Image: 101 - 87 Shuffle. Daniel Hoherd, Flickr

Image: 101 – 87 Shuffle. Daniel Hoherd, Flickr

Simon Maxwell, November 2015

Some people think policy coherence for development (PCD) is only important to policy wonks. They’re wrong. In a world with fewer low-income countries in which official aid is declining in importance relative to other sources of finance, policy engagement is the future, and PCD its standard-bearer. (more…)

Jonathan Ernst, World Bank Photo Collection

Jonathan Ernst, World Bank Photo Collection

On 14 October 2015 the European Commission has released the new EU trade and investment strategy. Its catchy title – ‘Trade for All’ – is very auspicious, as well as ambitious. The strategy contains promising elements for global development. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating: how will the strategy be put into practice?

ODI’s Max Mendez-Parra and colleagues San Bilal (ECDPM) and Clara Brandi (DIE) identified six issues that are particularly important from a development perspective. Read their article here.

EU flag_destroyed schoolHidden in the small print of the 27 & 28 June European Council conclusions – eclipsed by the crisis in Greece, the row about migration and the UK’s bid to renegotiate the terms of its membership of the EU – was an important commitment to continue the process of reflection leading to an “EU global strategy on foreign and security policy”.

The challenges facing Europe today have global implications and require global solutions. In an op-ed originally published on Euractiv, the directors of the European Think Tanks Group argue that from the Greek crisis to migration and climate change, the EU must seek answers beyond its borders.

Read the article here.

Source: rubra; Flickr

Source: rubra; Flickr

The European Commission has published what it calls the EU International Cooperation and Development Results Framework’. This is a Staff Working Paper, but looks final rather than draft, and has been forwarded to Member States as such.

In this commentary, Simon Maxwell suggests further work, stating that

(a) it’s a good idea for an agency to have a results framework,

(b) it’s a hard act to pull off, and

(c) the Commission has made a creditable and credible stab at the exercise. Member States should certainly welcome the EU Results Framework. If they do not already have one of their own, they should start at once to prepare one.




Simon Maxwell was invited to moderate the High-Level Event on Women’s Economic Empowerment and Sustainable Development, in Riga on 2 March 2015. In this reflection on the conclusions to the event, Simon identifies seven indivisibilities that shaped the conversation. (more…)

Image credit: DfID (Flickr)

Image credit: DfID (Flickr)

The high-level event on women’s empowerment and sustainable development took place in Riga, Latvia, on 2 March. The event was jointly hosted by the European Commission and the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of the European Year for Development.  It aimed to identify possible solutions for ensuring women’s equal rights and access to the market and economic resources and for unlocking women’s economic potential.

We produced the conference background note, in which gender expert Helen O’Connell considered the following key issues:

  • why gender equality and women and girls’ rights matter in development;
  • where gender equality and women’s empowerment stand in development goals and frameworks;
  • the challenges for women’s economic empowerment;
  • four strategic interventions to empower women economically; and
  • the EU’s role in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in global development.

Read the post on the European Year for Development website and watch videos of the conference.

Image: United Nations

Image: United Nations

The EU’s early experience with implementing State Building Contracts (SBCs) could provide a useful resource for donor agencies to inform their thinking on providing budget support in fragile states. A study by Myra Bernardi, Tom Hart and Gideon Rabinowitz draws preliminary lessons from case studies on the two largest SBCs adopted by the EU in sub-Saharan Africa: Mali, a country in transition after a period of crisis; and South Sudan, a chronically fragile country.

Read more and download the report here.


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