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Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness: Accra agenda for action
4 September 2008


Ministers of developing and donor countries responsible for promoting development and Heads of multilateral and bilateral development institutions endorsed the following statement in Accra, Ghana, on 4 September 2008 to accelerate and deepen implementation of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2 March 2005).

This is a moment of opportunity

  1. We are committed to eradicating poverty and promoting peace and prosperity by building stronger, more effective partnerships that enable developing countries to realise their development goals.


  2. There has been progress. Fifteen years ago, two out of five people lived in extreme poverty; today, that figure has been reduced to one in four. However, 1.4 billion people-most of them women and girls-still live in extreme poverty,1 and access to safe drinking water and health care remains a major issue in many parts of the world. In addition, new global challenges-rising food and fuel prices and climate change-threaten the advances against poverty many countries have made.


  3. We need to achieve much more if all countries are to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Aid is only one part of the development picture. Democracy, economic growth, social progress, and care for the environment are the prime engines of development in all countries. Addressing inequalities of income and opportunity within countries and between states is essential to global progress. Gender equality, respect for human rights, and environmental sustainability are cornerstones for achieving enduring impact on the lives and potential of poor women, men, and children. It is vital that all our policies address these issues in a more systematic and coherent way.


  4. In 2008, three international conferences will help us accelerate the pace of change: the Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, the United Nations High Level Event on the MDGs in New York, and the Financing for Development follow-up meeting in Doha. Today at Accra, we are leading the way, united in a common objective: to unlock the full potential of aid in achieving lasting development results.

We are making progress, but not enough

  1. Learning from our past successes and failures in development co-operation and building on the 2003 Rome Declaration on Harmonisation, in March 2005 we adopted an ambitious set of reforms: the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. In the Paris Declaration, we agreed to develop a genuine partnership, with developing countries clearly in charge of their own development processes. We also agreed to hold each other accountable for achieving concrete development results. Three and one-half years later, we are reconvening in Accra to review progress and address the challenges that now face us.


  2. Evidence shows we are making progress, but not enough. A recent evaluation shows that the Paris Declaration has created powerful momentum to change the way developing countries and donors work together on the ground. According to the 2008 Monitoring Survey, a large number of developing countries have improved their management of public funds. Donors, in turn, are increasingly improving their co-ordination at country level. Yet the pace of progress is too slow. Without further reform and faster action we will not meet our 2010 commitments and targets for improving the quality of aid.

We will take action to accelerate progress

  1. Evidence shows that we will need to address three major challenges to accelerate progress on aid effectiveness:


  2. Country ownership is key. Developing country governments will take stronger leadership of their own development policies, and will engage with their parliaments and citizens in shaping those policies. Donors will support them by respecting countries’ priorities, investing in their human resources and institutions, making greater use of their systems to deliver aid, and increasing the predictability of aid flows.


  3. Building more effective and inclusive partnerships. In recent years, more development actors-middle-income countries, global funds, the private sector, civil society organisations-have been increasing their contributions and bringing valuable experience to the table. This also creates management and co-ordination challenges. Together, all development actors will work in more inclusive partnerships so that all our efforts have greater impact on reducing poverty.


  4. Achieving development results-and openly accounting for them—must be at the heart of all we do. More than ever, citizens and taxpayers of all countries expect to see the tangible results of development efforts. We will demonstrate that our actions translate into positive impacts on people’s lives. We will be accountable to each other and to our respective parliaments and governing bodies for these outcomes.


  5. Without addressing these obstacles to faster progress, we will fall short of our commitments and miss opportunities to improve the livelihoods of the most vulnerable people in the world. Therefore, we are reaffirming the commitments we made in the Paris Declaration and, in this Accra Agenda for Action, are agreeing on concrete and monitorable actions to accelerate progress to meet those commitments by 2010. We commit to continuing efforts in monitoring and evaluation that will assess whether we have achieved the commitments we agreed in the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action, and to what extent aid effectiveness is improving and generating greater development impact.


Footnote:
  1. These figures are based on a recent World Bank study that found the poverty line to be $1.25 a day in 2005 prices.

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