Global accountability in development cooperation
Mutual accountability was recognized at the 2010 High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the MDGs as critical to improving the quality of development cooperation.
As agreed by the Advisory Group of the Under Secretary-General, one objective of the 2012 to 2014 cycle is to position the DCF as a global apex body for accountability in the future global partnership for development. It will also expand its role as a driver for greater national and global accountability in development cooperation among all relevant actors.
The Forum will contribute to the definition of an effective accountability mechanism contained in the global partnership for development of a post-2015 development agenda and further support the development of minimum accountability standards and individual developing countries in their efforts to put in place full-fledged accountability mechanisms and dialogue forums.
Analysis of previous DCF surveys on mutual accountability [link and link] in development cooperation in 105 countries showed limited progress in this area. The surveys helped to identify a series of enablers and barriers to ensure that mutual accountability mechanisms will bring about the expected change in behaviour, while not further adding to the complexity of existing monitoring and reporting structures or distorting the relationships of central governments with domestic constituencies. The survey is expected to be repeated in late 2013 in the run up to the 2014 DCF.
Over the next two years, this focus area is expected to advance implementation and use of mutual accountability mechanisms and promote greater stakeholder compliance with development cooperation commitments at the national and global levels. As such, the work in focus area 2, with its strong emphasis on policy analysis, will also serve as a strategic input to the deliberations on the post-2015 development agenda.
Key priorities for the 2012 to 2014 cycle:
- Advance mutual accountability as a technical tool and overarching principle in a post-2015 development agenda, with a view to promoting enhanced reporting on agreed commitments at the global level;
- Strengthen the role of the Forum as the accountability framework for the global partnership for development;
- Develop the Forum as the authoritative and comprehensive source of two-way information on status and progress of country level frameworks for mutual accountability and transparency; and
- Review the relevance and usefulness of existing mutual accountability mechanisms and their interplay at different levels and promote their consolidation.
- 3rd International Development Cooperation Report on “Accountable Development Partnerships”;
- Global review of status and progress of national mutual accountability mechanisms and transparency based on the 2013 survey in developing countries;
- Country reports of experiences from a capacity development project (see below);
- Independent assessment of challenges and opportunities to position MA at the centre of a post 2015 development agenda;
- Comprehensive analysis of types of MA and results frameworks at different levels, including sectoral processes, their relevance, interplay and ability to incentivize domestic accountability;
- Session in Vienna Policy Dialogue on gender equality indicators in mutual accountability frameworks (13-14 December 2012);
- Launch of 2nd International Development Cooperation Report with chapter on mutual accountability (15-16 April 2013);
- High-level Symposium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on renewing the global partnership for development (6-7 June 2013);
- High-level Symposium in Montreux, Switzerland on implications of the post-2015 development agenda on the future of development cooperation (24-25 October 2013);
- High-level Symposium on accountable development cooperation (Q1/2014) (TBC)
- 2014 Development Cooperation Forum (July 2014)
Analytical studies and events in previous DCF cycles:
- Flagship mutual accountability studies  
- Key messages on MA as agreed with Cluster A
- Mutual accountability in LDCs
- Messages on MA in LDCs at LDC IV
- Panel at Luxembourg High-level Symposium on inclusive MA
- Expert Group Meeting in Luxembourg on international mutual accountability
- 2009 Vienna High-level Symposium
(3) CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT TO STRENGTHEN MUTUAL ACCOUNTABILITY
UNDESA supports the implementation of mutual accountability enablers in response to specific requests from Member States by supporting capacity development activities in selected developing countries in close partnership with UNDP. A pilot project in four Sub-Saharan African countries will produce guidance material and policy recommendations to advance mutual accountability for consideration by the DCF.
For further information on the Capacity Development project, please contact: Mr. Roberto Villarreal, Inter-Regional Advisor, UNDESA (firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +1 212 963 5025)
For further information on the DCF focus area of mutual accountability, please contact: Mr. Thomas Boehler, DCF Secretariat, Development Cooperation Policy Branch, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, UNDESA (email@example.com, Tel: +1 917 367 9452).