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Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

Progress Report 2007

Prepared by the Platform Secretariat

From the Platform Chair 02

1. Platform at a glance 1.1. Structure and membership 1.2. Platform members in 2007

04 05 07

2. Achievements in 2007 2.1. Advocacy and outreach 2.2. Shared learning and innovation 2.3. Aid effectiveness

08 08 13 16

3. Management and governance


4. Priority areas for 2008


Annex A: Budget and expenditures in 2007 Annex B: List of publications Annex C: Platform chronicles 2003-2007 Annex D: Platform governance charter

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Aid effectiveness African Partnership Forum Agriculture and rural development African Union Commission Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme Code of conduct Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Civil society organisations Development Assistance Committee Accra High Level Forum 3, September 2008 Headquarters International Food Policy Research institute International Support Group Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nicaragua Millennium Development Goal Monitoring and evaluation New Partnership for Africas Development Official development assistance Overseas Development Institute Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Programme-based approach Paris Declaration Global Donor Platform for Rural Development Partnership Platform of CAADP Regional Unit for Technical Assistance in Central America Steering Committee Sector-wide approach World Banks annual World Development Report



2007 has been an important year for further consolidating and expanding the Platforms scope of work. In order to advocate the importance of agriculture in reducing rural poverty and hunger, and to highlight the need to make our work more effective, we have successfully positioned ourselves during a series of international events throughout the year. As co-organiser with Germany and the European Commission, we used the European Forum not only to launch our work on the code of conduct, but also to successfully integrate policy issues into our rural sector efforts. We also actively participated in the preparations of the World Development Report 2008, which framed the discussions during our General Assembly in December. Since the Platform launch in 2004, our activities have been geared towards developing a code of conduct, which advises stakeholders on key principles for greater aid effectiveness in the rural sector. Experiences and lessons learned at country and headquarters level have been translated into the Platform cornerstones and joint principles. In particular, the joint principles for enhancing aid effectiveness in agriculture and rural development programmes were launched and debated during the European Rural Forum on Sustainable Rural Development in Berlin. The commitment of our Focal Points as active advocates speaking at events has allowed increased recognition of the Platforms goals and is a major success factor in our work. This increased recognition has been expressed in speeches linked with various events, for example the FAO World Food Day 2007. At the same time, we are evolving as a learning network, aiming to adhere to the Paris Declaration by conducting joint assessments. We still find global coordination of our field representatives a task which deserves further attention, but our joint identification of knowledge gaps has led to a series of analyses to support us in our work. We have launched the first Platform policy brief, as a logical sequel to our Platform Hot Topics of 2006. We also finalised our study on sector-wide approaches, an important piece of work advancing knowledge about sector-wide programmes in agriculture.


We have widened the scope of our work from the national to the regional level. We successfully strengthened the communication and coordination of development partners involved in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). An important milestone was the coordinated support of the Agriculture Progress Report of the Africa Partnership Forum (APF) and the Second CAADP Partnership Platform. With regard to network development, we have made further steps towards strategic planning and results-based management. Our Steering Committee retreat in Poggiovalle provided the basis for enhanced forward-looking planning. This was taken up by the Platform external evaluation at the end of the year. Strategic agreements for 2008 and beyond include focusing advocacy activities on the Accra High Level Forum in September 2008 and taking stock of our current engagements at country level. Last but not least, we have amended the Platform Governance Charter to reflect the changing international development agenda and the increased interest of our membership in shaping the future of the Platform. Membership is now open to foundations and other non-traditional donors. A Board of all paying members has been created while the Steering Committee provides for day-to-day business decisions. The Annual Meeting at the end of the year brought our membership together to discuss how we can keep agriculture on the international development agenda. While we did not come to a joint understanding of the joint principles, we did however agree that the Paris Declaration needs amendment in our sector. I am looking forward to serving another term as Chair of the Platform after the election in December, now with the newly elected Vice Chair, Brian Baldwin.

Christoph Kohlmeyer Platform Chairman


In 2000, world leaders agreed to free the world from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty. They identified the reduction of poverty and hunger as the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG): to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day and the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. In 2007, with only eight years to go until the target date, 900 million individuals still live on less than $1 a day, 815 million people are estimated to be chronically food-insecure and a further 5-10 per cent of the population are at risk from acute food insecurity [1]. Most of these poor people depend directly or indirectly on farming for their livelihoods (in Africa this figure amounts to 80 per cent), which underpins the importance of agriculture for development. International challenges lie not only in lifting the poor out of poverty, but also in feeding an ever-growing global population and fighting under-nourishment in the developing world. Factors such as climate change, environmental degradation and higher energy prices present additional challenges to meeting the worlds food needs. To meet projected food demand, cereal production must increase by nearly 50 per cent from 2000 to 2030, and meat production by 120 per cent[2]. Increasing demand for agricultural feedstocks and biofuels are threatening to push up world food prices even more. Despite being aware of these figures, the international consensus on how to reduce rural poverty remains fragmented and risks failing to meet the MDGs. In order to succeed in the fight against poverty and chronic and acute food insecurity, donors must address inconsistencies in development policies, and allocate more resources to increase efficiency. At the same time, they should recognise that ownership of the development process lies with partner countries. As a response to these challenges, the global development aid system is undergoing significant changes, both in terms of volume as well as architecture. On the one hand, there is growing global commitment to meeting the international development aid target of allocating 0.7 per cent of GNP to official development assistance (ODA). At the same time, there is a recognised need for partner-country ownership and leadership, harmonisation and alignment, and mutual accountability, as expressed in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, 2005. Increasingly, global attention is focusing on the need to establish how donors can cooperate to make investments more effective. This rationale, and the aid effectiveness agenda led by the OECDs Development Assistance Committee (DAC), particularly in the Paris Declaration, led to a donor consultation meeting held in Rome in June 2002. This was followed by a further meeting in Montpellier, France. Then, in Washington, DC in 2004, like-minded donors, both private and public, including development agencies and multilateral organisations, and international financial institutions created the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development.

[1] Source: The World Bank, World Development Report 2008 [2] FAOSTAT 2006


The Platform is a joint initiative of the international donor community and development organisations. The member organisations of the Platform work together in solidarity towards their common goal: to reduce rural poverty in developing countries through increased cooperation and collaboration. In so doing, every Platform member is regarded as equal, irrespective of available resources, human and financial. To this end, the Platform pursues its objective along three main outputs: G Output 1: Advocacy and outreach The members of the Platform serve as advocates for the needs of the rural poor and the agriculture agenda, internationally, regionally and nationally. This includes contributing to policy debates and highlighting the relevance of rural development and agriculture within the context of the MDGs. G Output 2: Knowledge management and innovation The members of the Platform seek to enhance the quality and impact of rural development investments through shared learning and the recognition of best practices. They aim to do this through networking, collating and disseminating knowledge and innovations, and by undertaking joint training sessions, studies, missions and policy briefings. G Output 3: Aid effectiveness The members of the Platform collaborate to refine aid effectiveness principles for agriculture and rural development programmes. Through debates, they agree on common principles, which are disseminated and applied internationally, regionally and nationally. This application includes joint efforts to support national agriculture and rural strategies, to harmonise procedures and practices in the context of OECDDAC donor alignment efforts, to utilise national systems, and to strengthen the impact assessment of strategies and investments.

1.1. Structure and membership

The Platform network consists of 30 members and 7 partners. 21 out of 30 are associate members and 9 are full members and form the Board. According to the Platforms new charter, the central decision-making body is the Board. This is headed by the Platform Chair Christoph Kohlmeyer (BMZ) and consists of the Focal Points of all full members. Full members are members contributing financially to the Platform. As of 2007 December, the Board members were the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID), the European Commission Directorate-General for Development (EC-DG DEV), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MFA-F), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the United States Agency for International Cooperation (USAID) and the World Bank (WB).


