Civil society platform demands urgent, radical change to aid architecture at UN Financing for Development dialogue


New York, 20 September 2023 – At the United Nations General Assembly’s High-level Dialogue (HLD) on Financing for Development (FfD), global civil society platform CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) brings demands for urgent, radical change to aid architecture.

The HLD FfD comes at a critical juncture in the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which the UN itself has described to be off-track at their midpoint, following the pandemic and multiple crises. All evidence indicates that the SDGs will not be met at all, unless drastic and difficult decisions are taken.

CPDE, represented by one of its Co-chairs Richard Ssewakiryanga, participated in the Dialogue as part of the Civil Society Financing for Development (CS FfD) Mechanism to call for open discussions on economic architectural reforms that can positively impact development cooperation and rebalance power asymmetries within the aid sector.

CPDE makes the following demands, also based on the results of its annual (Voluntary National Reviews) VNR study which underscore the urgency of addressing the shortcomings in international financing for development:

  • Urgent scaling up of aid levels: Commitment to deliver on ODA commitments, including exceeding the ODA target of 0.7% GNI and allocating 0.15-0.20% of GNI to Least Developed Countries.
  • Protecting development aid budgets: safeguard current aid budgets to developing countries. Additionally, CPDE advocates for the responsible allocation of aid by phasing out the reporting of in-donor refugee costs as ODA. The rules governing ODA must be aligned with its core purpose.
  • Target ODA where is most impactful. Strategies to gather funding from the private sector have failed to mobilise the expected funds and contribute to progress in achieving the SDGs. Instead, ODA should promote publicly funded and delivered services, which have proven the most successful in ensuring fully inclusive and resilient societies that are able to respond to the pressures arising from the economic, social, and climate crises.
  • Committing to reforms: governments and international financial institutions should commit to comprehensive reforms in the international financial architecture that prioritise equity, transparency, and the active participation of developing countries and civil society. ODA should be allocated in a manner that reaches those furthest behind first and improves accountability for development cooperation.

“CPDE believes that effective development cooperation and the achievement of the SDGs require the active participation of civil society in policy spaces. Decisions on development cooperation should be made transparently, with representation from all stakeholders, and the United Nations should play a central role in this regard,” explained CPDE Co-chair, Biljana Spasovska.

Richard Ssewakiryanga also proposed to revisit the Convention on Development Cooperation, which would provide a universally agreed mandate, definition, and purpose for governments. This convention would prevent the misuse of aid and align it with core, universally understood objectives.

In its statement to this year’s UN SDG Summit, CPDE stressed that “reforming the international system and financial architecture must lead to sustainable development for all, and put the issues of poverty and inequality at the core of its mandate.” The HLD on FfD is thus an opportunity for states and the private sector to renew their commitment towards the common ideal of “sustainable development for all”.#

About CPDE. The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness unites civil society organisations (CSOs) from around the world on the issue of effective development cooperation. They collaborate with civil society organisations and networks in more than a hundred countries, and their members come from six regions and eight sectors: faith-based, feminist, indigenous peoples, international CSOs, labour, migrants, rural, and youth. Visit to learn more.


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