Author Archives: AidInfo

Aligning blended finance to Busan principles

This paper examines existing development effectiveness principles using the principles established in the 2011 Busan Partnership Agreement (country ownership; transparency and accountability; a focus on results; and inclusive partnerships). We’ve analysed these principles against what is known about policies, strategies and principles for blended finance. Key learnings All development effectiveness principles are conceptually reflected to some degree in blended finance approaches. However, three key barriers to delivering on the principles may exist: Lack of agreement between all stakeholders (or appropriate dialogue platforms for reaching agreement) on the role of blended finance in delivering sustainable development objectives and therefore on what ‘effectiveness’ means. Recognition that the principles are important, but lack of consensus between stakeholders on how they should be operationalised in blended finance

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The Busan principles and blended finance: time to bridge the divide

“Our partnership is founded on a common set of principles that underpin all forms of development co-operation. At the same time, we recognise that the ways in which these principles are applied differ … among the different types of public and private stakeholders involved.” [para 8] In fact, a number of non-governmental actors have signed up to support the Busan agreement, reflecting the shift from the ‘aid effectiveness’ agenda to the ‘development effectiveness’ agenda. This list of ‘adherents’ even includes a number of institutions (such as the European Investment Bank) that are currently partners for donors, delivering blended finance. Blended finance, meaning using public inputs (often money, sometimes technical support) to attract or mobilise private investments through various different setups, has been on the rise; proposed by key donors as a way of turning ‘billions to trillions’. Of course, in practice, the Busan principles (and corresponding indicator framework) have mainly been used to assess traditional development cooperation partnerships, involving official development assistance (ODA)

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Using community-generated data to deliver and track the Sustainable Development Goals at the…

In partnership with the Open Institute, Development Initiatives has undertaken a pilot study into community-generated data in Lanet Umoja, Kenya. The study’s aims were simple: explore whether communities can assess and identify their own local development priorities using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and help them to generate timely and accurate data that feeds into local and national development intervention plans. This would help ensure the SDGs are met for their community, and that the data is available and accessible in an open format through Lanet Open County portal. The study is due for completion in October 2016 but already it makes a strong case for the benefits of community-generated data. Two rounds of data collection covering 9,136 households have shown that this local approach is more cost-effective in collecting census data.

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Towards a more sustainable response to the refugee crisis: The pressing need for better data

This article was originally published on the Devex website. Last week we published a factsheet on forced displacement, poverty and financing. This provides a snapshot of available data and evidence on people affected by forced displacement, the allocation of available resources, and funding mechanisms – highlighting areas where data must be strengthened for an effective and durable response. Better understanding of long-term livelihood needs The factsheet shows how important it is to move beyond short-term emergency assessment and financing cycles and target longer-term livelihood assistance for refugees through development frameworks. Most refugee situations are protracted, and it’s estimated that refugees are displaced for 17 years on average, so there is a pressing need to foster more durable solutions.

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P20 Initiative: Data to leave no one behind

A year ago, world leaders agreed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030), which includes the much more ambitious goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and achieving the principle of leaving no one behind. Achieving these goals will be much harder than meeting the MDGs. It will require a different mindset, and a new way of measuring and monitoring progress. We must harness the energy of the Data Revolution and ensure that progress is measured by counting individual people to ensure that no one – no matter where they live, how old they are, irrespective of their gender, sexual orientation or disabilities – is left behind. This is what the P20 Initiative is about

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Forced displacement, poverty and financing: Seven facts you need to know

Key facts Rising levels of forced displacement drive increased emergency financing requirements Most displaced people globally are in the Middle East and Africa There are more displaced people in middle income than in low or high income countries Many countries hosting the most refugees have low domestic revenues National poverty surveys in countries hosting the most refugees are largely out of date Refugees are not systematically included in national poverty surveys and development frameworks Short term emergency responses alone are not sufficient: a wider repertoire of international financing instruments is needed to support refugees, their host communities and national authorities Displacement and humanitarian financing requirements 1. Rising levels of forced displacement drive increased emergency financing requirements Number of regional refugee response plans (RRPs) against numbers of people forcibly displaced, 2012–2016 [1] Global forced displacement continues to rise, reaching a record 65.3 million people in 2015 – an increase of 5.8 million people from 2014. The 2015 figure includes 21.3 million refugees, 40.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), and 3.2 million asylum seekers.[2] At the same time, both the number of UN-coordinated appeals and the funding requirements set out within them have risen significantly since 2013, driven largely by major conflicts and complex emergencies that have displaced many millions of people – Syria, South Sudan, Yemen and Iraq among them. In 2013 there were 23 appeals requesting a total of US$13.2 billion, compared to 37 appeals requesting a total of US$20.2 billion so far in 2016. See also Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2016, Chapter 3

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Leave No One Behind evening reception

Date 19 September 2016 Time 18:00–20:00 Location Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue, New York City, US The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers an historic opportunity to end extreme poverty and ensure no one is left behind. To realise this opportunity, Development Initiatives is working with two other international non-profit organisations CIVICUS and Project Everyone, with the support of the UK’s Department for International Development, on a new global initiative called the the Leave No-one Behind Partnership. Its aim is to directly support the interests of the world’s most marginalised and disadvantaged people. One year on from the adoption of Agenda 2030, the partnership is holding an informal evening reception to review progress on the Leave No One Behind commitment and discuss ways to work together moving forward. The event will include remarks from the founding partners of the Leave No One Behind Partnership

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Can Brazil leave no one behind?

