The fundamental objective of development cooperation is to improve living conditions in the developing countries and notably in the poorest segments of their populations. Efficiency in achieving the set objectives is thus an essential criterion. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) gauges the effectiveness of projects it supports bilaterally in accordance with its own standards, which also conform to international norms. It measures effectiveness on the basis of reports carried out at the end of the projects as well as annual progress reports.
In so far as projects at the multilateral level are concerned, which involve several states and organisations, discussions are currently under way on uniform criteria for measuring effectiveness. This is also the objective of the workshop conducted today in Bern by the SDC on the basis of a mandate from the “Global Partnership for effective development cooperation”. The Global Partnership brings together traditional donors, developing countries and emerging economies, civil society and private foundations under the leadership of Nigeria, Indonesia and the United Kingdom with the aim of developing ways to improve the effectiveness of development cooperation, which include instruments to ensure transparency and a results-oriented approach.
“A results-oriented approach cannot be assumed. It must be constantly reviewed and strengthened in each case. This is particularly true in fragile contexts,” the SDC Director-General, Martin Dahinden, told the meeting at the outset. The fact that the SDC has been asked to conduct the seminar is an indication of Switzerland’s good reputation when it comes to criteria of effectiveness in relation to development cooperation. The participants in today’s meeting of experts also supported the initiative of Switzerland, that in future two partner countries will manage the Secretariat for the “Results and Accountability” segment.
Collaboration in the framework of the “Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation” grew out of the conferences of Paris (2005), Accra (2008) and Busan (2011), which also determined the international development effectiveness agenda. Together with other bilateral and multilateral donors, Switzerland too determines its support in accordance with the principles of this international effectiveness agenda, which was adopted at the above-mentioned conferences.
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