Focus Areas

I.  The strategic role of development cooperation in achieving the 2030 Agenda, building sustainable and resilient societies and leaving no one behind 

Development cooperation should focus more systematically on countries and population groups with the least resources and weakest capacities, ensuring that it puts those furthest behind first. Enhancing the quality and quantity of ODA is critical to the achievement of the SDGs. With development challenges being intensified by climate change, development cooperation must also become more risk-informed and resilience-smart with stronger links to climate action, including through more predictable access to climate finance for developing countries. 

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II. Strengthening the effectiveness and sustainable development impact of multi-stakeholder partnerships and approaches, including blended finance 

Multi-stakeholder partnerships and approaches should be embraced to deliver better and more sustainable development results and take inclusiveness to a new level. Partnerships with all stakeholders should support the building of capacities and facilitate the sharing of technologies and ideas, not just financial resources. Engaging the private sector is indispensable to dramatically scale up financial investments, innovation, capacity-building and technology development and transfer. Development actors must ensure respect for country ownership and other principles of effective development cooperation where ODA is used to leverage private financing. Developing countries must be involved in the decisions regarding whether and how ODA is used for blended finance. 

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III. Getting better results through national development cooperation polices 

National development cooperation policies (NDCPs) are powerful tools for ensuring broad-based country ownership and for lifting the quality of partnerships over time. Such policies articulate a country’s vision, priorities, commitments and activities for mobilizing development cooperation to support its national efforts. Regional and national experiences in South-South and triangular cooperation could also be further codified, systematized and mainstreamed into national development plans and NDCPs. The results of the 2018 DCF survey on national mutual accountability and transparency in development cooperation highlighted the positive role that NDCPs has played in enhancing coordination and impact of policy making at the national level. 

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IV. Bridging capacity gaps and facilitating technology development and transfer in strategic areas 

Capacity support for domestic resource mobilization (DRM) should be targeted to the countries furthest from nationally defined revenue levels to achieve the SDGs, with more attention placed on the subnational level. Support should focus on strengthening not only tax systems but also State capacities to create enabling policy environments for private investment and to deepen national and regional 
capital markets. Development cooperation should help to ensure that new technology and access to digital data can bring transformative change. 

Domestic data generation should inform national sustainable development policies and development cooperation policies. Leaving no one behind requires high-quality, accurate, timely, open and sufficiently disaggregated data at the global, regional, national and subnational levels, in addition to improved data dissemination and use. 

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V. Leveraging South-South and triangular cooperation for sustainable development 

South-South cooperation continues to show steady expansion, diversification and resilience. While not a substitute for North-South cooperation, financial and non-financial cooperation, capacity building, knowledge-sharing and the broader partnership dimension of South-South cooperation should continue to influence the larger landscape of development cooperation and follow-up to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Countries and actors of the global South should be bolder in sharing their experiences and evidence in their development cooperation, encouraging the global North to learn more from and integrate the experience and expertise of the global South into their practices. Triangular cooperation continues to expand as an important and dynamic modality in development cooperation. 

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VI. Strengthening the multi-layered monitoring, review and assessment of development cooperation 

A one-size-fits all approach to monitoring and evaluation is neither desirable nor practical, given the diversity among approaches, methodologies, partners and constituencies in development cooperation. The origins of and principles behind development cooperation may vary. Yet, the overarching objective is the same and universally shared in the 2030 Agenda: achieving sustainable development results, leaving no one behind. Monitoring and review mechanisms need to continue to evolve to capture the complex and multilayered nature of development cooperation of the SDG era. Investment in high-quality data, monitoring and evaluation needs to be scaled up to move from tracking inputs to achieving development results. 

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