The Monterrey Consensus, in addition to framing commitments for increased ODA, “codified” the call for development effectiveness. This call was reinforced in July 2002, when donors to the Bank’s International Development Association (IDA)—the world’s primary source of confessional (near-zero-interest) finance for development in the low-income countries—made replenishment contingent on the establishment of a results-based measurement system for IDA programs. IDA provides assistance to the world’s 82 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. It is the single largest source of donor funds for basic social services in the poorest countries.
Donors agreed in March 2005 to a 14th replenishment of IDA worth $33 million in new resources over three years. Now the 15th replenishment of IDA is on the horizon, with donors expected to decide on contributions for the next three-year cycle by December 2007. IDA is at a watershed, in part because of debt relief contributions-- IDA is providing $54 billion in debt relief to poor countries: $18 billion under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and $36 billion under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI).This represents one third of IDA’s total resources and it lowers available credit reflows. Without additional resources, IDA would need to cut its financial support for poor countries currently benefiting from debt relief. For this reason, a generous replenishment of IDA is crucial.
Through its leadership on harmonization and alignment, IDA also leverages the assistance of other donors in support of country-owned programs and projects. These efforts are forging stronger partnerships between aid providers and recipient countries.
Given its unique capabilities and its track-record, IDA serves as a cornerstone of the international aid system in many poor countries. IDA’s platform ensures that aid is less fragmented, more predictable, and increasingly results-focused, which is fundamental to countries seeking to achieve the MDGs.
Harmonization, the Results Agenda and the Bank’s role
Central to the international community’s more unified approach is a concerted focus on development results.
The Third Roundtable on Managing for Development, held in Hanoi in February 2007 and involving the World Bank and a range of other donors, built on the findings of the 2004 Marrakech Second Roundtable on Better Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing for Development Results. The Hanoi meeting enabled delegations from selected developing countries to compare their experiences and to initiate a country action planning process, with targets for steps to be completed in advance of the Ghana High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to be held in September 2008. The Hanoi Roundtable provided compelling evidence that country partners are eager to improve the effectiveness of development assistance and domestic resources by strengthening systems to enable information on expected and actual results to be used in decision-making.
The inter-agency Common Performance Assessment System, or COMPAS initiative is developing common systems that all multilateral development banks can use to monitor their results orientation. Its 2006 report found that: efforts to implement country strategies are still weak in some cases; that performance-based grants are on the rise; that efforts to apply operational lessons of experience are not systematic enough and that multilateral development banks are starting to link salary increases of staff to the accomplishment of agreed objectives.
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