About the Development Cooperation Forum

Stakeholders debate development cooperation policy at the DCF.

The Development Cooperation Forum focuses on trends and progress in international development cooperation. It promotes knowledge sharing and mutual learning. And it encourages coherence in development policy and across diverse actors and activities.

The DCF brings together decision-makers and experts from developing and developed countries, parliamentarians, local governments, civil society organizations, philanthropic foundations, international organizations and development banks, and the private sector. It is open to all member States of the United Nations and is a core function of the Economic and Social Council.

The DCF operates in two-year cycles. Global priorities determine specific themes. These are set in consultation with the informal DCF Advisory Group and other stakeholders, in line with the work of the development community and the annual themes and objectives of ECOSOC.

The President and Bureau of ECOSOC, Member States and other stakeholders and UNDESA work throughout the two-year process to promote the messages and recommendations generated by the Forum in the global agenda as well as at regional, country and local levels.

The analytical work produced for the DCF is widely disseminated for use in UN processes and beyond. This includes the Report of the Secretary-General on “Trends and progress in international development cooperation” and the DCF Policy Briefs.

In its role as DCF Secretariat, UNDESA supports efforts to engage the range of actors in more evidence-based, balanced and inclusive global debate on international development cooperation. Activities range from research projects, analytical work and organization of symposiums, briefings and other events.

UNDESA, in its work for DCF, acts as a trusted and balanced source of information on South-South cooperation. The Department also periodically conducts, together with UNDP, global surveys of progress in national mutual accountability and transparency, which document and review the evidence on the state of play of development cooperation in the responding countries.

DCF and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Development cooperation in the SDG era encompasses not only financial resources but also capacity building, technology development and transfer, policy change and multi-stakeholder partnerships.

The DCF generates practical recommendations for policy makers and practitioners at all levels on development cooperation, including its quality, impact and effectiveness. Its work has heightened the urgency to put, into daily practice, a transformative focus on sustainable development results, putting the ‘furthest behind first’ and adapting institutions and policies in support of priorities and systems in developing countries. Alignment of actions and novel ways of working together will be key to ensure that all ‘means of implementation’ contribute to the different aspects of the 2030 Agenda, driven by a strong sense of partnership and fundamental commitment to leave no-one behind.

The DCF is one of the key mechanisms at global level for follow-up and review of the means of implementation under the 2030 Agenda. The HLPF and ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum, by their mandates, take the work of the DCF into account.

Preparations are underway for the sixth biennial high-level meeting of the DCF, to be held in July 2018, as part of the high-level segment of ECOSOC.

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