Accra Agenda for Action: 3rd High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, 2-4 September 2008

Sectors : International partnerships and support for Pan-African institutions, Quality of aid, Aid volume, Regional cooperation and integration, Economic governance and public finance management
Organisation : UN
Date made: 
2008
Level: 
Ministerial
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Commitments in: Financing for Development - Quality of aid

“Together, developing countries and donors will take the following actions to
strengthen capacity development:
a) Developing countries will systematically identify areas where there is a need to strengthen the capacity to perform and deliver services at all levels—national, sub‐national, sectoral, and thematic—and design strategies to address them. Donors will strengthen their own capacity and skills to be more responsive to developing countries’ needs.
b) Donors’ support for capacity development will be demand‐driven and designed to support country ownership. To this end, developing countries and donors will i) jointly select and manage technical co‐operation, and ii) promote the provision of technical co‐operation by local and regional resources, including through South‐South co‐operation.
c) Developing countries and donors will work together at all levels to promote operational changes that make capacity development support more effective.”

Scope: 
International

“We will increase aid’s value for money
18. Since the Paris Declaration was agreed in 2005, OECD‐DAC donors have made progress in untying their aid. A number of donors have already fully untied their aid, and we encourage others to do so. We will pursue, and accelerate, these efforts by taking the following actions:
a) OECD‐DAC donors will extend coverage of the 2001 DAC Recommendation on Untying Aid to non‐LDC HIPCs3 and will improve their reporting on the 2001 DAC Recommendation.
b) Donors will elaborate individual plans to further untie their aid to the maximum extent.
c) Donors will promote the use of local and regional procurement by ensuring that their procurement procedures are transparent and allow local and regional firms to compete. We will build on examples of good practice to help improve local firms’ capacity to compete successfully for aid‐funded procurement.
d) We will respect our international agreements on corporate social responsibility.”

Scope: 
International

“We will focus on delivering results
23. We will improve our management for results by taking the following actions:
a) Developing countries will strengthen the quality of policy design, implementation and assessment by improving information systems, including, as appropriate, disaggregating data by sex, region and socioeconomic status.
b) Developing countries and donors will work to develop cost‐effective results management instruments to assess the impact of development policies and adjust them as necessary. We will better co‐ordinate and link the various sources of information, including national statistical systems, budgeting, planning, monitoring and country‐led evaluations of policy performance.
c) Donors will align their monitoring with country information systems. They will support, and invest in strengthening, developing countries’ national statistical capacity and information systems, including those for managing aid.
d) We will strengthen incentives to improve aid effectiveness. We will systematically review and address legal or administrative impediments to implementing international commitments on aid effectiveness. Donors will pay more attention to delegating sufficient authority to country offices and to changing organisational and staff incentives to promote behaviour in line with aid effectiveness principles.”

Scope: 
International

“Looking Forward
27. The reforms we agree on today in Accra will require continued high level political support, peer pressure, and coordinated action at global, regional, and country levels. To achieve these reforms, we renew our commitment to the principles and targets established in the Paris Declaration, and will continue to assess progress in implementing them.
28. The commitments we agree today will need to be adapted to different country circumstances—including in middle‐income countries, small states and countries in situations of fragility. To this end, we encourage developing countries to design—with active support from donors—country‐based action plans that set out time‐bound and monitorable proposals to implement the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action.
29. We agree that, by 2010, each of us should meet the commitments we made on aid effectiveness in Paris and today in Accra, and to reach beyond these commitments where we can. We agree to reflect and draw upon the many valuable ideas and initiatives that have been presented at this High Level Forum. We agree that challenges such as climate change and rising food and fuel prices underline the importance of applying aid effectiveness principles. In response to the food crisis, we will develop and implement the global partnership on agriculture and food swiftly, efficiently and flexibly.
30. We ask the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness to continue monitoring progress on implementing the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action and to report back to the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in 2011. We recognise that additional work will be required to improve the methodology and indicators of progress of aid effectiveness. In 2011, we will undertake the third round of monitoring that will tell us whether we have achieved the targets for 2010 agreed in Paris in 2005.4 To carry forward this work, we will need to develop institutionalised processes for the joint and equal partnership of developing countries and the engagement of stakeholders.
31. We recognise that aid effectiveness is an integral part of the broader financing for development agenda. To achieve development outcomes and the MDGs we need to meet our commitments on both aid quality and aid volumes. We ask the Secretary General of the United Nations to transmit the conclusions of the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to the High Level Event on the MDGs in New York later this month and the Financing for Development Review meeting in Doha in November 2008. We welcome the contribution that the ECOSOC Development Co‐operation Forum is making to the international dialogue and to mutual accountability on aid issues. We call upon the UN development system to further support the capacities of developing countries for effective management of development assistance.
32. Today, more than ever, we resolve to work together to help countries across the world build the successful future all of us want to see—a future based on a shared commitment to overcome poverty, a future in which no countries will depend on aid. We will have that information available for the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in 2011, along with comprehensive second phase evaluations of the implementation of the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action as of 2010. Attention will also be paid to improving and developing communications on aid effectiveness for long‐term development success and broad‐based public support.”

Scope: 
International

Commitments in: Development partnerships - International partnerships and support for Pan-African institutions

“1. We are committed to eradicating poverty and promoting peace and prosperity by building stronger, more effective partnerships that enable developing countries to realise their development goals.”to eradicating poverty and promoting peace and prosperity by building stronger, more effective partnerships that enable developing countries to realise their development goals.”

Scope: 
International

“To strengthen and increase the use of country systems, we will take the following actions:
a) Donors agree to use country systems as the first option for aid programmes in support of activities managed by the public sector...
...c) Developing countries and donors will jointly assess the quality of country systems in a country‐led process using mutually agreed diagnostic tools. Where country systems require further strengthening, developing countries will lead in defining reform programmes and priorities. Donors will support these reforms and provide capacity development assistance.
d) Donors will immediately start working on and sharing transparent plans for undertaking their Paris commitments on using country systems in all forms of development assistance; provide staff guidance on how these systems can be used; and ensure that internal incentives encourage their use. They will finalise these plans as a matter of urgency.
e) Donors recollect and reaffirm their Paris Declaration commitment to provide 66% of aid as programme‐based approaches. In addition, donors will aim to channel 50% or more of government‐to‐government assistance through country fiduciary systems, including by increasing the percentage of assistance provided through programme based approaches.”

Scope: 
International

“a) Developing countries will lead in determining the optimal roles of donors in supporting their development efforts at national, regional and sectoral levels. Donors will respect developing countries’ priorities, ensuring that new arrangements on the division of labour will not result in individual developing countries receiving less aid.
b) Donors and developing countries will work together with the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness to complete good practice principles on country‐led division of labour. To that end, they will elaborate plans to ensure the maximum coordination of development co‐operation. We will evaluate progress in implementation starting in 2009.
c) We will start dialogue on international division of labour across countries by June 2009.
d) We will work to address the issue of countries that receive insufficient aid.”

Scope: 
International

“We will deepen our engagement with civil society organisations
20. We will deepen our engagement with CSOs as independent development actors in their own right whose efforts complement those of governments and the private sector. We share an interest in ensuring that CSO contributions to development reach their full potential. To this end:
a) We invite CSOs to reflect on how they can apply the Paris principles of aid effectiveness from a CSO perspective.
b) We welcome the CSOs’ proposal to engage with them in a CSO‐led multistakeholder process to promote CSO development effectiveness. As part of that process, we will seek to i) improve co‐ordination of CSO efforts with government programmes, ii) enhance CSO accountability for results, and iii) improve information on CSO activities.
c) We will work with CSOs to provide an enabling environment that maximises their contributions to development.
3 The 2001 DAC recommendation on Untying ODA to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) covers 31 so‐called Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs). The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) at its 2008 High Level Meeting agreed to extend the 2001 Recommendation to cover the remaining eight countries that are part of the HIPC initiative: Bolivia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua and Republic of Congo.”

Scope: 
International

“We will adapt aid policies for countries in fragile situations
21. In the Paris Declaration, we agreed that aid effectiveness principles apply equally to development co‐operation in situations of fragility, including countries emerging from conflict, but that these principles need to be adapted to environments of weak ownership or capacity. Since then, Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations have been agreed. To further improve aid effectiveness in these environments, we will take the following actions:
a) Donors will conduct joint assessments of governance and capacity and examine the causes of conflict, fragility and insecurity, engaging developing country authorities and other relevant stakeholders to the maximum extent possible.
b) At country level, donors and developing countries will work and agree on a set of realistic peace‐ and statebuilding objectives that address the root causes of conflict and fragility and help ensure the protection and participation of women. This process will be informed by international dialogue between partners and donors on these objectives as prerequisites for development.
c) Donors will provide demand‐driven, tailored and co‐ordinated capacity‐development support for core state functions and for early and sustained recovery. They will work with developing countries to design interim measures that are appropriately sequenced and that lead to sustainable local institutions.
d) Donors will work on flexible, rapid and long‐term funding modalities, on a pooled basis where appropriate, to i) bridge humanitarian, recovery and longer‐term development phases, and ii) support stabilisation, inclusive peace building, and the building of capable, accountable and responsive states. In collaboration with developing countries, donors will foster partnerships with the UN System, international financial institutions and other donors.
e) At country level and on a voluntary basis, donors and developing countries will monitor implementation of the Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations, and will share results as part of progress reports on implementing the Paris Declaration.”

Scope: 
International

“We will continue to change the nature of conditionality to support ownership
25. To strengthen country ownership and improve the predictability of aid flows, donors agreed in the Paris Declaration that, whenever possible, they would draw their conditions from developing countries’ own development policies. We reaffirm our commitment to this principle and will continue to change the nature of conditionality by taking the following actions:
a) Donors will work with developing countries to agree on a limited set of mutually agreed conditions based on national development strategies. We will jointly assess donor and developing country performance in meeting commitments.
b) Beginning now, donors and developing countries will regularly make public all conditions linked to disbursements.
c) Developing countries and donors will work together at the international level to review, document and disseminate good practices on conditionality with a view to reinforcing country ownership and other Paris Declaration Principles by increasing emphasis on harmonised, results‐based conditionality. They will be receptive to contributions from civil society.”

Scope: 
International

“We will increase the medium‐term predictability of aid
26. In the Paris Declaration, we agreed that greater predictability in the provision of aid flows is needed to enable developing countries to effectively plan and manage their development programmes over the short and medium term. As a matter of priority, we will take the following actions to improve the predictability of aid:
a) Developing countries will strengthen budget planning processes for managing domestic and external resources and will improve the linkages between expenditures and results over the medium term.
b) Beginning now, donors will provide full and timely information on annual commitments and actual disbursements so that developing countries are in a position to accurately record all aid flows in their budget estimates and their accounting systems.
c) Beginning now, donors will provide developing countries with regular and timely information on their rolling three‐ to five‐year forward expenditure and/or implementation plans, with at least indicative resource allocations that developing countries can integrate in their medium‐term planning and macroeconomic frameworks. Donors will address any constraints to providing such information.
d) Developing countries and donors will work together at the international level on ways of further improving the medium‐term predictability of aid, including by developing tools to measure it.”26. In the Paris Declaration, we agreed that greater predictability in the provision of aid flows is needed to enable developing countries to effectively plan and manage their development programmes over the short and medium term. As a matter of priority, we will take the following actions to improve the predictability of aid:
a) Developing countries will strengthen budget planning processes for managing domestic and external resources and will improve the linkages between expenditures and results over the medium term.
b) Beginning now, donors will provide full and timely information on annual commitments and actual disbursements so that developing countries are in a position to accurately record all aid flows in their budget estimates and their accounting systems.
c) Beginning now, donors will provide developing countries with regular and timely information on their rolling three‐ to five‐year forward expenditure and/or implementation plans, with at least indicative resource allocations that developing countries can integrate in their medium‐term planning and macroeconomic frameworks. Donors will address any constraints to providing such information.
d) Developing countries and donors will work together at the international level on ways of further improving the medium‐term predictability of aid, including by developing tools to measure it.”

Scope: 
International

Commitments in: Development partnerships - Regional cooperation and integration

“19. The contributions of all development actors are more effective when developing countries are in a position to manage and co‐ordinate them. We welcome the role of new contributors and will improve the way all development actors work together by taking the following actions:
a) We encourage all development actors, including those engaged in South‐South co‐operation, to use the Paris Declaration principles as a point of reference in providing development co‐operation.
b) We acknowledge the contributions made by all development actors, and in particular the role of middleincome countries as both providers and recipients of aid. We recognise the importance and particularities of South‐South cooperation and acknowledge that we can learn from the experience of developing countries. We encourage further development of triangular co‐operation.
c) Global funds and programmes make an important contribution to development. The programmes they fund are most effective in conjunction with complementary efforts to improve the policy environment and to strengthen the institutions in the sectors in which they operate. We call upon all global funds to support country ownership, to align and harmonise their assistance proactively, and to make good use of mutual accountability frameworks, while continuing their emphasis on achieving results. As new global challenges emerge, donors will ensure that existing channels for aid delivery are used and, if necessary, strengthened before creating separate new channels that risk further fragmentation and complicate co‐ordination at country level. We encourage developing countries to mobilise, manage and evaluate their international cooperation initiatives for the benefit of other developing countries.
d) South‐South co‐operation on development aims to observe the principle of non‐interference in internal affairs, equality among developing partners and respect for their independence, national sovereignty, cultural diversity and identity and local content. It plays an important role in international development co‐operation and is a valuable complement to North‐South co‐operation.”

Scope: 
International