31 May 2013
We’ve interviewed Raphaëlle FAURE, from the ODI, one of the institutes that participated in the preparation of the 4th European Report on Development to define the post -2015 agenda.
What are the main conclusions of this Report, where are we heading “post-2015”?
The report focuses on three main issues which must be key from 2015 on. The first one is funding for development. In a couple of years, we must realise that we cannot depend solely on traditional aid, there are new means of funding such as the resources of the private sector. In addition, trade and investments are very important for developing countries. We have to focus on promoting the economic, social and environmental transformation of countries so they can develop in a sustainable manner. And the third point is migration: the report proposes an international migration regime which manages the phenomenon better and respects the rights of all migrants.
Have the changes that have taken place in the world since the drafting of the MDGsbeen taken into account in the preparation of this report?
Yes, the first two parts of the report are about these changes. We also analyse the political transformations, the new international agents, the emerging middle classes and the demographic trends. This report highlights that in 2030 half of the people who live in cities will live in slums. That will help us to better understand urban poverty.
In what ways have the MDGs failed, what must be changed?
First of all, we must say that the goals have been a success. What we want to highlight is that health care, education and other social aspects are very important, but not sufficient. Other factors must be taken into account in order for development to be sustainable. Those factors are the funding of aid, the investments of poor countries and migration.
Report Complete in english:
09 May 2013
Juan López-Dóriga is the Director of the AECID (the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation). Between 2004 and 2008, he was the Spanish Ambassador in Guatemala and he subsequently took up the position of Director General of Planning and Evaluation of Development Policies (DGPOLDE) of the State Secretariat for International Cooperation.
– How has the international economic crisis influenced (and influences) the sector?
The map of cooperation has changed, but not only due to the crisis. There are new challenges, there is a constant transformation. The number of both donor and recipient countries has changed. Now, there are new state agents; one example being emerging countries such as China. We have moved to hyper-collective action, there are many more agents involved. In addition, there are now more challenges and there are new subjects on the agenda such as climate change. We are all aware that climate change can particularly affect the developing countries through droughts, the rise in sea levels, etc. We are already working on this but we need to put some initiatives into practice in the next cycle. And, finally, there are new instruments and innovative funding mechanisms.
– In addition, there is a new, emerging middle class, which can also exercise influence when it comes to formulating the new agenda
There is a traditional discussion: where are there more poor people? Some say that the largest number of poor people is in middle-income countries, while others believe that medium income countries can solve their problems themselves, whereas the poor people in the poorest countries have nowhere to turn to and our action must focus on them. There are also those who believe that what we are currently experiencing is only temporary, that, in the next 20 years, the situation will change a great deal. And I don’t believe in making generalisations. Latin America, for example, is not uniform. I spent 8 years of my life in Central America and we have to continue working there. The problem is not just poverty, we also have to work in other spheres such as security.
– How can cooperation be defended in times of crisis?
Essentially, there are two arguments. It is true that the economic situation is worse than a few years ago, for everyone, but through aid to development we are helping people who are much worse off than us, people who are at the very edge of survival. And, secondly, cooperation is one dimension of our country’s foreign intervention and there are problems which, if we do not tackle them now, will simply explode and it will be more difficult to resolve them in the future. There are clear examples such as migration, the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel, etc. Another example is our work in Latin America. If they are doing well, then so are we, due to the interests that Spain has in the region.
– People frequently talk about ‘economic diplomacy’, the ability of some institutions (such as the AECID or the FIIAPP) to use their expansion around the world to the benefit of the country’s economy Cooperation is a Brand in Spain and it is worth maintaining it.
The aim of cooperation is the fight against poverty, but cooperation also uses many resources which, in turn, generates business opportunities for Spanish companies. The more concrete initiatives on the ground, the more opportunities companies have to secure contracts.
19 April 2013
Today, we present César Seoánez Erkell. He is an insurance broker and he is working on a FIIAPP project in Turkey to prevent the contamination of water.
Name of the Project: IPPC – Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control
How long have you been in the country? 27 months
Why did you decide to pack your bags and collaborate with the FIIAPP abroad?
Because it was a very good professional opportunity, both because of the theme of the project and because of the working conditions, in an environment in which you collaborate with many people from different countries and you learn every day. I’d already had a similar experience on another Twinning project in Romania and it was very positive, which encouraged me to get involved with this project.
What is your job?
My main objective is to guarantee that the project achieves its goals, meeting the needs of the beneficiary Turkish institution. That means being a communication channel between the Turkish civil servants, fully understanding what needsthey have and what they want us to do, and the Spanish civil servants (and Polish in the case of this project), indicating to them precisely what is asked of them, providing them with the necessary information, coordinating their work and reviewing all the documents so that both sides are fully satisfied with the work done. The work also involves planning and adapting the activities according to the needs of all the parties involved.
What are the positive and negative aspects of working there?
Positive: getting to know another country, the people, other ways of working and tackling problems, making contacts.
Negative: the factors that are beyond our control and which are sometimes missing, such as the engagement, support and decision-making related to the proposals of the project by some at the senior levels of the Ministry.
Have you had any experience in cooperation before this project?
Yes, another Twinning project in Romania.
How would you define the experience?
Excellent, with a heavy workload, but excellent.