The Board meets at least once a year to consider the long-term strategy of the Platform. It approves its annual budget and the annual work plan. The day-to-day supervision and guidance of the Platform Secretariat is the responsibility of the Steering Committee consisting of the Platform Vice-Chair and five Board members who are elected ad personam by the Board for a three-year period. In December 2007 the Board elected Mushtaq Ahmed (CIDA), John Barrett (DFID), Marc Debois (EC-DG DEV), Florence Lasbenne (MFAF), Nwanze Okidegbe (WB), and Mike Wales (FAO IC) as SC members. The Secretariat is the central management unit of the Platform and is currently hosted by Germany, within the BMZ in Bonn, and is managed by the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ).










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1.2. Platform members in 2007

Asian Development Bank (ADB) Austrian Development Agency (ADA) Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGDC) Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)* Department for International Development UK (DFID)* European Commission Directorate General for Development (EC-DG DEV)* Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany (BMZ)* Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) French Development Agency (AFD) German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) Global Mechanism of UNCCD (GM) Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)* Irish Aid (IA) KfW Entwicklungsbank (KfW) Ministry of Finance and Economy, Italy Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Austria Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, France* Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Luxemburg Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)* The World Bank (WB)* United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) United States Agency for International Development (USAID)*

PARTNERS: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Natural Resources Institute (NRI) Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Regional Unit for Technical Assistance in Agriculture (RUTA) World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) Livelihoods Connect / Institute of Development Studies (IDS) Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) Neuchtel Initiative (NI)
* Full members


2. ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2007 2.1. Advocacy and outreach

Throughout 2007, the Platform has used a series of advocacy and outreach activities to highlight that more effective investments in agriculture and rural development are needed to achieve the MDGs. The Platform Focal Points were active participants in more than a dozen conferences advocating such investments. Furthermore, the Platform contributed intensively to policy debates around agriculture and aid effectiveness in the context of the Paris Declaration. This was achieved through its own well-attended events, outreach via member organisations, Platform publications and news items in the form of newsletters and web news. 2.1.1. Platform events and input to key international conferences With the support of the Secretariat, Platform members co-organised advocacy events to ensure that the Platforms issues were well placed in international debates. One of the highlights of this year was the Second European Forum on Sustainable Rural Development, held in Berlin in June. The European Forum on Sustainable Rural Development covered five general themes: 1. Rural livelihoods in the face of globalisation 2. Environmental issues in rural development 3. Economic and political reforms required to support rural development in Africa 4. Regional integration in Africa and its implications for rural development 5. Aid effectiveness (AE), harmonisation and alignment.

As co-organiser, the Platform ensured that aid effectiveness was treated as a cross-cutting issue in all working sessions and in separate working groups. The three Platform-designed panel discussions addressed specific challenges in the AE agenda. These included the sector-wide approach in agriculture and rural development (ARD), aligning donor assistance to national strategies, and current trends for division of labour among donors. The stage was also used for consultations on the proposed process towards a code of conduct for effective aid management in agriculture and rural development. Two years after the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, evidence of its impact on development practice in ARD is still hard to find. However, the European Forum offered some early clues. The event demonstrated that although donors have made efforts to mainstream AE principles into sector work, it is still too early to judge their impact on development practice in ARD. Donor organisations and partner governments need more time to change their approaches from traditional project implementation towards more harmonised, country-led programmes.


In this regard, it is essential to develop clear institutional and individual incentives and corporate guidelines to facilitate the change from doing business as usual to doing business according to the aid effectiveness principles of the Paris Declaration. The joint donor principles, presented at the forum, demonstrate how the Platform members intend to enhance the effectiveness of ARD programmes. 2.1.2. Outreach in member organisations In 2007, the Platform held information seminars, hosted by its member organisations, as a means of boosting recognition of the initiative and supporting the work of its Focal Points. Visits were paid to headquarters of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), the Department for International Development, UK (DFID), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). Each visit was unique in enlarging the Platforms operational field and developing its strategic direction further. For example, the visit to DFID brought the Platform into dialogue with the AU Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, Rosebud Kurwijila. She welcomed the initiative and expressed the need for more and better donor harmonisation to support agriculture in Africa. Diane Vincent, the Executive Vice President of CIDA, invited the Platform to work together with CIDA on a tracer study on civil society and aid effectiveness in ARD. This study forms part of the preparatory process for the Accra High Level Forum (HLF 3) on Aid Effectiveness, 2008. This first contact has gone further, with the launch of a joint initiative to include ARD civil society organisations in the preparatory stages of Accra HLF , eventually giving producers a voice at the HLF itself (see 2.1.4 for details). During the Africa Green Revolution Conference held in September in Oslo, Platform Steering Committee member Marc Debois and the Platform Secretariat were invited to Norads headquarters. The event provided a great opportunity for Norads new Focal Point, Michael Angstreich, to get an update on the scope of the Platforms activities. A second lunch seminar was hosted by the Platforms then Co-Chair, Mike Wales, at the FAO headquarters in Rome. Nearly 60 participants from different Rome-based agencies attended the meeting. The discussions focused on the complementary elements of FAOs mandate to achieve food security and the Platforms mission to facilitate greater and more effective investments in agriculture and rural development. 2.1.3. Active participation at international events Platform Focal Points and Secretariat members actively participated in the following events, advocating the role of agriculture in reducing rural poverty and the implementation of Paris Declaration principles in the ARD sector.


G Value Chains for Broad-Based Development, Berlin, May This event was attended by the Platform Secretariats Sonja Bartelt and Christoph Langenkamp, who presented the objectives and activities of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development. The conference was organised by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in order to share lessons learned on value chains in development cooperation. It provided a useful opportunity for networking with a view to enabling the Platform to prepare a Hot Topic publication on this subject. The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, a network of bilateral and multilateral agencies working on promoting small enterprise development in developing countries, has expressed interest in collaborating with the Platform in order to build on its wide outreach and experience. G Widening Markets and Overcoming Supply-side Constraints for African Agriculture, Lusaka, June The International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council, in partnership with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture, and the US-based Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa hosted an international seminar on strengthening and widening markets, and overcoming supplyside constraints for African agriculture. The seminar convened farm policy and private-sector leaders, trade experts, academics and the donor community. It addressed ways of improving the competitiveness of African agricultural markets, and the continent's ability to trade locally, regionally and globally. Christoph Kohlmeyer (Platform Chair) presented the work of the Platform and discussed possible partnership opportunities. Christophs participation and the presentation of the Platform objectives helped boost the good reputation of the Platform, adding to its appeal as a serious partner. This positively influenced our partnership with New Partnership for Africas Developments (NEPAD) Secretariat in supporting the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). G African Green Revolution Conference, Oslo, September Organised by Norad, Norfund, Yara International and Rabobank, this conference brought together the private and public sectors to catalyse an informal, action-oriented publicprivate partnership for an African green revolution. Marc Debois of the European Commission represented the Platform as panellist, discussing Where are we going rethinking resources. His participation was particularly challenging as he shared the panel with representatives from the Millennium Villages, the Rockefeller Foundation and the private sector, all of whom were somewhat critical of traditional donor approaches. He managed to address aid effectiveness points in an excellent and constructive fashion and thus positioned the Platform as an innovative and inclusive mechanism. Prior to the conference, the Platform congratulated His Excellency Kofi Annan on his appointment as Chairman of AGRA, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. It emphasised the interest of the Global Donor Platform in building a stronger partnership with AGRA and contributing jointly to an African-led, agriculture-based growth and food


