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Delivering Results: AfDB Management Reflects on Aid Effectiveness

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The Bank Group’s senior managers, resident representatives (ResReps) and government officials, on Friday, February 4, 2011 in Tunis, held a seminar on development effectiveness issues and how to concretely translate the Paris Declaration principles into results on the ground. According to the managers, the discussions represent first key steps in setting up a framework to promote AfDB-led discourse on aid effectiveness.

In his opening remarks, the Bank Group’s President, Donald Kaberuka, called for open and frank discussions on some of the Bank’s day-to-day challenges in operationalizing its aid effectiveness commitments. “We need to give a meaning to Paris Declaration and the debate, today, should bring all of us to seek to what extent we would concretely translate the Declaration’s principles into actions, that would have real development impact on the ground,” Mr. Kaberuka emphasized.

In organizing the seminar, “the Bank Group seeks to improve management’s collective understanding as to what works well and also what works less well and needs to be fixed,” he said.

The Seminar focused on three broad themes: the role of field offices; using country systems, and strengthening accountability for development results. With the Bank’s roadmap on aid effectiveness serving as key background information, the program of the seminar included various presentations.

For his part, the Bank’s Operations Evaluation Department (OPEV) Director, Colin Kirk, presented an analysis of some key findings emerging from OPEV’s recent evaluation on implementing the Paris Declaration.  He discussed Bank priorities in a range of areas, and gave a broad picture of development challenges. “There is need for coherence between aid effectiveness and corporate strategy,” he noted. Mr. Kirk also explained that “we should learn from experience inside and outside the organization,” stressing that “Field Offices’ (FOs) contributions are crucial.” He said the Bank needs to step up dialogue with RMCs including governments, the private sector and civil society organizations.

From the RMCs perspective, the participants listened to a presentation by Ghana’s External Resources Mobilization Director, Mary-Anne Addo, who shared her thoughts on some of the practical issues and challenges the Ghana government was dealing with in making aid more effective.

After the various presentations President Kaberuka outlined the processes of implementing development and stressed that “sound knowledge of the Declaration’s mechanisms and using it would help to concretely impact development on the ground.”  

The Seminar’s outcomes will help to better position the Bank Group ahead of the Busan (South Korea), High-Level forum on Aid Effectiveness in November 2011.

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