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Workshop on the Paris Declaration: Implications and implementation

Workshop hosted by the Government of Mali

Bamako, Mali

27 - 29 March 2006

SARPN acknowledges OECD as a source of this document: www.oecd.org
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  1. Some 200 participants representing 25 North, Central, and West African countries and their development partners met in Bamako to examine the Paris Declaration and its implications for them in their particular circumstances, and discuss ways to enhance its implementation. The workshop was hosted by the Government of Mali and sponsored by the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the Government of France, and the United Nations Development Programme, in collaboration with the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD-DAC) and its members. Of the countries represented, some had already begun implementing harmonization, alignment, and managing for results (HAMfR) activities, while others were relatively new to the agenda.


  2. The agenda was carefully designed to focus on lessons learned, experiences, and the concrete implications of the Paris Declaration. The objectives were to take a closer look at the Paris commitments, focusing particularly on their application to country and country-level donor institutions, policies, procedures, and systems; to facilitate open discussion and exchange of views among partner countries and donors on aid effectiveness issues; and to lay the groundwork for cross-country sharing and a community of practice to continually exchange experiences. Presentations in the plenary sessions set the stage for this work, but much of the specific discussion was carried out in smaller group sessions. In the final session, in line with the outcome orientation of this workshop, partner country representatives shared with the group their plans for HAMfR activities on their return home from Bamako. (The list of participants is provided as Annex A, the agenda as Annex B, the reports of the group sessions as Annex C; the sponsors’ summary as Annex D, and a summary of the participants’ evaluations as Annex E. In addition, many of the workshop presentations are available at the following websites: www.aidharmonization.org or www.mfdr.org.)
Executive summary

  1. The participants in the Bamako workshop were a diverse group, representing middle- and low-income countries, fragile states, donor headquarters and country offices, civil society organizations, Francophones and Anglophones, large and small countries, and countries that had long been involved in the harmonization, alignment, and results agendas as well as those that are relatively new to the work. Although not all the countries had been represented at the Paris High-Level Forum, most participants agreed that, as they work to meet their development challenges and reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Paris commitments on country ownership, harmonization, alignment, managing for results, and mutual accountability are relevant. It was understood that implementation may mean different things in such different contexts, and that accordingly the approach must be tailored to the particular country’s or agency’s circumstances.


  2. Countries shared experiences—for example, on developing a national action plan or collaborative assistance strategy, using budget support, strengthening a results focus, introducing independent assessments, building capacity. Small countries, fragile states, and middle-income countries shared their own perspectives on the challenges of this work. Many countries urged donors to support the country in exercising leadership, align their aid with country priorities, harmonize their approaches at the country level, and delegate more decisionmaking power to their local offices.


  3. The greatest value of the workshop was in raising the awareness of the Paris Agenda and its implications for those countries in the region that have not yet been engaged with their partners on aid effectiveness issues. Some of these countries declared that they plan to commit formally to the Paris Declaration and also take part in the monitoring exercise. Participants that are further along the line in this area found value in the experiences of other participants, which they can reflect in the plans for their own ministries, countries, and institutions. Some countries declared that they will develop national or sectoral strategies and action plans; and some will engage more with stakeholders, pursue capacity building, strengthen their monitoring and evaluation systems, or conduct independent assessments—again, selecting actions appropriate to their particular circumstances.




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