security initiative. The communication was welcomed by Akin Adesina, representative of Kofi Annans office: AGRA recognizes and appreciates the work of the Global Donor Platform and the good progress made since the 2005 Paris Declaration. It will take our collective efforts to work together to lift hundreds of millions of Africans out of poverty and food insecurity. We will be very pleased to discuss with you and the other donors how we can most effectively coordinate our efforts to help Africa achieve its green revolution. G The 11th Africa Forum, September, Accra, Ghana, October The Africa Forum on Rural Development is a learning network for African planners and implementers in ARD. It is held annually in an African country and is hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture in that country. The Forum is organised by GTZ, with funding from a number of bilateral and multilateral donors. The Secretariat participated in the 11th Africa Forum and provided inputs in the discussions surrounding pan-Africa development strategies, such as CAADP. Given the importance of the forum in enhancing peer learning and review, the Secretariat was able to initiate and reinvigorate interest in establishing formal links between the Africa Forum, the New Partnership for Africas Development (NEPAD), CAADP and the Platform. G The Vision 2020 conference: Taking Action for the Worlds Poor and Hungry People, Beijing, October The Vision 2020 conference was organised by the Chinese State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development (LGOPAD) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Four hundred leading international and Chinese policy makers and thinkers from 40 countries (including 25 ministerial or vice ministerial participants) attended the meeting, providing excellent networking opportunities. Overall, about 100 scientific and policy presentations were given. Platform Co-Chair Michael Wales, as well as Christian Henckes and Christoph Langenkamp (Platform Secretariat), met with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Peoples Republic of China to discuss Chinas activities as a donor. This was the initial step in discussing common interests and inviting China to share experiences with the Platform members. The Platforms role and work is increasingly recognised at international level, as, for example, the Communiqu of the European Comission 2007 demonstrates. Donor coordination and harmonisation and alignment around CAADP will be enhanced by the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development (GDPRD), of which the EC and various Member States are members. The GDPRD will act as donor focal point on CAADP, and will assist in organising the CAADP Partnership Platform meetings. [3]

[3] Advancing African Agriculture. Proposal for continental and regional level cooperation on agricultural development in Africa, COM(2007) 440 final, Brussels, 24.7.2007


2.1.4. Civil society organisations and aid effectiveness in agriculture and rural development initiatives The important role of civil society organisations (CSOs), including producer organisations, is increasingly recognised in the international development architecture. Farmers associations, womens cooperatives and NGOs in development or advocacy are now recognised as vital to any sustainable development effort. All these groups deserve a voice in the aid effectiveness (AE) debate, not least because they contribute a huge amount of resources to supporting farmers. Our aim is to give CSOs working in agriculture and rural development a place on the High Level Forum (HLF) process, said Mushtaq Ahmed, policy advisor at CIDA, a member of the Platform Steering Committee and main leader of a Platform-commissioned study on the role of CSOs in ARD in the context of aid effectiveness. On the donor side, the advisory group on CSOs in aid effectiveness is led by CIDA. Diane Vincent, the Executive Vice President of CIDA, invited the Platform to look specifically at the role of civil society organisations and aid effectiveness in agriculture and rural development. The subsequent initiative was financed by the European Commission and managed by FAO. It will help to ensure that rural issues and CSOs get a voice at the 3rd High Level Forum (HLF 3) on Aid Effectiveness to be held in September 2008 in Accra, Ghana. The event in Accra will be the first high-level meeting in which parties will assess progress towards harmonisation and alignment since the 2005 High-Level Forum and the Paris Declaration. The CIDA-led Platform initiative organised consultations in 13 countries, namely Morocco, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Ghana, Mali, Nicaragua, Peru, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. In Ghana and Mali, the Platform cooperated with the Network of Farmers and Agricultural Producers Organisations of West Africa (ROPPA), which facilitated national consultations. This work has been summarised in a good-practice synthesis paper. This was presented and discussed at the International Forum on Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness held in Gatineau, Canada between February 3 and 6, 2008, and hosted by the Canadian Council for International Cooperation. The international forum was a preparatory event to the Accra HLF and will inform the Advisory Group on Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness of the OECD-DAC Working Party on Aid Effectiveness and Donor Practices (WP-EFF). 2.1.5. Contribution to world development report and global devlopment marketplace 2008

The World Banks annual Development Report (WDR), the most read publication in the development community, unfolds the theme Agriculture for Development in 2008. As agreed in 2006, the Platform worked closely with the editorial team of the WDR 2008, providing best practice examples of


development interventions in the field of agriculture. More than 70 best practices were gathered from various development organisations. These are now available on the Platform website as a global public good content/view/107/152. Furthermore, the Platform authored the sub-chapter on Increasing aid effectiveness for agricultural programs in chapter 11, Governance, and provided a background paper on the same topic. Norway and Germany actively supported the work of the Platform through two secondments. 2.1.6. Communications The Platform Secretariat, together with its communication adviser, has developed and implemented communication tools to improve knowledge management and dissemination of good practices among and beyond the Platform network. One of the major achievements in 2007 was the integration of Web 2.0 tools into the Platform website. Wikis for online editing of documents, and blogs for comments were introduced into the Platform website. With the help of such tools, the Platform intends to raise the transparency of its activities and offer an interactive platform for information and shared learning. The online calendar was also developed further. It is updated regularly and offers an overview of key important events. This helps to coordinate the presence of Platform Focal Points in international conferences, advocating more and better investment in agriculture, sharing experience and gaining from the knowledge of others. The redesigned Platform website offers a new section called harmonisation and alignment. This showcases lessons learned to help donors and partner-country governments apply best practice in ARD. It also supports policy practitioners by providing information useful for applying the Paris Declaration principles at a sectoral level. In addition, the news and views section gives a constant update on important ARD issues and, in a series of interviews, reflects the thoughts of prominent actors in development cooperation. The rising number of Platform publications has also helped disseminate Platform-produced global products and experiences gained by other organisations.

2.2. Shared learning and innovation

Platform members strive to increase the quality and impact of investments in rural development through shared learning, innovation and better practice. This is achieved through networking, collation and dissemination of innovation, and joint training sessions and missions. The Platform primarily understands its role to be a knowledge broker rather than a knowledge creator. Still, when appropriate, the Platform commissions and implements a limited number of joint works, including studies, which aim to produce global public goods.


2.2.1. Platform policy briefs In 2007, the Platform moved forward on the ten Hot Topics that had previously been defined. Platform members agreed to translate the hot topics into policy briefs, the first three of which have been commissioned. Policy briefs will target policy practitioners, providing a concise overview of a given thematic issue and presenting state-of-the-art case studies and, where possible, practical policy options. They will reflect common views, identify major schools of thought and specify key players. The policy briefs are living documents that will be updated annually and posted on the web as wikis. The first Platform policy brief was authored by IFPRI and entitled Mind the gap: how to improve ruralurban linkages to reduce poverty. The brief gives policy practitioners a short introduction to and recommendations on how to improve ruralurban cooperation to reduce poverty in a sustainable way. The Platform's next two policy briefs focus on aid modalities and the future of smallholder agriculture. Policy briefs are published at with a blog section for comments and a wiki section for online editing. 2.2.2. Tracking results in agriculture and rural development in less-than-ideal conditions: A sourcebook of indicators for monitoring and evaluation Having the capacity to measure results and to use that knowledge to learn what works and what does not work or how to make things work better makes monitoring and evaluation (M&E) a powerful tool for improving development processes and outcomes. To make the most of M&E, the Platform asked the World Bank to lead the preparation of an M&E sourcebook. The aim was to help standardise approaches and develop a menu of core indicators for M&E of agricultural and rural development activities. The indicators were validated at in-country workshops in Cambodia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tanzania. Ultimately, the aim is to improve the quality of monitoring at the global level, though strengthening monitoring capacity at a national level must necessarily come first. Monitoring and evaluation is intrinsically challenging, and requires a level of technical capacity that is often not available in developing countries, especially when one considers the less-than-optimal conditions in which monitoring must be carried out in the poorest countries and in post-conflict situations. The sourcebook provides guidance on how to build the capacity needed for effective M&E in developing countries. It also suggests a number of approaches for determining which indicators to select, given the different types of information that are most pertinent to various agricultural and rural activities, projects, and programmes.


