Betteraid submission to the Post Busan Interim Group consultation on monitoring

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1 Betteraid submission to the Post Busan Interim Group consultation on monitoring 1. Introduction This document presents Betteraid s responses to the consultation initiated by the Post- Busan Interim Group on priorities and approaches for monitoring the implementation of commitments made in Busan. Betteraid is concerned that the ongoing discussions on monitoring are not drawing sufficiently on evidence that will help us understand what is required to deliver deeper democratic accountability to drive more effective use of development cooperation. This submission therefore draws upon evidence from existing sources and some analysis being undertaken by Betteraid members where relevant. Before this submission goes on to address the questions presented in the official consultation document, it first focuses on another question that is fundamental to decisions on the future of monitoring development cooperation commitments: What role can a Busan monitoring framework and support for implementing it play in deepening country-level monitoring of development cooperation? 2. The role of a Busan Monitoring Framework and support for its implementation The most important evidence that can be used to explore this question is that which has emerged from experiences with the Paris Monitoring Framework (PMF), which was used to facilitate 3 rounds of the Paris Monitoring Survey (PMS). This evidence, is explored in the following sections: 2.1 Leverage in negotiating strong country-level monitoring processes The United Nations Development Cooperation Forum s (UNDCF s) extensive 2011 survey of progress in national level mutual accountability identified 20 partner countries (or 22% of the 90 it surveyed) that had developed a framework of indicators and targets for monitoring the performance of donors in meeting their aid effectiveness commitments. These frameworks were designed to be used for country-level monitoring of donors, to compliment monitoring undertaken through the PMS. These frameworks emerged from negotiations between individual partner country Governments and the donors they commonly work with at the country level. Given these highly unbalanced power dynamics in favour of donors, it is hard to believe that as many of these frameworks would have emerged or that their scope would have been as ambitious, without the PMF providing a baseline agenda for donor monitoring and therefore leverage for agreeing to the final terms of such processes.

2 Such a conclusion is also backed by the fact that existing country level donor monitoring frameworks draw predominantly on the PMF indicators and targets which were already agreed prior to these negotiations - and only weakly address the many other commitments in the Paris and Accra agreements (which constitute their majority) - on which there was no agreement on whether and how to monitor them prior these negotiations. Box 1- What commitments do country-level donor monitoring frameworks focus on? Of 20 countries with provider targets, 4 are limited to a sub-set of Paris Declaration indicators, and 9 include all the Paris indicators. However, the most advanced 7 go beyond Paris to include key aspects of the Accra Agenda for Action such as division of labour, multi-year predictability and transparency, as well as issues of concern to the programme countries... (UNDCF 2011 survey on national level mutual accountability) Of course, this leverage role does not just apply to donor-partner country Government negotiations it is also relevant to ensuring that commitments relating to promoting a CSO enabling environment, democratic accountability and broader development goals (e.g. related to gender and decent work) are incorporated into national level monitoring efforts. Such a focus may be resisted by some partner country Governments and possibly some donors even though they are addressed clearly in the Busan agreement, and their inclusion in a BMF will therefore help to leverage attention on them at the country level. 2.2 Facilitating improved country-level accountability on aid Although progress has been achieved in recent years in the development of country level donor monitoring frameworks, the UNDCF s survey reveals that these frameworks have not led to the accountability improvements hoped for and actually it is the PMS which has to date been most critical in deepening accountability of donors at the country level. The UNDCF s analysis found that in only four cases are these frameworks being used to regularly monitor the performance of individual donors and that the norm is currently for these frameworks to more donors collectively (see table 1 below). In addition, these processes have only weakly addressed issues such as democratic ownership, enabling environment for CSOs and gender. It is likely that a mixture of technical (relating to capacity and systems) and political (willingness of donors and Governments to be held accountable) obstacles are holding back achievement of greater progress. Table 1 Summary of findings from the 2011 UNDCF report on national level mutual accountability COUNTRY RESPONSES Yes No Donor indicators + targets (at least collectively applied) Regular donor monitoring (at least collectively applied) Individual donor indicators + targets regularly monitored 20 (22%) 70 (78%) 15 (17%) 75 (83%) 4 (4%) 86 (96%)

3 This picture contrasts somewhat with the level of accountability achieved through the Paris Monitoring Survey (PMS), which supported partner countries (32 in 2006, 54 in 2008 and 78 in 2011) to use an internationally endorsed set of indicators to assess the individual performance of their donors at the country level. It is also important to note that in the 2011 PMS optional questions were included on democratic ownership and gender, issues which have not to date received any attention in national-level monitoring processes. It is therefore clear that the PMS currently provides the main source of accountability for aid effectiveness commitments in the vast majority of countries. It may well be the case that the PMS achieved this by cutting through some of the technical (by providing extensive capacity support) and political (by its role as an external in arbiter on the focus of monitoring efforts) obstacles to country level monitoring. This in turn suggests that options for some sort of support facility to replace the PMS should be explored (more on this in section 3). 3. Betteraid s responses to the monitoring survey questions In this section Betteraid responds to the questions addressed by the official survey released by the OECD to facilitate discussion on the post-busan monitoring agenda. 3.1 Which commitments should be addressed by a BMF? Given that the evidence strongly suggests that a BMF will be critical to the emergence of country-level monitoring processes that focus ambitiously on donor accountability and focus attention on the full range of issues all actors should be accountable for, Betteraid believes that the BMF should build on the ambitions of the Paris monitoring framework (in terms of the range of commitments addressed). Betteraid is therefore opposed to arbitrary suggestions 1 that the BMF address fewer commitments than the Paris monitoring framework and the list of commitments Betteraid is proposing be addressed by a BMF is longer than the five the official consultation survey proposed be shared. Betteraid proposes that three categories of Busan commitments be addressed by the BMF, in order to ensure all critical elements of existing commitments are given attention: - 1) commitments that have been addressed by the Paris Monitoring Survey and for which there is strong support for continued monitoring - 2) commitments made in the Paris and Accra agreements but which have not yet been the subject of significant monitoring efforts and for which there is strong support for monitoring to be undertaken 1 including in the consultation survey released by the OECD on February 21 st, which asked respondents to try to list a maximum of five commitments/actions to be addressed by a BMF; such guidance suggests that global monitoring of just five commitments might be ideal, a position put forward by a minority of donor PBIG members at the 1 st meeting of this group on 13 th -14 th February but which in no way reflected consensus emerging from these discussions

