From 29 November to 1 December 2011 the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) in Busan, South Korea gathered over 3000 international delegates who met to review the aid effctiveness agenda set up at the previous meetings in Rome (2002), Paris (2005) and Accra (2008). After extended negotiations, 18 sherpas elected to represent a wide group of stakeholders reached agreement on the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. This declaration for the first time establishes an agreed framework for development cooperation that embraces traditional donors, South-South cooperators, the emerging donors Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa( BRICS), CSOs and private funders. This marks a turning point for international development cooperation. The process has been guided by the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness (WP-EFF), which brings together representatives of over 80 countries and organisations. Five fundamental principles have been set out to make aid more effective: ownership (developing countries are responsible for their development strategies), alignment (donor countries align to these strategies), harmonization (donor countries coordinate and simply aid procedures), results, and mutual accountability. The level of aid at stake has been estimated by the OECD to be $129billion a year, a figure which does not include money from private foundations or countries like China.
Although civil society representatives were proud to be part of the newly forged global partnership for the first time, they recognize that they had to compromise. Better Aid, a platform for CSOs from all over ther world that carried out many of the civil society activities in the lead up to the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) in 2011, expressed the following critics towards the Busan Agreement: no explicit commitments to adopt human-rights based approaches, lack of implementation of Paris and Accra commitments, cooperation retains overall private sector led growth as framework for development. Read the full statement here.
CSOs will continue to pursue a stronger commitment to an enabling environment for civil society to fulfill their role in development.
Read more reactions on the website of the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness
Sources: BCSDN Newsletter Nr. 243, Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness, Eurostep, Better Aid