Nwanze Okidegbe, Platform Focal Point at the World Bank and the study leader, presented the main findings of the rural indicators study at the Platforms Annual Meeting in December in Paris. The expected date of publication is mid 2008. 2.2.3. Rural focus of poverty reduction strategy papers A Platform-commissioned study explored the rural focus of partner countries poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs). Case studies were successfully completed in selected countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Bolivia and Cambodia) in 2007. They were peer-reviewed by the World Bank and the UK Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and validated at the country level; this was considered at the outset as a critical part of the process. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has prepared a comparative review of the five country case studies. The PRSP study started in 2006 under the leadership of IFAD and focuses mainly on the following question: What are the root-causes for the identified weaknesses in PRS processes, in particular with regard to the limited participation of rural stakeholders? A group of experts from ODI, GTZ, Norad and IFPRI is working on the synthesis of these studies which will come out in the first half 2008. Finalisation of the full package, including the country reports and synthesis, is expected in April 2008. 2.2.4. Knowledge management In addition to formal studies, which the Platform commissioned, the Secretariat has initiated and carried out video-learning events and cross-country exchanges on demand. These events helped the representatives of partner countries benefit from the Platforms experiences implementing, programme-based approaches (PBAs) and sector-wide approaches (SWAps), among others. For example, the Secretariat coordinated in March a video-learning event linking representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture in Burkina Faso and Cambodia with the Platforms national and international facilitators. Another successful cross-country exchange took place between Honduras and Nicaragua. Participants from Honduras were invited to a joint PRORURAL mission in Nicaragua to learn about the implementation of a SWAp. 2007 was a successful year for disseminating key documents among the Platform members. A large number of high quality documents informed our members about the studies and the interesting findings of other organisations, thus reducing the duplication of efforts and contributing to synergy effects.


2.3. Aid effectiveness

In 2007, the Platform widened its scope of activities from in-country facilitation to work on refining aid effectiveness principles for the agricultural sector as an input to the Accra HLF and to lay the basis for further Platform initiatives. Its work included targeted analyses and a compilation of lessons learned, such as the cornerstones, aiming to support national efforts for greater harmonisation and alignment, and the first launch of the joint principles. 2.3.1. Platform analysis of aid effectiveness principles in ARD In 2005, donor nations committed to the Paris Declaration, aimed at improving the effectiveness of aid through the principles of ownership, alignment, harmonisation, managing for results, and mutual accountability. These principles of the Paris Declaration need to be applied and adapted to the characteristics of each sector. While in other sectors like health and education, the application of the general principles of the Paris Declaration has worked well, the rural sector has proven to be less responsive. However, ARDs crucial role in poverty reduction and its importance for many developing country economies underlines its relevance in the development strategies of most partner countries. The four-page publication Cornerstones for effective agriculture and rural development programmes under a programme-based approach (PBA) was the first effort to summarise the lessons derived from practical experience in the preparation and implementation of PBAs in ARD. This well-structured brief pamphlet will serve as a practical tool in facilitating the transition from donor project aid to harmonised and government-led approaches following OECD-DAC guidelines for aid effectiveness. Based on this publication and its valuable experiences from in-country facilitation, the Platform produced Joint principles for enhancing aid effectiveness in agriculture and rural development programmes. The first draft of this publication was launched at the European Forum on Sustainable Rural Development, held in Berlin in 2007. The principles capitalise on lessons learned from the Platforms interventions and support at country and headquarters level over the last four years. They aim to assess the basic conditions for successful and effective ARD programmes and to translate these into practical operational guidelines for the staff of funding organisations[4]. Members of the Platform believe that adherence to the joint principles for aid effectiveness in ARD will help donors and partners alike to achieve improved donor coordination, fostering more effective outputs from ARD programmes, with the ultimate objective of reducing rural poverty. An inter-institutional task force has since been charged to further develop and refine the principles, which will lead to a donors code of conduct (CoC). The CoC task force, composed of headquarters and field country representatives, presented the concept of the CoC and its preparation process at the Platform Annual Meeting in

[4] See background material: Kohlmeyer/ Harvey Improved donor coordination for rural development 2004


Paris, on December 12th and 13th. At this meeting, the Platform decided to continue the process of formulating joint principles well into 2008. This will capitalise on the ongoing synthesis of Platform studies and experiences and enables the mapping of these principles against the 12 indicators of the Paris Declaration. The joint principles will be more ARD-specific and will be based on the broad institutional experiences of Platform members. In addition, the Platform has strengthened its contact with the aid effectiveness (AE) units of member organisations, e.g. with DFIDs aid effectiveness team in April, improving its analytical competence on hotly debated AE issues. In dialogue with AE experts, the Platform identified areas where it can provide added value and support its members in translating the AE agenda into practice in the ARD sector. 2.3.2. Formulating and implementing sector-wide approaches in agriculture and rural development Sector-wide approaches (SWAps) have been an important part of the global effort to deliver sustainable development results for more than a decade. However, they are still relatively new in agriculture and rural development. A Platform-commissioned study has took a first look at some of the ways in which SWAps and SWAp-type approaches are evolving in ARD. The study includes case studies from seven countries, with in-depth information available for three of them: Mozambique, Tanzania and Nicaragua. The study assesses the extent to which sector approaches are achieving their aims. It analyses intended trajectories of change and indicates key lessons for the next phase. Platform members have shared their institutional experience of SWAps in ARD and commented on the report's results and recommendations. The comments show that there is still no clear consensus on the vision of SWAps in ARD. These comments, together with the findings of the study, provide the basis for further Platform-facilitated discussions among donors and partner governments on how to plan, implement and monitor SWAps in ARD. The recommendations will also feed into the joint principles for enhancing aid effectiveness in agriculture and rural development programmes. The SWAp synthesis study was published in December 2007 and is also available in French and Spanish. The three country studies were also finalised and published in English, for Mozambique and Tanzania, and Spanish for Nicaragua, with an executive summary in English.


2.3.3. Country activities Through its facilitation service and technical advice, the Platform has continued to provide support for national efforts towards greater harmonisation, alignment and collaboration. During the Steering Committee meeting in Italy, in September, the decision was taken to meaningfully end the in-country facilitation service and harvest the experiences to-date. G In Cambodia: A national facilitator joined the Platform team in December 2006. Piseth Long, together with the International Facilitator, Klaus Talvela, supports the Technical Working Group on Land. Among other services, the Platform team facilitated the drafting of Partnership principles in the land sector; which are about to be signed by donors and the government. Since early 2006, at the request of the Royal Cambodian Government and the donor community, the Platform has provided a facilitation service to develop a programme-based approach (PBA) in support of Cambodias land agenda. Following the decision to withdraw from national facilitation services, a process has been launched to hand over the facilitation services to a body in Cambodia. This was communicated to stakeholders in Cambodia during a Platform mission in October. The objective is to finally hand over in August 2008, when the first public draft of the White Paper on Land will be available. G In Nicaragua: Since mid-2005, at the request of the Nicaraguan government and the local donor coordination group, the Platform has supported national efforts to foster the harmonisation and alignment agenda in Nicaragua. Araceli Jimenez (National Facilitator) and Richard Anson (International Facilitator), together with the donor group of the productive sector, facilitated the transfer of the national PRORURAL programme (Nicaragua's SWAp for the rural productive sector) to the new government. The new officials are committed to continuing the agenda towards improved ownership, harmonisation and alignment. In October, the Platforms facilitation team, together with Sonja Bartelt (Platform Secretariat Coordinator), participated in the fifth joint mission of PRORURAL in Nicaragua. The team's intent was to provide continuous facilitation in support of PRORURAL, especially through implementation of the ownership, harmonisation and alignment action plan. Current focus is on the successful transfer of PRORURAL as well as the integration of a food security component from June 2007 onwards. Successful transfer of PRORURAL is important for its further implementation at decentralised levels, including substantial reform of public sector institutions at all levels. Additionally, discussions centred on phasing out the Platform's country activities in Nicaragua in favour of greater regional support for harmonisation and alignment processes. In this respect, Platform support for national processes came to an end in December 2007.


