European Development Policies and aid effectiveness in light of the SDGs: Do we need a shared impact and evaluation agenda?
German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), VENRO – Verband Entwicklungspolitik und Humanitäre Hilfe deutscher Nichtregierungsorganisationen, European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI)
In September 2015, the members of the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda as the seminal and universally applicable goal setting for sustainable international cooperation in the next 15 years. Putting this agenda into practice is an enormous challenge for local, national, European and global policy makers and politicians alike. Even more challenging is the endeavour to monitor and measure the envisaged impacts and evaluate them.
In November 2016, the European Commission published their suggestion for a new European Consensus, an update to commitments made in 2005. It attempts a framework for a common approach to a shared development policy and corresponds closely to 2030 Agenda goals. Under the headline “do it better”, the consensus strives to demonstrate a “cultural shift” with regards to measuring the effectiveness of its development cooperation and interventions and pledges to support efforts for greater “policy coherence for development” (European Commission 2016) . One pillar is the production of a joint synthesis report of the EU and its member states on the impact of actions in support of the 2030 Agenda.
Quite in contrast to these aspirations, research suggests that the capacity of the EU to respond effectively to global challenges has gradually decreased in recent years. There is a broad discrepancy between ambitions laid out in EU policy papers and realities and resources on the ground. Bodenstein et al. (2016) even point to a fundamental capability-expectations gap.
This raises questions of how and by what means impact and results are measured and evaluated, how aid effectiveness can be ensured and consolidated and how collective action toward reaching goals of the 2030 Agenda can be increased and strengthened.
This “Bonner Impulse” event discussed status quo and perspectives for coherence in measuring aid effectiveness in European Development Policy and debated the need for a shared impact and evaluation agenda.
The following issues were in focus of the discussion:
- What shared strategies for measuring impact are already existent? Where are gaps and where is need for action?
- How are actors cross-linked on national and European levels?
- What are the preconditions for a shared and coherent European impact and evaluation agenda and how can they be created?
- How can the capability-expectation gap and collective action problems be overcome?
- Reinhard Limbach, Deputy Mayor of the Federal City of Bonn
- Jörg Faust, Deutsches Evaluierungsinstitut der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (DEval)
- Mikaela Gavas, Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
- James Mackie, ECDPM
- Mark Furness, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)