Recreating effective development co-operation – does it matter?

By Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development Co-operation and Climate and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden

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I am going to Nairobi to attend the second high-level meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation. This meeting comes at a critical time, as we are facing more serious development challenges than ever before. A growing number of conflicts are becoming increasingly deadly and protracted. The number of forcibly displaced people and refugees are higher than ever. Climate change threatens to undermine the progresses we made and is in the end a threat to our very existence. I was recently in Marrakesh at the COP22. While international commitment is strong to push the implementation of the Paris Agreement, we have a long way to go.
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What does the evidence on blended finance tell us about its potential to fill the SDG funding gap?

By Harpinder Collacott, Executive Director, Development Initiatives

arrow-upSome argue that blended finance, or the use of public funds to de-risk or leverage private investments in development, has the potential to provide part, if not all, of the solution to the funding gap facing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is no small undertaking since it is estimated that as much as an extra USD 3.1 trillion annually is needed until the 2030 deadline. No wonder the appetite is strong to look beyond traditional development co-operation and see how private finance can be better mobilised to eradicate poverty. But when it comes to blended finance, some fundamental issues need to be considered before scaling up official development assistance (ODA) investments in this area.
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Walking the SDG talk: Are we ready to change the way we do development?

By Doug Frantz, Deputy Secretary General, OECD

 

E_SDG_goals_icons-individual-rgb-17.pngThose most in need don’t care about the labels their countries are given: be it low – or middle – income, fragile or emerging, donor darling or orphan. What they care about is peace and security, having opportunities to do decent work, and providing their children with a better future.

Nearly 1.1 billion people have escaped extreme poverty since 1990. But for the 800 million people still living in poverty – half of them under the age of 18 – conditions are frighteningly unchanged. They have no water, sanitation or electricity. Often, because they lack services and income, they depend on informal or illicit resources to protect themselves from hunger, sickness or violence.
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Financing the SDGs in cities: Innovative new approaches

By Gail Hurley, Policy Specialist on Development Finance, Bureau for Programme and Policy Support, United Nations Development Programme

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Mumbai is among a growing number of cities exploring green bonds as an option for financing sustainable urban development.

 “Cities are major drivers of the global economy. Today, cities occupy only 2% of total land but account for 70% of GDP.” (Habitat III, 2016)

Many of the investments needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will take place at the sub-national level and be led by local authorities, especially in urban areas. Massive public and private investments will be needed to improve access to sustainable urban services and infrastructure, to improve cities’ resilience to climate change and shocks, and to prepare them to host 2.5 billion new residents over the next three decades, particularly in developing countries.  If city authorities can meet these challenges head-on, the sustainable development dividends could be immense. This reality underscores the need to recognise and strengthen the capacities of local authorities as major actors in promoting sustainable development.
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Maximising bang for the buck: Risks, returns, and what it really means to use ODA to leverage private funds

By Paddy Carter, Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute

shutterstock_249974521The idea of using official development assistance (ODA) to leverage private finance is a staple of the financing for development circuit and features heavily in most donors’ strategies. Experienced financiers both from official sector development finance institutions (DFIs) and private investors are, however, still feeling their way into this field’s unfamiliar territory. DFIs for the most part emphasise the importance of providing finance on non-concessional terms to avoid distorting markets and crowding-out other sources of finance. Though some standard elements of their business could fall under the rubric of blended finance, such as grant-funded technical assistance, for the most part DFIs and development banks have treated explicit subsidies to private enterprises as dangerous medicine to be prescribed rarely. Now the pressure is mounting to find more creative ways to leverage private finance using ODA. But how?

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Human development and the 2030 Agenda: Effecting positive change in people’s lives

By Selim Jahan, Director, Human Development Report Office, UNDP

humandevThis September marked the first anniversary of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As we shift into the implementation phase, increasingly I am asked: “How is the concept of human development linked to the 2030 Agenda? How is it relevant to the achievement of the new goals?”

The UN Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals already mirrored the basic principles of human development – expanding human capabilities by addressing basic human deprivations (ending extreme poverty and hunger, promoting good health and education, etc.).
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A view into China’s Development: Opportunities, Challenges, Actions

By Li Wei, President (Minister), Development Research Center of the State Council of China

shutterstock_chinaThe increasing economic integration and interdependence of countries around the world constitute the driving force behind common prosperity. In this pursuit, China, as the world’s second largest economy with an economic aggregate exceeding 15% of global GDP, plays a pivotal role. In fact, China’s development will, more or less, impact the development of other countries. So, what is China doing to realise its own domestic development goals that, in turn, can help spur a new round of prosperity for the global economy?

The way forward begins with understanding current realities. China indeed faces some unprecedented challenges. The working age population is in absolute decline as society is aging. Traditional industries, especially low value-added sectors, face serious over-capacity. Ecological and environmental problems challenge the country’s continuous development. Continue reading