G In Burkina Faso: Development partners in the agricultural sector have received Train4Dev training on SWAps in agriculture. At the same time, they have developed a comprehensive road map for preparing a planned agricultural SWAp. In March, the Platform held a video conference between the Burkinabe and Cambodian development partners. This facilitated the exchange of lessons learned and helped identify further collaborative activities between the Platform and the Burkina Faso development partners. G In Tanzania: Development partners involved in the Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP) participated in one of the country case studies for the Global analysis of SWAps in ARD, commissioned by the Platform and conducted by ODI. G In Vietnam: To explore the question Do partnerships contribute effectively towards aid effectiveness and application of sector-wide approaches in ARD in Vietnam?, the Platform has started monitoring coordination mechanisms in the rural sector with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. This is being done in close cooperation with the International Support Group (ISG) of MARD and SIDA. Sector-wide coordination mechanisms and approaches in MARD are at an early stage. Their introduction benefits from the experience of five Ministry-wide and sub-sector level partnership initiatives, and piloted multi-donor support to a sub-sector programme managed by the core Government of Vietnam. In addition, support structures for Ministry-level aid management have recently been established. Various new partnership, networking and strategy initiatives are also being contemplated. These include, notably, the formulation of a comprehensive Vietnam Rural Development Strategy. The Platform study aims to consolidate MARDs sector initiatives through analysis of experiences, compilation of key lessons learned, and synthesis of related policy and operational implications. This, in turn, will contribute to exploring options for effective ODA management, sector coordination mechanisms and SWAps in the context of the upcoming Vietnam Rural Development Strategy. This exercise thus aims to assist MARD and its partners in their efforts to implement the Hanoi Core Statement on aid effectiveness, harmonisation and alignment in the context of the ARD sector. By engaging in this exercise, the Platform furthermore contributes to disseminating the Vietnam experience to a global audience. The results of the exercise were presented and discussed during the Platform Annual Meeting in Paris. The expected date of the publication will be in summer 2008.


2.3.4. Collaboration with regional networks In April 2007, the Platform and the Regional Unit for Technical Assistance in Central America (RUTA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on collaborative efforts. The main objectives were to: 1. Scale up the Platforms facilitation service through RUTAs technical country units 2. Bring the Central American perspective into global Platform debates 3. Capitalise on RUTAs successful experience as a regional initiative.

2.3.5. Support to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Throughout the year, the Platform intensified its support to donor coordination in the CAADP. To back this support, Yihenew Zewdie started his work as a CAADP task leader at the Platform Secretariat. The Platform encouraged a range of organisations to feed data into the annual report on agriculture for the 9th African Partnership Forum (APF) in Algiers, November 2007. In August 2007, the Platform rallied a meeting with OECD APF Support Unit members and various stakeholders: AUC, NEPAD, the lead institutions for CAADPs Pillars I, II, II and IV, COMESA, EC, USAID, Norad, DFID and SIDA. As a result, data from programmes and initiatives newly created to support CAADP were included in the assessment section of the report. The CAADP Partnership Platform (CAADP-PP) was instituted as a means of ensuring effective monitoring of the overall progress of CAADP. The second CAADP-PP meeting took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 27th and 28th September 2007. The Platform provided initial support in the preparation of the terms of reference for the CAADP-PP and facilitated the engagement of development partner representatives. The major focus of the Platforms work in 2007, however, was to facilitate the exchange of information between African partner institutions and Platform members. The Secretariat ensured that progress reports by NEPAD, Regional Economic Communities and leading institutions were duly communicated to Platform members and other users of the Platform website. In addition, events of mutual interest to both Platform members and African institutions have been posted on the Platform website and regular telephone conferences were held.


3. MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNANCE 3.1. Governance charter

A new charter has laid the groundwork for a newly emerged Board and allows foundations to become members of the Platform. The charter stipulates in greater detail the roles and functions of the Focal Points and Platforms procedures for specific activities (see Annex D). 3.1.1. The Board The Board is the central decision-making body of the Platform and consists of the Focal Points of all full members. The responsibilities of the Board include nominating the Platform Chair and Vice-Chair and the members of the Platform Steering Committee. Main function of the Board is to consider the long-term operational strategy of the Platform, to approve the Platform annual budget and work plan, as well as to agree upon new Platform partnerships and their modalities.

3.2. Steering Committee meetings

The Platform Steering Committee (SC), composed of the Platform Vice-Chair and five Board members, met regularly via video conference to take fast and informed decisions on the ad hoc activities of the Platform. The monthly meetings enabled members of the SC and the Secretariat to discuss and react quickly to upcoming challenges and opportunities. In addition, the SC met in September in Poggiovalle, Italy, to discuss whether the Platform is sufficiently strategically positioned and organised to respond effectively to new challenges and the quickly changing development environment. Discussion centred on the value added by Platform contributions to increasing and more effective investments in ARD. The SC and the Focal Points from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), together with the Secretariat staff, examined the progress made during the last years and reflected on the future focus of this growing initiative. There was strong consensus that the Platform should seize the opportunities provided by rising investments in agriculture, actively seek new partnerships, and position itself at the interface between the formulation of ARD development policy and its implementation. One of the challenges identified was how to more actively involve the Platform Focal Points who are not members of the SC in Platform activities. Much time was also devoted to the revision of the Platform charter. The Board of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, the networks new central decision-making body, had its first meeting in Paris in December. The Platform Board comprises all full members of the Platform and decides on the budget and annual work


plan. At its first meeting, it elected the five Steering Committee members and Platform chairs: Christoph Kohlmeyer (BMZ) now serves as Chair of the Board while Michael Wales (FAO) took over as Vice-Chair of the Board and Chair of the Steering Committee. Mushtaq Ahmed (CIDA), John Barrett (DFID), Marc Debois (EC-DG DEV), Florence Lasbennes (Foreign Ministry of France), and Nwanze Okidegbe (World Bank) were elected as SC members.

3.3. Annual meeting

The 2007 Annual General Meeting of the Platform took place in Paris, France, on December 12th and 13th and was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. The meeting was well attended by senior representatives from member and associate member organisations (both bilateral and multilateral). Also, external observers participated with great interest in the discussions. The outcomes of the meeting confirm that, as the Platform goes from strength to strength, gaining enormous experience along the way, it has an important role to play in tackling rural poverty. The meeting built on and drew greatly from the World Development Report (WDR) 2008, which contends that agriculture is back on the agenda in terms of greater investment and aid. With renewed interest in ARD, the time is right for the Platform to strengthen its focus on aid effectiveness in the sector. The Platform can build on the momentum gained by the WDR roadmap by strengthening its advocacy and outreach activities as well as harvesting its experiences (through, for example, country linkages and in-country and joint studies) to share with donors, partners and others. Evolving alliances with emerging players in the field of ARD was another key topic of the meeting. Representatives from foundations, partner countries and civil society presented their approaches and expressed their views with respect to possible partnerships with the Platform. Platform engagement in CAADP and in-country processes elsewhere is greatly valued. CAADP implementation is expected to be accelerated in 2008; highlighting the need for sustained support by the Platform and others. The second day of the meeting was devoted to further refinement of the joint principles for aid effectiveness in ARD and their application.

