PARIS, France– The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development- Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) met with CSOs at the OECD Headquarters in May with the goal of improving civil society space for engagement and influencing. It was also a way for DAC to leverage CSO knowledge, capabilities and their role as advocates for fighting poverty and promoting gender equality, inclusion and sustainable development.
The DAC-CSO dialogue aimed at facilitating interactions on cross-cutting issues directly related to the role of CSOs as development actors on promoting policy debate, consultation and exchange of information and experiences on DAC reforms, policies and initiatives to build relations and trust with a view to facilitate understanding, sharing of experiences and exchange on issues of mutual interest.
The DAC reform process prioritises increased “outreach to development actors beyond it the DAC’s Membership to influence and be influenced” (strategic priority #4) and “increase[d] transparency” (strategic priority #5). These efforts are also in line with the commitment made in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda to “hold open, inclusive and transparent discussions on the modernization of the ODA measurement and on the proposed measure of “total official support for sustainable development”.
Representing CPDE were Jiten Yumnam, CPDE representative to the DAC CSO Reference Group, and Matt Simonds from the CPDE Global Secretariat. They were able to raise concerns on private sector issues in the OECD-DAC reform processes including the inclusion of new modalities such as Private Sector Instruments (PSI), Blended Finance and also the new categorisation on In Donor Refugee Cost and Peace and Security in ODA. Other CPDE members attending the meeting were Christine Andela of COSADER, Erin Palomares and Yodhim dela Rosa of Reaity of Aid.
Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Chair of DAC said that the challenge is to pursue development without leaving no one behind. She said DAC members need to crowd in private sector to tackle declining ODA.
Gornitzka said 7% of private sector financing went to least developing countries but there are challenges in achieving the quality of impacts as envisaged. DAC secretariat members admitted blended finance will be reviewed in 2019 as there is a lack in data. They shared transparency has been a major concern of DAC on monitoring as information and financing rules are not shared to everyone.
On PSI, DAC said safeguards are going to be developed in the second phase and there will be report on PSI in April 2019.
She also said that another challenge is to improve the monitoring report within GPEDC and also the need to work on quality of data as there has been lack of data on impact.
“DAC need be a global system for Sustainable Development Goals, not shying away from the principles we provide”, She also expressed concern on sexual harassment cases in the humanitarian sector around the world, including in Europe.
Transparency was also a major concern of DAC on monitoring as information and financing rules are not shared to everyone which prevents the identification of real and perceptive risks of investments. CSO Asked about the use of ODA for donors’ security concerns, the DAC Chair responded that regular updating of eligible database with new cases will be starting. The recently released casebook need be to be updated on what is counted as ODA under peace and security category.
On this issue, Czech Republic expressed its interest in continuing deliberations on issues of peace and security. Denmark shared that the nexus between security and development need be understood more and CSOs role need to be supported. Germany was apprehensive on sharing information prior to a meeting but Ireland supported the need for more transparency, document-sharing and for inclusion of CSOs in the discussions.
A dialogue framework developed by the DAC and consulted with CSOs was approved last July to lay mutually-acceptable principles for a constructive engagement between CSOs and the global body.
For inquiries, contact Jiten Yumnam, CPDE representative to the DAC CSO Reference Group, Center for Research and Advocacy-Manipur at firstname.lastname@example.org