Monday, July 16, 2012

Donors, recipients need to revisit strategy

The experts suggested both the donors and aid recipient countries to walk the talk and revisit their strategy to help develop trade in making the recipient countries independent in the long run.
"Both donors and the government have been unable to fully meet their commitments in both financing and governing the needed development initiatives," said central bank governor Dr Yubraj Khatiwada addressing a validation workshop on 'Nepal Case Study For European Report on Development', organised by South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE) and Center for the Study of Labour and Migration (CESLM) here today.
"Donors need to focus on hardware aspects as well because 'in the absence of infrastructure', mobilising development support in software areas like rights issues, will not be fruitful," he said, adding that there is a need to create enabling environment for economic growth so that domestic revenue mobilisation could finance social protection and human security related development activities. Khatiwada also stressed on the need to refocus development efforts and social progress agenda so that they don’t undermine economic growth.
The study is a part of the European Report on Development (ERD), an annual report commissioned by the European Commission since 2009 that looks at the course of development cooperation in several socio-economic areas. The focus of the 2012-2013 report — the fourth in the series — is 'Development in a Changing World: Elements for a Post-2015 Global Agenda'.
“Post 2015, meeting some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets will still remain a challenge, which will require development parents to reorient their development interventions keeping in mind the changing actors and new challenges like climate change and the impact of financial crisis,” said executive chairman of SAWTEE Dr Posh Raj Pandey.
Similarly, highlighting the objective of the study, senior adviser EU Development Policy and lead author of European Report on Development 2013 Dr James Mackie said that the report aims at evaluating progress made so far in meeting MDG targets, learn from the experiences and use it to frame post 2015 development agenda.
"The goal is to think beyond MDGs and aid in order to suggest a framework for the future, and in Nepal’s case the relationship between Nepal the EU development cooperation," he said, adding that the three main themes are aid and finance, trade and investment and migration.
The report is aimed at policy oriented study to bridge the gap between research and policymaking related to development initiatives.
"The deadline for 2015 is close and not all MDG targets will be met," head of Operation at the Delegation of the EU to Nepal Lluis Navarro said. "It is good time for the report to think about post 2015 framework for development initiatives and support mobilisation," he said, adding that the post 2015 development framework needs to look at framing support of both traditional as well as new donors in relation to the needs of recipient country.
The Nepal case study assesses the progress made since 1990s, the key drives and obstacles for it, and the role of external actors and impact of MDGs, apart from looking at the main constraints and opportunities faced by the economy and the possibilities for external actors to better support national development strategies.
MDG targets are helping to galvanise global support and mobilising resources accordingly, said co-presenter of the report chief executive director of SWTEE Dr Ratnakar Adhikari.
He stressed on the need to scale up absorptive capacity and need assessment, stop frequent transfer of staff in bureaucracy and increase ownership of development projects. "In the international level," he said "development partnership should provide enabling environment, not intrude on policy space. Other aid and finance related interventions include continuing ODA numerical target of 0.7 per cent of GNI, additional funding for Aid for Trade and climate finance and targeting foreign aid in productive sectors."
Similarly, at the domestic level the emphasis should be on to address supply-side constraints to increase trade and investment, whereas at the international level, the emphasis should be on promoting regional investment agreement, resolving definitional complexity related to Aid for Trade, promoting trade and investment nexus, and sourcing one per cent of developed country imports from LDCs, among others. "On the technology front, the emphasis should be on increasing expenditure on research and development to one per cent of GDP and at the international level the focus should be on easing technology transfer and adoption."
Similarly, on the occasion, another presenter research director at Center for the Study of Labour and Mobility Dr Bandita Sijapati focused on migration and argued that at the domestic level if migration is unavoidable then migrant’s rights and welfare have to be protected.
"At the international level, she emphasised on promoting initiatives that would help channel remittances into productive sectors and strengthen regional initiatives to secure rights and welfare of migrants."

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