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With more than half of the world’s population now living in cities, experts agree that the continuing trend towards urbanisation is both inevitable and irreversible. New EC guidelines propose a fresh mindset to assist the development of better cities.
Last week the European Commission presented an agenda to tailor trade and investment policies in favour of countries most in need, while providing new and different support to emerging economies.
EuropeAid – or DG DEVCO – is responsible for designing EU development policies and delivering aid to reduce poverty in the world, while ensuring sustainable development and promoting democracy, peace and security. In November last year, EuropeAid welcomed new Director General, Fernando Frutuoso de Melo. Earlier this week, capacity4dev.eu took a camera to his office for an informal conversation on the context of European development cooperation in 2014.
African think tanks prove useful in researching, influencing, designing and implementing policies and can therefore be used by development practitioners in project cycles, said Dr Frannie Léautier, Executive Secretary of the  African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), a Zimbabwe-based organisation that supports 39 think tanks in 25 African countries.
The European Commission has opened a public consultation addressing civil society organisations to contribute to the future EU policy on "Civil Society Organisations in Development Cooperation".  Kristian Schmidt, Director of Human and Society Development at EuropeAid, comments on the need for improved dialogue at various levels to realise the new role foreseen for civil society organisations.
The European Commission’s experience in the Philippines in recent years has been marked by strong country ownership of development programming and implementation. This hands-on approach has proved to be a decisive factor in achieving effective aid interventions and could offer lessons for other countries.
Capacity4dev Team created a new Article 13 January 2014
GIZ, a German federal organisation, assists the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. At the recent European Development Days, Managing Director Dr Christoph Beier reflected on the changing landscape of development cooperation, and what he considers to be the priorities of the Post-2015 Agenda.
The European Union’s Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, recently presented an ‘Agenda for Change’; designed to increase the impact of EU development policy and introduce a new approach on EU budget support.
The Practitioners’ Network of European Development Cooperation is an informal platform that brings together European public agencies and institutions in charge of executing bilateral and EU development cooperation. They have joined forces to share their experience and good practice, and work on European Union policy issues with regard to development.
The broadly worded South-South policy recommendations, signed off at the recent international event in Bogota, reflect a cautious step towards an international consensus.

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