4 - 3) new commitments made in Busan for which there is strong support for monitoring to be undertaken The table below identifies the commitments Betteraid proposes in each of these categories, together with a justification for their inclusion: Commitment Reason for inclusion in the BMF 1.1 Improve quality of country systems A critical element of strengthening country capacity for managing development; a key priority of donors and partner countries and reaffirmed in the BPD 1.2 Increase use of country systems A Paris commitment donors are still some way from meeting; an issue addressed by all existing country level monitoring frameworks and reaffirmed in the BPD; already established method for monitoring 1.3 Aid aligned on national strategies / Most existing country level monitoring frameworks increased use of programme based identify deepening alignment with national priorities approaches (TO REPLACE PARIS as important; it is proposed that this be measured INDICATOR 3) through continued monitoring of programme based approaches 1.4 Untying aid and local procurement A priority of partner countries in Busan talks and reaffirmed in the BPd; already established extensive 1.5 Strengthen capacities through coordinated support 1.6 Improved mutual accountability for results (meet UNDCF standards on participation, donor targets etc) 2.1 Improved medium term predictability (3-5 year rolling budgets) 2.2. End use of policy conditions; guarantee transparency and democratic accountability of all conditions applied 3.1 Improved enabling environment for CSOs (laws support CSO role and process give them access) 3.2 Progress in promoting democratic accountability, including establishing inclusive multi-stakeholder national aid accountability processes 3.3 Increased share of aid promotes gender equality 3.4 Improved aid transparency (implement common standard on aid transparency) 3.5 Increased reporting of sexdisaggregated data systems for monitoring An area very poorly monitored by the Paris Survey and requires more in depth and better focussed monitoring with such efforts supported through the BMF Critical element of Paris, recognised that limited progress and priority for future efforts; work being done by the UNDCF to track this An issue addressed by most existing country level monitoring frameworks and reaffirmed in the BPD; unfinished business from Accra, limited monitoring to date Unfinished business from Accra; limited monitoring to date Critical to effectiveness of CSOs and prospects for genuine accountability; Busan deepened language in this area Critical to improving the democratic accountability of aid, an important element of the BPd Critical to development and poverty reduction efforts; a new Busan commitment; can build on existing OECD monitoring New Busan commitment with extensive support and emerging new tools for monitoring Critical to development and poverty reduction efforts; a new Busan commitment 3.6 Implement fragile states commitments A hugely important element of the BPd; strong

5 3.7 Reduced donor proliferation and increased use of donor coordination mechanisms support for taking forward monitoring in this area An important commitment re-emphasised in the BPd with a timebound commitment for addressing it 3.7 Promote decent work The BPd states that the common principles for the 3.8 Promote environmental sustainability global partnership need to be consistent with international commitments in these areas It is important that indicators and targets are developed to support monitoring of each of these commitments. Betteraid has developed a provisional list of indicators to be used to monitor these commitments and this list is attached to this submission. To ensure that monitoring these commitments does not lead to excessive bureaucracy it will be necessary to make use of relevant work being done by other bodies who can (who can lead monitoring in key areas) and to ensure that information from existing sources (e.g. country aid databases, IATI etc) is used as best as possible. The issues that could be monitored by other organisations include untying (existing OECD data sources), mutual accountability (UNDCF), gender (Gendernet) and transparency (IATI). 3.2 How the BMF can best be used to support national monitoring? There is a strong consensus that the goal of strengthening country level monitoring i.e. monitoring driven by individual country contexts and priorities - needs to be central determine decisions taken about future monitoring priorities and approaches. It is therefore vital that the way a BMF is utilised maximises support to country-level monitoring. FLEXIBLE APPLICATION OF THE BMF - Given the importance of responding to country agendas it is vital that a BMF is utilised flexibly in support of country monitoring efforts. One option for securing such flexibility that could be explored is to identify a core set of indicators as compulsory (those most relevant to a variety of country contexts) and others voluntary, and therefore to be used where relevant and determined primarily by country stakeholders in an inclusive process of decision-making. The indicators presented in section 3.1 are those which Betteraid believes should be a minimum for securing accountability for Busan, Accra and Paris commitments and should be designated as core compulsory indicators. CAPACITY SUPPORT FOR COUNTRY LEVEL MONITORING Given the hugely important role the Paris Monitoring Survey has played in providing capacity and political arbitration support for monitoring efforts at the national level it is important that options for some sort of independent support facility to efficiently replace it and to facilitate application of the BMF should be explored. This approach was recommended by the Paris Declaration evaluation, and will help to ensure that any country without the capacity or political apparatus to facilitate monitoring effectively can have assurances this support will available and they can quickly gain access to support to help them do so.

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