e-updateClick here to read the EDCSP team’s monthly update for July.

Rogerson and Jackson in conversationWe hosted the EU Change-makers at the ODI on 24 and 25 June 2013 for a conference on EU development cooperation.

The purpose of the conference was to take stock of progress on EU development cooperation, on paper and on the ground; but also, to look forward strategically to the future. We had participants from a dozen countries, from the public and private sectors, and from think-tanks and NGOs, as well as official aid agencies. The debate focused on how the  EU needs to adapt itself to the changing political, economic and social landscape and the ringing of the changes in 2014 which will be important staging posts in delivering new development cooperation in the second half of the decade.

Read the conference report and see the programme, panellists’ presentations and Simon Maxwell’s first reflections on the conference here. Further thoughts and takeaways from other participants will be added.

With six months left before the deadline, the EU is still negotiating both its multi-annual budget as well as the EDF for 2014-2020. TheEquation EC has indicated that it intends to further strengthen the focus of the EDF on the poorest countries, but has revealed few details of how it intends to do this.

This background paper by Mira Markova, explores the possible approaches the EC could take to determine the 11th EDF aid allocations; their respective implications for the future of development cooperation with the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of states; and the changing levels of development assistance to high-income and upper-middle-income countries (more commonly referred to as differentiation).

Mikaela Gavas wrote a commentary on Owen Barder’s article on the Centre for Global Development’s ‘Commitment to Development Index’ (CDI), which was published in Europe’s World. She argues that ‘the CDI could arguably be more proactive in raising awareness of the EU’s and its member states’ track record, and in stimulating greater debate on the specific policies needed to bring about change’.

Our latest study, undertaken for the European Parliament’s Committee on Development, analyses the strengths and weaknesses of currentAfghan%20men,%20guns%20and%20tank_jpg EU engagement in fragile states, in particular its support to conflict prevention and periods of transition, within the broader international context. It examines the limitations of the instruments and methods implemented by the EU to address the problems of fragile states, and makes a number of recommendations to improve them.

Key weaknesses of the EU’s programmes in fragile and conflict-affected states include insufficient analysis of the root causes of fragility, ineffective early warning systems, and insufficient coordination with other international actors engaged in fragile and conflict affected states.

Although these challenges are not dissimilar to those experienced by other international actors, the EU’s performance is exacerbated by a number of factors that are specific to its organisational and resourcing arrangements: internal fragmentation of policy responsibility, inadequate translation of policy into programming at country level, and insufficient instrumental coherence. Investing in expertise in fragility and conflict-prevention has not, to date, been a priority, particularly at the operational level.

Read the report by Mikaela Gavas, Fiona Davies and Alastair McKechnie here.

e-updateClick here to read the EDCSP team’s monthly update for May.

The European Commission proposed policy of ‘differentiation’ aims to recalibrate aid and development cooperation in middle-incoUrbanisation%20in%20Asia_jpgme countries. The policy responds directly to recent changes in global poverty and wealth patterns, economic flows and geopolitical realities. In an increasingly heterogeneous development landscape, the EU has initiated a multifaceted approach in an effort to ‘differentiate’ between the diverging needs and capacities of developing countries.

Differentiation is a key feature of the EU’s new development strategy, An Agenda for Change, and will shape the future of EU development cooperation over its multi-year budget period that will run from 2014 to 2020 (European Commission, 2011a). The policy will determine the allocation of EU development aid to developing countries, shape decisions on the type of modalities used and the sector focus in middle-income countries, and will ultimately change the EU’s relations with these countries.

In a recent background note , Sian Herbert provides an overview of the state of play of negotiations on differentiation, with a focus on the Development Cooperation Instrument and the European Development Fund.

Read the paper here.

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