3.4. Platform Evaluation

Three years after its creation, the Platform commissioned an independent evaluation by an external group. Universalia, a Canada-based company, won the bidding process. The overarching objective of the evaluation is to provide the Steering Committee and Platform members with a reasoned and analytical assessment of the implementation of the Platform. This will provide a basis for informed decision-making to guide the future development of the Platform.


The specific objectives of the evaluation are to assess: i) the Platforms continued relevance to its key stakeholders and within the international development community; ii) the added value the Platform has brought its members and target groups since its creation as well as effectiveness of the Platform as a network in carrying out its mission, and in realising planned objectives and results; and iii) the efficiency and effectiveness of the Platforms networks, processes and internal capacities in carrying out its mission. The evaluation will be formative and forward-looking, paying particular attention to identifying lessons from the past in order to inform future action. Prior to the start of the evaluation in January 2008, the evaluation team leader participated in the Platform Annual Meeting in December in Paris.

3.5. Internal review to improve gender mainstreaming in Platform activities

About 1.3 billion people depend on smallholder agriculture. And, it is estimated that the majority of small-scale farmers are women. But despite the important role women play as farmers, they own only a tiny faction of all titled land worldwide. Sustainable agricultural development, the key to lifting people out of poverty, must be consciously supported with specific gender policies. For this reason, the Platform commissioned an internal assessment to sharpen its approach in promoting gender in agriculture and rural development and to further mainstream gender into its activities. The study made recommendations as to how the Platform can reflect and present gender issues in its outreach and advocacy more effectively and be more gender-specific in its shared learning. One block of recommendations focused on integrating gender equality as a guiding principle into the Platform governance structures. The study emphasised that it is important for the SC and Board to take ownership of gender issues and make gender equality a key cross-cutting priority in the Platforms long and short term strategic planning. This include the integration of gender issues in key internal documents like the Governance Charter, but also to mainstream it into relevant work tasks of the Platform. This includes a provision to address gender comprehensively in the Terms of References of any new study or paper commissioned by the Platform. Making gender a point in its communications strategy and Platform Speaking would be a helpful start. Last but not least, the Platform is advised to intensify its partnerships with gender institutions or gender units of its member organisations to strengthen its capacity.

3.6. Secretariat
The Secretariat is the central management unit of the Platform, and serves as the hub for relations with its members and external partners. The Secretariats work focuses mainly on serving and supporting the Platforms operations and on ensuring financial and institutional stability. It also actively explores strategic partnerships to complement the work of the Platform. It guides and supports Platform activities, with thorough analysis of and advice on aid effectiveness, knowledge management and innovation, CAADP, and rural development and agricultural policies.


The increasing scope of activities has resulted in a growth of personnel for the Secretariat. The Secretariat now consists of five full-time and one part-time staff members, and is supported by consultants on specific tasks. The Secretariat is hosted by and located within the BMZ in Bonn, Germany. Operations and management of the Secretariat and its finances are organised and provided for by GTZ.

3.7. Finances Budget and expenditures in 2007 (see annex A)

As laid out in the Charter, members may contribute to the Platform activities financially and/or in-kind by taking over tasks initiated and commissioned by the Platform. Financial contributions are handled in the Platform Trust Fund which is administered by GTZ and by the FAO-Investment Centre. The funding includes untied core-funding and funds allocated to specific activities. All budget allocations for activities are managed by the Secretariat in accordance with the work plan endorsed by the Steering Committee. The projected budget for planned Platform activities in 2007 amounted to 2,33 Mio Euro while the actual Platform expenditure in 2007 totalled 1,89 Euro. This expenditure signifies an increase of 42% to the previous year. This increase is mainly based on the expanding scope and depth of Platform-led activities. Specific focus was put on the Platforms advocacy role (150% increase) and the analytics underpinning the inclusion of non-state actors in agricultural programs with a view to increase effectiveness and efficiency of interventions (CSO study). The available financial budget amounted to a total of of 2,2 Mio Euro, composed of available financial resources in the FAO Investment Centre totalling 1 Mio Euro, including 630,000 Euro rest balance from 2005 and 2006, and available financial resources in the Platform Trust Fund totalling 1,14 Mio Euro which includes a rest balance of 145,411 Euro from 2006. Untied financial contributions to the Platform totalled 1,4 Mio Euro in 2007 and were provided by the European Commission via a facility held in the FAO Investment Centre while the Swiss Development Cooperation, the World Bank, the BMZ, CIDA, DFID, France and USAID through a World Bank Trust Fund directly transferred funds to the Platform Trust Fund. This signifies an increase of contributions of 14%. In-kind contributions to the Platform included joint support from IFAD, NORAD and GTZ to the Platform-commissioned study Rural Focus of PRSPs while the Platform support to World Development Report 2008 continued in the first half of 2007 through a BMZ-paid Junior Professional Officer acting as WDR liaison and the secondment of a senior part-time advisor from NORAD. These in-kind contributions totalled 90,000 Euro. Additionally, USAID contributed in-kind 35,000 Euro ($50,000) through IFPRI, which were used to publish the first Platform Policy Brief. The World Banks in-kind contribution to the indicator study totalled 31,000 Euro ($44,000). Total monetarised in-kind contributions totalled 168,273 Euro, signifying a 50% decrease from 2006. Finally, the BMZ provides in-kind support with two fully equipped offices and their running costs for the Secretariat, additional to its financial annual contribution. In total, in-kind and financial contributions to the Platform in 2007 amounted to 1,577,498 Euro.



Following the board meeting in Paris 2007 and in line with its Charter and expected outputs, the Board decided on its priorities for 2008:

1. Harvest and disseminate the lessons learned: Compile a synthesis of lessons learned with a view to using this to refine Platform products, such as the joint principles, as well as to better focus, plan and implement its output. Thus, the Platform will increase its impact and advance debate. 2. CAADP: There is need to organise the sharing of information in a more coherent manner, providing a link between the Platform Focal Points (ARD divisions) and the CAADP (Africa) group. The Platform should clarify the status of the CAADP group as a Task Force within the organisation and develop clear milestones and work plans for Platform CAADP activities. 3. Continue to advocate for the needs of the rural poor and Platform issues at relevant international events: Key events in 2008 are the HLF 3 in Accra, the finance conference in Doha and rounds of talks approaching the G8 Summit. 4. Strategic alliances: The Platform needs to pursue strategic alliances with new players in the international aid architecture in order to reach its objective of reducing rural poverty. These players include foundations, private sector companies and CSOs, as well as thematic areas like climate change and water. 5. Advocacy plan: The Platform will focus on the development of an advocacy plan, which will include specific messages for target groups. 6. Action plan on the way to Accra: The Platform should develop an action plan for getting to Accra and outline necessary steps on the way, primarily the post-Ottawa CSO workshop. 7. Revisiting the Hot Topics: The Platform Hot Topics will be revisited with a view to updating themes. 8. Refine joint principles for more effective ARD programmes: The Platform will refine its joint principles and map them against Paris Declaration indicators. 9. Results-based planning workshop for the Board: It was agreed to advance strategic planning for the Platform, defining medium-term results based on strategic goals.


