. Women have been tracking the money trail since the UN International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico (2002) led to an outcome document that identified the means of ensuring financial resources to reach UN development goals. Building on the Monterrey Consensus, the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness focused on donor commitment towards assisting developing countries’ governments in formulating and implementing their own national development plans. (Paris Declaration: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/11/41/34428351.pdf)  Women-specific perspectives and concerns were tabled through papers and presentations at an Expert Group Meeting in Oslo (2007) and debated by governments and civil society organizations at the heavily-attended 2008 Commission on the Status of Women on Financing for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women – the only policy space that is available for women to directly lobby governments.  (The commission’s Agreed Conclusions: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/csw52/AC_resolutions/L.8_Advance%20unedited_as%20corrected.pdf; Expert Group papers: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/egm/financing_gender_equality/egm_financing_gender_equality.htm)

    

The next opportunity for civil society input will be the Doha Global Civil Society Forum (27 November – 28 November 2008, Doha, Qatar) taking place before the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus (29 November – 2 December 2008, Doha, Qatar)

 

1. ACCRA WOMEN’S FORUM – KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE 3rd HIGH LEVEL FORUM (HLF-3), ACCRA, GHANA

While women and civil society were not present at the HLF-2 in Paris, they attended in large numbers at the 3rd High Level Forum (HLF-3). On August 30 more than 200 people, including gender advocates and experts and individuals from women's rights organizations and women's empowerment organizations, attended the Accra International Women's Forum, co-organized by the Network for Women’s Rights (NETRIGHT), African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), WIDE, International Gender and Trade Network (IGTN), Development Action for Women Network (DAWN) and Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), with the support of the African Women Development Fund (AWDF), Action Aid International, UNIFEM, and Urgent Action Africa, to discuss the implementation of the Paris Declaration. The statement, which emanated from the forum, called for the following actions and recommendations to be taken up at the HLF-3. 

Key recommendations included:

·         To develop an aid system that promotes democratic and sustainable agendas and supports the equitable distribution of productive resources, decent work and the provision of social security.

·         To fully recognize that gender equality, environmental sustainability and respect for human rights are cornerstones of development.

·         To align the Paris Declaration with internationally agreed development goals (IADG).

·         To support and strengthen the capacities, resources and authority of national women's machineries in order to better enable their ability to support and monitor line ministries, other government bodies and parliaments in influencing national development planning and budget allocations for gender equality and women's rights.

·         To deliver donors’ commitment to increase Official Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of their GNP and to provide transparent information on how ODA allocations respond to policy commitments and people's needs. Attendees of the Women’s Forum also called on developing country governments to provide transparent and publicly available budgets for their citizenry.

·         To remove economic policy conditionalities that undermine the principle of ownership and contradict the right to development and self-determination.

·         To ensure that special funds are available for women's rights organizations and that resources for mobilizing communities are accessible.

·         To pay special attention to the needs and compensation of victimized women in fragile states (states in conflict, coming out of conflict or post-conflict situations) and in communities experiencing localized conflicts and xenophobia attacks by involving women in peace-building processes.

·         To measure development results through existing reporting and monitoring mechanisms for human rights compliance.

·         For the full set of recommendations see http://betteraid.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=213&Itemid=26

Additionally, the International CSO Steering Group coordinated the Civil Society Parallel Forum. For the final statement see http://betteraid.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=228&Itemid=1. 

 

2. OUTCOME OF HLF-3

On September 4, 2008, donor and developing countries endorsed the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA), the outcome policy document of the HLF-3. They agreed to take steps to reform the way aid is administered. Developing countries committed to take control of their own futures, while donors committed to increase their coordination efforts; both donors and developing countries pledged to be accountable to one another and to their citizens.

Key points agreed in the Accra Agenda for Action include:

·         Predictability – donors will provide 3-5 years in advance information on their planned aid to partner countries.

·         Country systems – partner country systems will be used to deliver aid as the first option, rather than donor systems.

·         Conditionality – donors will switch from reliance on prescriptive conditions about how and when aid money is spent to conditions based on the developing country’s own development objectives.

·         Untying – donors will relax restrictions that prevent developing countries from buying the goods and services they need from whomever and wherever they can get the best quality at the lowest price. 

For full document see http://siteresources.worldbank.org/ACCRAEXT/Resources/4700790-1217425866038/AAA-4-SEPTEMBER-FINAL-16h00.pdf.

 

 However, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including women’s organization, have expressed disappointment at the outcome of the meeting, which they claim does not take into sufficient consideration civil society recommendations and preparations. CSOs called for a number of reforms to the PD and offered important recommendations to the content of the AAA, including the desire to see a broader framework of development effectiveness espoused.  The majority of these recommendations were ignored: the AAA fails to address the most essential concerns, such as democratic ownership of aid, policy conditionalities, the role of CSOs, including women’s rights organizations, tied aid and the foreign debt burden and instead gives excessive attention to technical procedures in aid delivery and management. For more information see www.BetterAid.org.   

 

3. REGISTERING FOR DOHA

The Registration Form for the Doha Global Civil Society Forum (27 November – 28 November 2008, Doha, Qatar) and the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus (29 November – 2 December 2008, Doha, Qatar) is now online. Non-governmental Organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC as well as those that were granted ad hoc accreditation to the International Conference on Financing on Development (ICFfD) or its follow-up process are eligible to apply for the two events cited above. Organizations without previous accreditation that applied for ad hoc accreditation to the Doha Review Conference before the deadline of 31 August 2008 are welcome to register, but confirmation will only be issued if the General Assembly approves the accreditation request.

Completed registration forms must be received by 17 October 2008. Under no circumstances can applications be considered after 17 October.  Confirmation of participation will be issued by 27 October 2008.

For more information, and to apply, please visit http://www.un-ngls.org/ffd/.

For more information on the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development, please visit http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/doha/
This information was provided by the office of the UN Non-governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) and the FfD Office

4. MEASURING PROGRESS OF THE PARIS DECLARATION

The PD sets out 12 indicators to provide a measurable and evidence-based way to track progress:

1.       Partners have operational development strategies;

2.      Reliable country systems;

3.      Aid flows are aligned on national priorities;

4.      Strengthen capacity by coordinated support;

5.      Use of country public financial management systems and country procurement system;

6.       Strengthen capacity by avoiding parallel implementation structures;

7.      Aid is more predictable;

8.       Aid is untied;

9.      Use of common arrangements or procedures;

10.   Encourage shared analysis;

11.    Result-oriented framework;

12.   Mutual accountability.

 

Targets have been set for 11 of the indicators for the year 2010 when the PD is to be implemented. For full document see http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/57/60/36080258.pdf.

Additionally a survey on Monitoring the Paris Declaration was launched in January 2008 http://www.oecd.org/document/33/0,3343,en_21571361_39494699_39497377_1_1_1_1,00.html

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