The fourth edition of the European Report on Development (ERD) is currently in preparation for a launch in Spring 2013. Under the working title, "Development in a changing world: Elements for a post-2015 global agenda", this paper will propose ideas for the next framework for development to follow on from the Millennium Development Goals.
Each year, the ERD explores a topic of major relevance in development, which then serves as the focus of an annual publication, as well as the debating content of a series of conferences and meetings.
Three editions of the ERD have been published to date: the ERD 2009 on "Overcoming fragility in Africa: forging a new European approach", the ERD 2010 on "Social protection for inclusive development: a new perspective in EU co-operation with Africa" and the ERD 2011/2012 on "Confronting scarcity: Managing water, energy and land for inclusive and sustainable growth".
Overseeing the quality of work is the ERD Steering Committee, which is composed of representatives of the European Commission and of the seven EU Member States that are currently co-funding this initiative.
As a former member of the Steering Committee, Francoise Moreau, Head of Unit at DG Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid, said that the value of the report lies in that a team of independent consultants with innovative ideas has analysed the research.
At the recent EU DevDays she said, “The ERD’s objective is to make greater and better use of research findings, analytical material, evidence based analysis in our European policy making processes for development and cooperation programmes. The ambition is also to influence the international debate around key development related issues of the moment,” she said.
Last year’s publication was managed by a team led by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), in partnership with the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), and the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (GDI/DIE). The same consortium is now preparing the fourth edition.
Dr James Mackie of ECDPM leads the team of researchers from the three institutes, who work within a participatory, consultative and peer-review process. “A lot of our material is work that is already done in universities and research institutes. We also commission a number of papers. This year we commissioned about a dozen academic pieces on specific questions that we wanted looked into, and for the first time this year we are having four case studies done: in Peru, Nepal, Cote d’Ivoire, and Rwanda.”
Mr Mackie said the "Development in a changing world: Elements for a post-2015 global agenda" report will encompass the academic research and fieldwork being done on understanding what being poor means, involving the aspects of human security, inclusiveness in society, and of having stability in access to resources. “We will put some of that knowledge, some of those ideas, some of that thinking in to the next framework that will follow on from the MDGs,” he said.
The teams have also looked into the impact of EU policies - such as trade, migration and agriculture - on the economies in developing countries and how these can make it more/or less difficult for countries to pursue a development path that takes its people out of poverty.
“If you can document that, provide evidence and make it accessible to people who actually have to negotiate agreements, I think that can be extremely valuable, “ he said.
Ms Moreau agreed, saying that the topic of this year’s report will be an important issue for the whole development community. “Getting this kind of evidence, particularly from the new case studies, will be very relevant for us when we have to make proposals to position the European Union in the international negotiation on the post 2015 development agenda”.