Bali, 23-24 March. Dr. Jeff Balch, Director of Research and Evaluation at AWEPA, participated in the latest meeting of the Steering Committee of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. The Partnership, created in 2011, engages with a range of global policy processes in the lead up to the post-2015 development agenda. The meeting delivered recommendations on both the scope of this new agenda, and on the means through which targets will be achieved.
Since 2008, AWEPA has been engaging parliamentarians on both ends of the aid equation as a means to contribute to the process of building an inclusive new aid architecture. Among other goals, AWEPA works to increase government accountability to its parliament and citizens on the use of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and development resources in general in Africa. Its programme on Aid Effectiveness facilitated a major breakthrough when a Parliamentary Forum was organised on the eve of the Fourth High Level Forum (HLF4) on Aid Effectiveness to formulate a clear parliamentary message to be delivered to participants of the HLF4, held in Busan, Korea, in 2011.
“There is a link between eradicating extreme poverty and dealing with fragile states”, said Dr. Balch at the meeting. Since many emerging economies are also emerging democracies, the role of parliamentary oversight gains even more importance. According to Dr. Balch, “the separation of powers and the recognition of the legislative branch in such countries are extremely important in getting to where we need to be in domestic resource mobilization”.
According to OECD, domestic resource mobilization refers to “the generation of savings from domestic resources and their allocation to economically and socially productive investments”. In other words, taxation is potentially the largest source of long-term funding for sustainable human development. Echoing discussions at AWEPA and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Dr. Balch highlighted the importance of having “strong, supreme, audit institutions alongside parliamentary oversight committees; these are two sides of the same coin of accountability and the fight against corruption”.