Annex A: Planned budget and expenditures by endorsed activities of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development in 2007
OUTPUT 1: ADVOCACY AND OUTREACH International Conferences 2nd European Rural Forum, Berlin Communication Strategy Short-term consultancies & travel Annual Meeting Paris Platform contribution to WDR (in-kind supported by NORAD and BMZ/GTZ) Layout & print jobs Website update Sub total (I) OUTPUT 1 OUTPUT 2: KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND INNOVATION Joint Policy Briefs Indicator study (in-kind by WB and FAO Facility) Rural Focus of PRSP study, 5 countries (in-kind supported by IFAD, NORAD, GTZ) Sub-total (II) OUTPUT 2 OUTPUT 3: Aid Effectiveness Nicaragua Endorsed country programme Vietnam Joint study Cambodia Endorsed country programme CSO study (led by CIDA) FAO Facility SWAp study (FAO Facility) Sub total (III) OUTPUT 3 DONORPLATFORM MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNANCE Management staff costs Secretariat Co-ordinator Task Leader Aid Effectiveness (70%) Task Leader ARD Policy (7 months) Task Leader CAADP + regional activities Junior Professional Officer Platform Interns Finance Administrator (50%) Platform Business Meetings Steinfurt, Poggiovalle Running costs Office rent, communication Travels of Platform staff Tickets and travel costs Procurement Office equipment (server, computer etc.) Sub total (IV) Management and Governance Overheads (13% ) Total estimated budget and expenditures of the Platform in 2007

Planned Budget


Exp. in % of Planned Budget

326.813 107.000 20.000 116.000 50.000 36.000 655.813

214.278 49.603 19.545 90.000 51.253 36.083 460.762

66% 46% 98% 78% 103% 100% 70%

40.000 200.558 12.000 252.558

34.819 213.752 12.813 261.384

87% 107% 107% 103%

140.000 30.000 115.000 470.059 55.000 810.059

89.842 28.255 112.370 390.020 60.631 681.117

64% 94% 98% 83% 110% 84%

90.000 45.000 60.000 45.000 60.000 10.000 72.000 12.000 18.000 50.000 16.000 478.000 126.880 2.323.310

58.089 37.493 57.702 24.384 34.181 8.161 74.749 11.128 20.101 49.112 15.412 390.512 101.070 1.894.846

65% 83% 96% 54% 57% 82% 104% 93% 112% 98% 96% 82% 80% 82%


Table 2: Management of resources and expenditures

Available Budget Available budget in FAO Investment Center (IC) Available budget in Platform Trust Fund (PTF) Expenditures coordinated by IFAD PRSP study USAID in-kind contribution WB in-kind contribution indicator study NORAD WDR in-kind contribution BMZ/GTZ WDR in-kind contribution Available budget and total expenditures 1.014.370 1.144.636 12.813 34.819 30.641 30.000 60.000 2.327.279 Expenditure 848.040 878.534 12.813 34.819 30.641 30.000 60.000 1.894.846 Balance 166.330 266.102 0 0 0 0 0 432.433

Table 3: Financial and monetarised in-kind member contributions to the Platform 2007
FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS (EURO) European Commission through FAO Investment Center Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) USAID through WB Trust Fund DFID MAE France World Bank BMZ GTZ CIDA Total financial contributions IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS (EURO) IFAD contribution (Rural Focus of PRSPs) USAID contribution WB contribution (indicator study) NORAD contribution (WDR support) BMZ/GTZ contribution (WDR support) Total value in-kind contributions 410.000 50.000 107.327 203.891 80.000 153.602 305.000 99.405 1.409.225 12.813 34.819 30.641 30.000 60.000 168.273

Total Platform contributions 2007




Formulating and Implementing Sector-wide Approaches in Agriculture and Rural Development: A Synthesis Report, Donor Platform, (76 pages), December 2007, (also available in Spanish and French) Formulacin e Implementacin de ESAs para A&DR: El Programa Sectorial de Desarrollo Rural Productivo (PRORURAL), Nicaragua, Donor Platform (44 pages), December 2007 (a short summary is available in English) Formulating and Implementing SWAps in A&RD: The Agriculture Sector Development Programme (ASDP), Tanzania, Donor Platform (34 pages), December 2007 Formulating and Implementing SWAps in A&RD: The National Programme of Agrarian Development (PROAGRI), Mozambique, Donor Platform (56 pages), December 2007 Platform Policy Brief No. 1: Mind the Gap: How to Improve Ruralurban Linkages and Reduce Poverty, November 2007 Cornerstones for Effective Agriculture & Rural Development Programmes under a Programme-based Approach, Background Note, Donor Platform (4 pages), June 2007 Joint Donor Concept on Rural Development, Donor Platform (26 pages), November 2006 Hot Topics Platform Consensus on Rural Development Issues of Global Significance in 2006, Working Paper, Donor Platform (14 pages), November 2006 Platform Speaking, Interview Series, Donor Platform (49 pages), November 2006 Operational Guidelines for the Platforms Facilitation Service, (18 pages), Donor Platform, October 2006 SWAps in Agriculture and Rural Development, Desk Review, Donor Platform, FAO, IDS, ODI (40 pages), April 2006


Targeting Rural Poverty to Achieve Millennium Development Goal 1, Advocacy Pamphlet, Donor Platform, September 2005 The Role of Agriculture and Rural Development in Achieving the MDGs - A Joint Donor Narrative, Donor Platform (50 pages), September 2005 Assessment Study on Harmonisation and Alignment in Rural Development in Four Pilot Countries, Working Paper (88 pages), Donor Platform, March 2005 Improving Donor Collaboration for Rural Development, Background Note, Donor Platform, March 2004

Please see our website for full documents



DECEMBER: 1st Meeting to establish the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, Bonn, Germany Theme: Setting agenda and objectives

MARCH: Rural Week 2004, World Bank, Washington DC Theme: Introducing the Platform JUNE: 2nd Platform Meeting, Paris, France Theme: Establishing a Work Plan DECEMBER: 3rd Platform Meeting, Bonn, Germany Theme: Selection of four Platform pilot countries: Cambodia, Tanzania, Nicaragua and Burkina Faso

FEBRUARY: Implementation of four assessment studies: Harmonisation and alignment in rural development in four pilot countries MARCH: Rural Week 2005, World Bank, Washington DC Presentation: The state of play in donor harmonisation and alignment in rural development APRIL: 4th Platform Meeting, Washington DC Theme: An action plan for Platform support to in-country harmonisation and alignment efforts in the four pilot countries JUNE: 5th Platform Meeting, Paris, France Theme: Endorsement of the Platform governance charter and creation of the Steering Committee (SC) SEPTEMBER: 1st Meeting of the Platform Steering Committee, Ottawa, Canada: Action plan for upcoming Platform publications: The Rural Focus of PRSPs, Current Modes of Delivery in the Rural Sector; Outline for a Joint Donor Rural Concept (JDRC)

JANUARY: Discussion and development of a communications strategy by the Steering Committee; Roundtable meeting on sector-wide approaches (SWAps), Managua, Nicaragua


MARCH: Kick-off workshop on programme-based approaches (PBAs), Burkina Faso; 1st visit of the Platforms International Facilitator to Cambodia APRIL: Annual General Meeting, Brussels Theme: Assessment of progress and strategic direction SEPTEMBER: Publication of the Joint Donor Rural Concept (JDRC), Hot Topics and operational guidelines for the facilitation service; start of SWAp study, phase II; Platform-sponsored study trip to Nicaragua by Honduran rural development experts NOVEMBER: Platform-convened Donor Consultation Workshop on the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), Geneva Theme: Devising ways and means to support the CAADP Framework DECEMBER: Platform General Meeting and Donor Consultation Workshop on the World Development Report 2008, Washington DC Theme: Progress of Platform activities, lessons learned, new initiatives and innovative projects

