Why was the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness important?
Held at the end of 2011 in Busan, Republic of Korea, the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness marked a turning point in international thinking on aid and development. This major conference delivered a number of agreements, the most important of these being the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation.
The Busan Partnership agreement brings together a wider-than-ever group of state and non-state actors, including African governments and their bilateral and multilateral partners - including emerging economies - around a set of shared principles for development co-operation. While the Paris and Accra declarations of 2005 and 2008 respectively focused in large part on the effectiveness of “traditional” aid flows, Busan recognised that these resource flows are provided alongside a much wider range of co-operation efforts that support development.
What was agreed?
While the Busan Partnership agreement saw developing countries and their development partners reaffirming the commitments that they made in the Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action, it also saw a much broader range of stakeholders endorsing a set of common principles as a foundation for co-operation:
• Ownership of development priorities by developing countries;
Why is the Busan agreement important for Africa?
African governments played a key role in the negotiations at Busan. Along with other developing countries, they drove the negotiation of the Busan Partnership agreement and used the High Level Forum as an opportunity to hold their partners to account for implementing previous commitments.
Forty African governments led a major exercise in 2011 to monitor the implementation of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, and the evidence generated by these efforts helped to shine the international spotlight on unfinished business.
Among other priorities, African governments called for more action on the part of their partners to untie aid, make greater use of countries’ own systems for the implementation of aid-funded activities, and take concrete steps to improve transparency around development co-operation. The Busan agreement reflects a step forward in these areas.