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As part of the substantive preparations for the 2008 Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations commissioned a number of background studies reviewing trends and progress in international development cooperation. These studies have, along with the preparatory events, informed the analytical background report of the Secretary-General which will be considered by the Forum.

The studies focused on four topics:

Mainstreaming international development goals

The study assesses the degree to which internationally agreed development goals have been mainstreamed into aid policies of donors and poverty reduction strategies of programme countries. The study also reviews the current mechanisms used by the international community to assess the quality of these strategies and the extent to which they take the goals into account [link].

Practices and implications of aid allocation

The two studies examine the practices and implications of bilateral and multilateral donors allocating development assistance to programme countries. In addition to focusing on three main issues: current aid allocation practices, priorities of various aid allocation models and possible implications of concentrating aid, the studies give an overview of how future aid allocation may be affected by challenges relating to climate change. [link 1] [link 2]

Towards a strengthened aid effectiveness framework

The studies undertaken provide a comprehensive analysis of what could constitute an improved framework for aid effectiveness. They review and assess the Paris framework, identify additional potential issues and indicators, suggest priorities and propose a feasible strategy for the DCF in moving forward the aid quality and aid effectiveness agenda in cooperation with other institutions [link 1].

South-South and triangular development cooperation

The study aims to provide an overview of South-South and triangular development cooperation with regard to definitions, scale, scope and actors as well as quality, results and impact [link].