Mutual Accountability for LDCs: A Framework for Aid Quality and Beyond – DCF Special Event at the Fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV)

The Fourth Conference on Least Developed Countries in Istanbul (LDC-IV) provided a unique opportunity to review how the development concerns of Least Developed Countries and MDG challenges can be better met by increasing aid, improving its quality and strengthening mutual accountability frameworks for development results.

This special event aimed to reflect on how mutual accountability between LDCs and their donors on aid can contribute to the implementation of international commitments, including those contained in the draft Istanbul Programme of Action. It builds on the premise that aid to LDCs is of lower quality than to other recipients. The intention was not to propose a new framework but rather to build on existing frameworks, notably the upcoming Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs.

The event built on the findings of the Mali High-level Symposium of the DCF on “Gearing development cooperation towards the MDGs: effectiveness and results” and (i) discussed aid quality and effectiveness from the perspective of LDCs; and (ii) explored whether the frameworks aimed at ensuring mutual accountability between LDCs and their donors on aid commitments fully reflect the concerns and needs of LDCs.

The following questions were discussed:

  • How do the structural factors characterizing LDCs influence the quality of aid provided to these countries?
  • Building on the Brussels Programme of Action and the Istanbul conference, which aspects of aid quality are the most important ones for LDCs?
  • How can systems ensuring mutual accountability between LDCs and their donors at country level be improved so that they better address the concerns of LDCs on aid quantity and aid quality? How can mutual accountability mechanisms support greater development results? What are good practices in this regard?
  • What should be the key elements and targets of a framework for mutual accountability on aid for LDCs?
  • How could such a framework be used to contribute to the follow-up processes to Istanbul?

The summary of the special event highlights the issues of critical concern for LDCs regarding the quality of aid and ways to review and promote progress through closer dialogue and mutual accountability with donors. It will inform preparations for the next Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) in June/July 2012.

Concluding remarks at the Fourth UN conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV)