The Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, held in Accra, Ghana, from 2-4 September 2008, convened 1700 international development policymakers and practitioners from governments, donor agencies, NGOs, private foundations and the private sector to review progress made to date on implementing the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. A testament to public-private partnership, Synergy’s President & CEO, Mr. Ashot Hovanesian and Aid Management Advisor, Mr. Richard Bradley attended the Accra Summit and participated in a number of workshops and plenary sessions on the global aid effectiveness agenda. A number of country delegations requested presentations of the Development Assistance Database (DAD) and its key extensions (for example, the Monitoring & Evaluation module), which led to productive discussions on the expanding use of the DAD to pressing needs of developing countries.
For example, Mr. Hovanesian and Mr. Joseph Lelang, Papua New Guinea’s Secretary of the Department of National Planning and Monitoring (DNPM), discussed the potential implementation of the DAD in Papua New Guinea. After the summit, Synergy, DNMP, and the UNDP office in Papua New Guinea partnered up to put in place a DAD and an Aid Effectiveness Web Portal in that country, both of which were officially launched by the Government of Papua New Guinea on 19 January 2009. Moreover, several countries where the DAD is currently operational (such as Central African Republic, India, and Iraq) presented “DAD Case Studies” in the Marketplace of Ideas that illustrated how successfully customized aid management systems can significantly advance the process of making aid more effective.
Notably, Ms. Reetu Jain, deputy director of the Department of Economic Affairs (DE) at India’s Ministry of Finance, made a presentation of the DAD that Synergy developed and customized specifically for the Government of India, in close cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Called the Coordination Decision support System (CDSS), this comprehensive Web-based aid management system provides a full picture of all development aid to India and thus makes government officials better placed to align external aid with India’s national development priorities.
In her presentation, Ms. Jain highlighted that CDSS, which is fully integrated with the Government’s Financial Management System, supports the Government of India in effectively managing development aid and promoting the accountable and transparent use of resources. In addition, CDSS has also greatly improved the efficiency and coordination of donor activities in India and thus promotes good governance, transparency, and accountability. A key lesson learned from this project is that effectively combining high levels of political support and good technical assistance is a key success factor.