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Brussels, 30 November 2011
Busan: The EU's work on aid effectiveness
The High Level Forum (HLF4) on aid effectiveness takes place between 29 November – 1 December in Busan, South Korea. It will be a key opportunity for donors, ministers and representatives from civil society and the private sector from across the world to come together to discuss to what extent previous global commitments on aid effectiveness made in Paris and Accra have been met and what actions are needed to make aid even more effective in the future.
Andris Piebalgs, the European Commission Development Commissioner, will present the European Union's new proposals to make its aid more effective at the forum: EU Joint Programming and an EU Transparency Guarantee.
The EU will also underline the need to focus more on how aid is delivered on the ground, and encourage partner countries to take forward new 'Country Compacts'.
What is Joint Programming?
EU Joint Programming involves EU donors working together on aid delivery and then dividing the work needed in the most efficient way, according to their strengths.
It is an enhanced approach to development cooperation whereby the EU and its Member States analyse each country they work in to identify the areas most in need of support, which donor should work in which sector, and then how much money should be allocated as a result.
Joint Programming will help to increase impact and the results of aid - because aid delivery is more closely monitored – and improves coordination amongst donors, as well as increasing transparency and predictability.
What is the EU Transparency Guarantee?
The EU Transparency Guarantee is a new proposal which means that EU Member states will publicly disclose all information on aid programmes so that it can be more easily accessed, shared and published.
It will also make information available on all aid to partner countries, to enable them to report them in their national budget documents and help increase transparency towards parliaments, civil society and citizens.
What are 'Country Compacts'?
Country Compacts are flexible agreements put in place between different development partners, in order to better respond to those individual countries' priorities and specific needs on the ground at the time.
Other aid effectiveness issues which the EU is expected to focus on in Busan:
Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation
This is expected to be an arrangement to include partner countries as well as their development partners, including emerging economies, the private sector and civil society organisations from across the world.
This year's UN climate change conference at Durban is taking place at the same time as the Busan Forum. The EU places importance on applying aid effectiveness principles to climate change finance in order to ensure that this finance supports partner countries' efforts in helping developing countries to cope with the effects of climate change as much as possible.
Fragile states are often the countries that are most off track in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. The EU will endorse a new global framework to prioritise aid effectiveness in fragile states, including by developing new cooperation agreements to make sure that no peace process or political dialogue on conflict fails due to lack of finance. It would also involve the development of new tools to assess the specific needs required in fragile situations, including conducting joint risk assessments and using national systems where possible.
Development in the private sector
Development and the private sector will be another key issue for discussion at HLF4. The EU has been active in widening development partnerships, including the private sector.. This way we can enhance the role of aid in making development as effective as possible. These partnerships should be strengthened further during HLF4, ensuring an inclusive outcome document as a basis for the future Global Partnership.
International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)
Last month, EuropeAid – the Directorate General responsible for the European Commission's aid delivery and development policy - fulfilled its pledge to implement the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).
The IATI was put in place to make public information on aid spending and activities more available and more accessible, worldwide.
This is so that aid information is useful to all stakeholders, particularly those in developing countries. It will also make that information simpler and easier to understand, to compare, and to use.
The initiative brings together donors, partner countries, civil society organisations and other users of aid information to agree common transparency standards for aid flows.
The IATI was signed in September 2008 as part of the Accra Agenda for Action on aid effectiveness
This initiative will be followed over the next few months with the roll-out of the Transparent Aid system (TR-AID), which will help to present the data in an easily-accessible format, such as through pie charts and graphs.
Report: Aid Effectiveness: the Benefits of Going Ahead
A recent study for the European Commission (Aid Effectiveness: the Benefits of Going Ahead) showed that better coordination and planning of policies of the EU and its Member States could save up to €5 billion per year.
The European Commission's proposal for the EU common position on the international aid effectiveness agenda also shows that the European Union (EU) has progressed considerably in the way it manages its aid.
The Communication, adopted by the Commission in the run up to Busan, shows that the EU's performance in aid effectiveness comes out above the global average amongst donors.
According to the survey and independent evaluation of the Paris Declaration, EU aid is more transparent, predictable and coordinated than ever, and better adapted to developing countries' national priorities.
Agenda for Change
The European Commission recently published its Agenda for Change Communication – a commitment to increase aid impact by concentrating on fewer sectors and focusing on those countries most in need – a prime example of how the Commission is at the forefront of making aid delivery more effective.
Special Eurobarometer Results for Busan
A special Eurobarometer survey, published this week ahead of the Busan Forum, indicates that Europeans show overwhelming support for helping world's poor despite economic crisis.
84% of respondents across Member States support development aid to help people across the world out of poverty.
62% of European citizens are in favour of increasing development aid to at least 0.7% of EU Gross National Income by 2015
Young people of Europe (aged 15-24) in particular voiced their strong support for development policy. 9 out of 10 think that it is important to help poor people.
For more information
IP/11/1472 – The European Union announces new initiatives to increase transparency and improve coordination in aid delivery
MEMO/11/815 – Background: Special Eurobarometer 'Making a difference in the world – Europeans and development aid'
IP/11/1390 – Development aid: Europeans show overwhelming support for helping world's poor
You can see videos on the EU's work on aid effectiveness in: Mali, El Salvador, Indonesia and Ghana:
To find out more on the EU's work on aid effectiveness: