Tracing HER Footprint Towards 2nd High Level meeting on Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) is an inclusive, multi-stakeholder, global forum. It brings together a broad range of development actors to strengthen the quality, impact and effectiveness of development co-operation ensuring it has maximum impact on development. The Global Partnership aims to ensure that development cooperation – including Official Development Assistance (ODA) and other forms of development finance are based on the principles of:

  • country ownership,
  • achieving results,
  • inclusive partnerships, and
  • transparency and accountability.

These principles are firmly anchored in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda agreed upon by United Nations member states at the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development in July 2015. The Global Partnership tracks progress in the implementation of Busan commitments for more effective development co-operation through its monitoring framework comprised of a set of 10 indicators. These indicators focus on strengthening developing country institutions, increasing transparency and predictability of development co-operation, enhancing gender equality(indicator 8), as well as supporting greater involvement of civil society, parliaments and private sector in development efforts. The monitoring framework is currently being refined to fully reflect the 2030 Agenda and will contribute to the review of targets for Sustainable Development Goals SDG 5 and 17 and implementation of the Financing for Development agreements. The partnership was created at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan in 2011 and came into effect in 2012.
Currently, the Global Partnership is co-chaired by France, Malawi and the Netherlands.  A 24-member multi-stakeholder Steering Committee provides strategic guidance, representing governments; civil society organizations; parliamentarians; the private sector; foundations; local and regional governments; and international organizations. The first high level meeting of the Global partnership was held in 2014 in Mexico. In 2016, Kenya, is hosting the 2nd high level meeting (30th November – 2nd December 2016) in Nairobi. This meeting is of particular significance since Kenya co- chaired the open working group and the intergovernmental negotiations during the formulation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development agenda hence playing a key role in delivering the transformative and ambitious 2030 Agenda. The 2nd High Level Meeting provides an opportunity for Kenya to continue this global leadership and emphasize on the need for synergy and strong linkages between the global partnership and 2030 Agenda. This also includes the need for synergized monitoring of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the global partnership.

Nairobi will PROVIDE the world with an opportunity to move from theory to action in the context of realizing Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development

The Nairobi Second High-Level Meeting (HLM2) is being held slightly over a year after the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda also known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and almost one and half year after the 3rd Financing for Development conference held in Addis Ababa, and will prioritize actions to make development co-operation more effective across a diverse group of actors[i].
HLM2 is a landmark event, setting priorities for improving development co-operation in the era of implementing the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.  It will be a unique platform for Heads of State, Ministers, civil society including feminist and women’s rights organizations, the private sector and foundations to showcase successes, as well as identify opportunities to scale up innovative approaches to sustainable development. The meeting will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to partner in implementing the ambitious 2030 agenda ensuring that no-one is left behind.
Space for Women and Youth at HLM2
The High Level meeting through plenary 5[ii], will provide space to drive specially focused discussions on economic empowerment of women and youth[iii]. This will be a critical opportunity to explore what has been done to foster inclusivity. Focus will be given on how gender equality and women’s empowerment and youth inclusion has been infused towards effective and accelerated development. HLM2 will be preceded by two preparatory days (28–29 November, 2016), providing the opportunity for a range of stakeholders to meet in advance of the High-level Ministerial segment. Forums are planned for civil society, youth, women, parliamentarians, local government, foundations and the private sector. The Women’s Forum will be held on the 28th of November 2016.

What did Busan Deliver for Women and Girls?

  • 4thHigh Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) held in Busan in 2011& the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation is a landmark and highlight moment for global effort to advance people’s development needs and rights.This includes women’s rights with gender equality as one of the global partnership initiatives.
  • Success of Busan HLF-4 was watered down by lack of full inclusivity; many developing countries were missing and it ignored, once more, many of the demands and proposals put forward by civil society organizations (CSOs) including feminist and women’s rights organizations.
  • The Busan Joint Action Plan for Gender Equality and Development was revised to include reference to women’s rights and calls on giving due consideration to CEDAW, the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) and other human rights instruments; thus committing to accelerating a results-focused development agenda that will promote greater gender equality and women’s empowerment and address the factors underlying women’s lower economic, political and social status. This will be achieved through better prioritizing and integrating gender equality and women’s rights in development plans, improving accountability to women’s rights and gender equality commitments and goals and a better collection and/or use of gender and age disaggregated data.
  • The HLM-1 presented a unique opportunity to consolidate gains made since Accra and accelerate actions in achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment. Unfortunately, this opportunity was missed. Even though, the Mexico outcome document titled “Building Towards an Inclusive Post-2015 Development Agenda” included “tracking and making public resource allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment” as a critical step “towards enhanced mutual accountability”[iv]; it failed to commit to the realization of the key essential elements to development: a human rights based approach (HRBA), policy coherence and the creation of an enabling environment for CSOs. The HLM outcome document presumed to be an outcome of collaborative efforts among partnership stakeholders[1] did not bring feminist and WROs closer to their goals and understanding of development effectiveness.


  • Globally, the feminist and women’s rights movements have been advocating for women’s rights and social justice for decades and within various spaces including the effective development cooperation discourse. Since Paris in 2005, Accra in 2008, Busan in 2011 and Mexico in 2014 through Addis Ababa in 2015, feminist and women’s rights organizations (WROs) have actively engaged the aid/development agenda processes to influence the discourses from a feminist perspective[v]. WROs and feminist groups have also been at the fore front of ensuring that the development cooperation agenda through the global partnership links strongly with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. In 2014, in Monterrey, the first High-Level Meeting (HLM) of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC), stock taking by stakeholders and the global monitoring report on progress since the HLF-4 in Busan showed that progress has been unacceptably slow and unsatisfactory. The upcoming HLM-2 offers WROs, feminists and the wider CSO community the opportunity to push for feminist principles, gender equality and human rights based approach (HRBA) as a key component to ensure accountability for transformative change for an inclusive development effectiveness agenda.  It also provides an equal opportunity to governments and other development actors to show real commitment to gender equality, women’s rights and the empowerment of women. Inclusive development partnerships which is a key principle of the Global Partnership must take into account the critical role of women’s rights and feminist organizations;  this is especially important as we seek to amplify the ownership and results which  will only be achieved if we  engage WROs and feminist organizations and prioritize gender equality which is a key component of the global partnership initiatives
  • In order to strengthen feminist and women’s voices in the development paradigm, there is the need to mobilize women to actively participate in the development effectiveness discourse and processes; strengthen collaboration; networking and sharing of ideas and strategies that will advance women’s empowerment and gender equality at the country, regional and global levels. This very much aligns with the global partnership principles[vi] and should be espoused and articulated throughout the partnerships operationalization.
  • Women’s rights organizations (WROs), feminist and gender equality advocates have been calling for a shift of the dominant development discourse towards an inclusive, sustainable, rights-based and just paradigm that recognizes and values reproductive and unpaid care work; promotes decent work and promotes the empowerment, autonomy and emancipation of women and girls. The discourse should also recognize the linkage between women and growing inequalities including those advanced structurally through macroeconomic policies that continue to marginalize women and girls shifting the burden of care at the expense of women. Women and feminist groups have stressed that the full realization of women and girls’ rights as human rights is essential in any development cooperation process; and that women and girls’ empowerment and full and equal participation in all spheres are fundamental for the achievement of social and economic justice, substantive democracy and peace for all.
  • Despite progress in the enshrinement of gender equality within the SDG framework under SDG.5 and recognition of women and girls’ role in development, albeit instrumentally for the most part, Women’s human rights are at risk with heightening of shrinking democratic space and dwindling funding for gender equality and women’s empowerment. HLM 2 provides an opportunity to focus on efforts by the global, regional, national and grassroots feminist and women rights’ movement that ensure that women have full access and equal participation in charting development paths of countries; and embedding gender equality in developing programmes and priorities at all levels, while holding governments and other development actors accountable to their commitments and goals; especially in the context of development cooperation.
  • For the African context, African women rights organizations have begun to make linkages between the development cooperation discourse and illicit financial flows. This is critical especially given the amount of money that the African continent loses through illicit financial flows (approximately USD 50Billion) according to the Mbeki report in addition to resources lost through corruption. Women’s rights organizations have continuously demonstrated how this affects access to essential services and further amplifies the burden of unpaid care work.

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[iv]Global Partnership For Effective Development Cooperation: A Feminist Perspective Following The First High Level Ministerial Meeting, by Nerea Craviotto:
By Catherine Nyambura, Advocacy Program Associate, FEMNET

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