UNDP presents results of partnerships for local development programme

03 Apr 2009

Geneva – Identifying and implementing solutions to poverty challenges are best coordinated from the local and regional levels within the framework of national policies, according to donor and programme governments from across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America who joined the UNDP in Geneva to review the progress and impact of decentralized cooperation under the ART Initiative.

The ART programme is an international development assistance initiative that supports national and local governments to better coordinate and implement their national decentralization policies.  It works to facilitate cooperation, especially at the sub-national level, amongst the many organizations and entities involved in supporting national human development processes, namely the national government, regional and local communities, civil society, Academia, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

“Quite often there is a free-for-all of well-intended organizations seeking to support a country’s development needs at the local and regional levels,” said Christophe Nutall, Director of UNDP’s Hub for Innovative Partnerships. “ART seeks to create a framework that allows various local, national and international actors to contribute to supporting national processes of development in a co-ordinated and complementary way.”

He emphasized that ART offers a new paradigm in international cooperation that involves a multilateral, territorial approach to development and climate change. For example, Africa only received two percent of the funds made available for the UN-run Carbon Trading Mechanism aimed at cutting pollution and rewarding clean technologies.  With the ART mechanism in place, there is now potential for taping these funds.

“In its first phase, ART has proven to be a catalyst to and a stimulus for local development,” said Enrique Gallicchio, national coordinator of an ART-coordinated Local Development Programme at UNDP- Uruguay.  “The challenge ahead is to increase bilateral cooperation between Uruguay and other donor countries as well as South-South Cooperation partnerships,” he added, pointing out that decentralized cooperation is a key strategy to achieving MDGs at the regional and local levels.

Like Uruguay and Cuba, H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Ambassador of Morocco said that his country has been active on all three levels of jurisdiction in Morocco. “We have applied the ART methodology of multilateral coordination throughout the country, rather than concentrating them only to priority zones.”

H.E. Mr. Angelino Garzon, Ambassador of Columbia, stated that in the specific case of Columbia, the signing of the ART agreement provided for a number of experiences at the regional and local levels. In the context of ART, concerted efforts have managed to infiltrate all levels in need of development.
 
“It is in local and even grassroots development that countries such as Senegal will successfully confront their challenges,” said H.E. Mr. Babacar Carlos Mbaye, Ambassador of Senegal. “In this manner, UNDP’s ART approach is more effective and critical to our development.”

Mr. Emile Adriaensens, Minister Counsellor of Belgium said that Belgium applies a special approach to concentrated aid intervention.  “We have reduced voluntary contributions to 21 donors in a bid to avoid aid fragmentation and to enhance impact,” he said.  “As prescribed in the Paris Declaration on Development Aid Effectiveness (2005), we limit aid to two sectors per country and commit to long-term projects. We also focus on limiting the number of focal points per project.”

The ART Initiative also promotes and supports the establishment of Decentralized Cooperation partnerships between regional and local communities from the North and South and South-South Cooperation partnerships for the development of specific programmes. As a result of these efforts, more than 400 partnerships of this kind have been established within the ART Programmes and involve actors from a wide range of countries.

“The ART approach is in line with the Paris Declaration,” said Cecile Molinier, Director of UNDP’s Geneva Liaison Office, “ especially as it relates to the harmonization of donor actions, the appropriation of aid by developing countries, the alignment of aid policies based on national development strategies, the implementation of common instruments of intervention, and the management of aid based on results and on joint responsibilities.

“in this way,” she added, “the ART framework reinforces the UN System "delivering as one "approach by making all its operational capacities available at the regional level, thus enabling players to contribute, in a coherent manner, to a national strategy, with the comparative advantage of the UN system.”

Contact Information

For more information please visit www.undp.org/geneva, or contact Adam Rogers, Senior Communications Advisor, UNDP (adam.rogers@undp.org; +41 22 917 85 41)