A Portuguese-language edition of this blog is available on the Brasil na Agenda website. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is driven by the principle of leaving no one behind: all nations and all people from all social groups count, including the poorest and most marginalised. Brazilian diplomacy and civil society worked hard to keep this principle in the agenda and to set high ambitions on ending all forms of poverty, everywhere. Brazil has something to show the rest of the world, having reduced the number of extremely poor people from 23.9 million to 8.2 million in less than 15 years.

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Progress on pro-poor budgeting in Uganda – highlights from a roundtable meeting in Kampala

We recently published the briefing Pro-poor orientation of budgets: The case of Uganda following Uganda’s 2016/17 annual budget, which was presented to Parliament in June 2016. Our analysis explains how far Uganda’s budget is pro-poor, focusing on four components: Alignment with the national poverty strategies, examining how far budget allocations are consistent with the country’s poverty reduction strategies Revenue generation, examining the pressures revenue generation ventures, especially tax revenue, are imparting on people and households with lower incomes Debt management with clear sustainability aims and use of the funds for investment Poverty reducing spending, providing insights into performance and results. We conclude that there has been notable progress in areas such as aligning the budget with strategic priorities, focusing majorly on infrastructure development – which is good for growth, and increasing tax revenue to surpass the fiscal year target. However, there is work to be done particularly on aligning sector development plans to the National Development Plan, broadening the tax base and not suffocating the smaller tax payers. For example the threshold for presumptive tax was increased from 50 million to 150 million Uganda shillings, and improving use of borrowed funds to increase returns on investment, especially the social returns, to better incorporate the needs of poor people

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Private development assistance: key facts and global estimates

Key facts Private development assistance is estimated at US$44.6 billion, equivalent to over a quarter of all official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries; however, data limitations mean that this figure is an underestimation of actual volumes Some private organisations provide volumes of assistance on par with government donors Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) provide over half of the estimated private development assistance; they also act as channels of delivery for around 16% of total bilateral ODA Data limitations mean that we do not have an accurate picture of the trends or characteristics of this type of finance, including how and where it is being spent – this limits informed discussion about the role and comparative strengths of private development assistance actors in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) era Private development assistance is equivalent to over a quarter of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) ODA Private development assistance includes all international concessional resource flows voluntarily transferred from private sources for international development. These flows are the private finance channelled through NGOs, foundations and corporate philanthropic activities. Other terms used interchangeably with private development assistance include international private giving, international philanthropy, voluntary giving, private development aid, and private development cooperation. Our latest estimate finds that annual private development assistance from 24 countries[1] is around US$44.6 billion in aggregate.[2] This is equivalent to over a quarter of all ODA provided to developing countries by DAC countries and multilateral institutions.[3] Over two thirds of all private development assistance comes from private sources in the United States Out of the 24 DAC countries for which private development assistance estimates are available, the United States (US) is the largest source country, contributing US$31 billion – more than the US$27 billion it provided as aid in 2013. This suggests that among DAC countries, the US is an even more significant contributor of private development assistance (providing 69% of the total in 2013) than of ODA (17% of the total in 2013)

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Somalia: an overview of poverty, vulnerability and financing

The imperative to address fragility, conflict and insecurity has become a central focus of global development processes. Following on from the agreement of the ‘New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States’ at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan in 2011, which recognised the need to take a different approach in fragile states and to address peace and security as a prerequisite for sustainable development, commitments to address fragility through development assistance have continued to gather pace. The inclusion of Global Goal 16 on ‘inclusive and peaceful societies’ in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the mandate to look beyond aid to include much broader sources of finance is a clear example of this. Furthermore, the recent reports of the United National Secretary General (UNSG) for the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS)[1] and of the UN High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing[2] call for a greater proportion of aid to be targeted towards situations of fragility. To effectively measure the delivery of these commitments and ensure that assistance in fragile states meets the needs of the most vulnerable people, there is a pressing need for data.

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Definitions and measures of poverty

The purpose of this series is to simplify and clarify the underlying concepts behind poverty, and to delve deeper in discussion on topical issues as they arise throughout the process of Agenda 2030. This first briefing focuses on the building blocks of poverty definitions and measurements such as poverty lines, absolute/relative poverty, poverty gap measures and prevalence rates. It presents data on how global and regional poverty headcounts are distributed across country groupings. Download the briefing.

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Is Uganda ready to implement Agenda 2030?

The UN held a High-Level Political Forum 2016 on sustainable development in New York from 11 to 20 July. This was the first since the adoption of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015. It aimed to track progress of the SDGs and address new and emerging issues. At the forum, 22 countries made voluntary reviews on their progress and readiness in implementing the SDGs, including crosscutting issues, supported by reviews by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and other inter-governmental bodies and forums. Uganda, being among the first countries to integrate Agenda 2030 in its national planning frameworks, presented a report highlighting its readiness in implementing Agenda 2030.

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Tracking the Sustainable Development Goals at village level: Our learnings from localising the…

Is SDG tracking best done at village level? The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), ratified by UN member states and a multitude of development actors, were the world’s biggest promise to keep development and poverty eradication on the international agenda at a time when interest in global issues was waning. The MDGs provided a set of eight goals, each with specific targets and indicators to track the world’s progress on development issues. These were backed by a multitude of international commitments to address certain components of the MDGs and to direct financing and technical support towards specific areas identified by the goals. There were some key successes, such as a 66% increase in official development assistance in the period 2000–2014[1] and a reduction of the total number of people living in poverty

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