MARCH: Facilitation of the formulation and implementation of partnership principles in the land sector in Cambodia MARCH AUGUST: Contribution to the 11th chapter of the World Banks World Development Report (WDR) 2008 Agriculture for Development APRIL: Signing of Memorandum of Understanding on collaborative efforts with the Regional Unit for Technical Assistance in Central America (RUTA) JUNE: The Second European Forum on Sustainable Rural Development in Berlin Platform launch of the Joint principles for enhancing aid effectiveness in agriculture and rural development programmes SEPTEMBER: Platform Steering Committee Retreat, Pogiovalle, Italy Theme: Progress review, strategic planning, charter review OCTOBER: Review of the Platform facilitation service in Cambodia and Nicaragua DECEMBER: End of the second phase of the Platform facilitation service in Nicaragua DECEMBER: Platform Annual General Meeting and first Board meeting, Paris, France Theme: Agriculture is back on the agenda, seizing the opportunity. Election of the Steering Committee and Chairs




There is consensus among international development partners that national and global poverty reduction targets will not be met unless rural poverty is reduced. In this respect, many of these partners have recently taken stock of their experiences and redefined their approaches and commitments to poverty reduction and economic growth. An understanding of what it takes to meet the needs of the rural poor has never been closer. The global agreement on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other internationally-agreed development goals the core principles underlying the Comprehensive Development Framework and those implicit in the PRSP (Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers) processes stress the need for consensus to be reached between the international donor community and partner countries and for the adoption of mutually-agreed processes and a common agenda for development. These are essential for both effective rural and national development. Another prerequisite for sustained and effective development is to reduce duplication and overlap of effort. Despite their growing consensus, the international donor community still exhibit differences as to the policies, strategic directions and approaches to be put in place, as well as to the content of interventions and institutional arrangements that are required to achieve lasting impact. Furthermore, each donor organisation offers different strengths and demonstrates different limitations. Effective and systematic lesson-learning between donor organisations and consensus among stakeholders on what works well in rural development and what does not is generally not in place. A common understanding by the international donor community and partner countries of the most effective development approaches is still being sought. While there is general agreement that the focus of collaboration will be at the country level, advocacy and lesson-sharing at this level is not enough. Experience with strategic policy issues and lessons learned in national-level processes must be effectively linked to the efforts at regional and global levels, in order to deliver the intended outcomes in rural poverty reduction. Guided by this rationale, and in light of the aid effectiveness agenda led by OECD/DAC, in particular the Paris Declaration, like-minded donors, both private and public, development agencies and multilateral organisations including international financial institutions, created the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development in 2004. This was preceded by a donor consultation meeting held in Rome in June 2002 as well as further meetings in Montpellier, France, and Washington, DC.







The Platform is a joint initiative of the international donor community and multiand bilateral organisations. The member organisations of the Platform work together in solidarity towards their common goal to reduce rural poverty in developing countries through increased cooperation and collaboration. In doing so, every Platform member is regarded as equal, irrespective of available resources, whether human or financial.

II. Objective and Outputs


The ultimate objective of the Platform is to reduce poverty in developing countries and enhance sustainable economic growth in rural areas through improved cooperation and collaboration between international development partners and coordinated dialogue with partner countries. Members agree that Platform objectives should remain practical and feasible. The specific outputs that the Platform endeavours to achieve include:

Output 1: Advocacy and Outreach


The members of the Platform serve as advocates for the needs of the rural poor and the agriculture agenda at the international, regional and country level. This includes contributing to policy debates and highlighting the relevance of rural development and agriculture within the context of the MDGs.

Output 2: Knowledge Management and Innovation


The members of the Platform seek to enhance the quality and impact of rural development investments through shared learning and the recognition of best practices, both through networking and the collation and dissemination of innovations, and by undertaking joint training sessions and missions.

Output 3: Aid Effectiveness


The members of the Platform join in collaborative efforts to refine aid effectiveness principles for agriculture and rural development programmes by means of further debates, agreement on common principles and the dissemination and application thereof at the international, regional and country level. This includes joint efforts to support national agriculture and rural strategies, harmonising procedures and practices in the context of OECD/DAC donor alignment efforts, utilising national systems, and strengthening the assessment of the impact of strategies and investments.


III. Governance and Organisational Structure Membership


Membership in the Platform is voluntary and open to donor countries and development agencies, multilateral organisations including international financial institutions, and foundations. Membership is composed of Full Members and Associate Members. Full Members are members contributing a minimum of 50,000 Euros per year. Full Members will receive all services of the Platform without additional cost and can serve as task leaders for specific activities. They are invited to the Annual Meetings of the Platform. Each Full Member has one seat in the Board which determines the Platforms strategic direction (see The Board, Articles 1923). In the case of bilateral organisations, only one Full Member organisation per country can have a seat in the Board. Associate Members are members that do not contribute financially to the Platform, or contribute less than 50,000 Euros per year. Associate Members are invited to the Annual Meetings and are welcome to collaborate in specific thematic areas or activities. Associate Members do not have a seat on the Board but otherwise benefit from the full range of Platform services. All members endorse the mission and objectives of the Platform, contribute actively and regularly to its activities and outputs, and adopt this Charter, including its principles of working together, as laid down in Annex 1 to this Charter. Focal Points: All Members (Full and Associate) nominate one representative, known as a Focal Point, together with an alternate, who serves as the official contact person between the Platform and the respective member organisation and represents the member at Platform meetings. The role of the Focal Points is defined in the Terms of Reference adopted by the Platform (Annex 2). Most importantly, they ensure that the headquarters and field staff in their respective organisations are well-informed about Platform activities. General Assembly: All members meet once a year in the Platform General Assembly. The meeting is hosted by one member organisation on a rotational basis and supported both logistically and in terms of its content by the Platform Secretariat (see Article 31) and a General Assembly Task Force. The objectives of the General Assembly are as follows: To provide a comprehensive overview and update of Platform activities; To network and exchange knowledge of members' ongoing programmes and efforts in agriculture and rural development; To promote coherent policy approaches within member organisations;







To lift the experience made by countries in the quest for greater harmonisation and alignment to a global level; To actively comment on the work plan of the Platform for the following year. Suggestions and priorities are taken up and decided upon during the following meeting of the Platform Board (Articles 19-27).

Platform activities and joint studies are conducted on the basis of the criteria and processes laid down in Annex 3.


The Platform may enter into partnership with other platforms and networks, including other donor platforms, farmers organisations, regional or international research organisations, civil society organisations and regional networks, which share common interests with the Platform. Platform Partners engaged in parallel activities that support Platform objectives commit to implementing the vision and objectives shared by all members of the Platform. Examples of partners are the Neuchtel Group, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Regional Unit for Technical Assistance in Central America (RUTA), the New Partnership for Africas Development (NEPAD) and the European Initiative for Agricultural Research for Development (EIARD). Representatives of Platform Partners are invited to attend the Annual General Assembly, or sessions thereof, as appropriate.

The Board
The Board is the central decision-making body of the Platform and consists of the Focal Points of all Full Members.

The Board can decide by consensus to extend its membership to Associate Members that do not contribute financially to the Platform. The responsibilities of the Board include the following: To nominate, through election, the Platform Chair and Vice-Chair; To nominate, through a consensus of Board members, the members of the Platform Steering Committee (Articles 26-30); To agree upon the admission of new Platform Full Members and Associate Members; To consider the long-term operational strategy of the Platform; To approve the Platform annual budget; To approve the Platform annual work plan; To approve and amend the Platform Charter, including its Annexes. To agree on the formation of Technical Working Groups; To agree upon new Platform Partnerships and their modalities;



To approve and amend the Terms of References of the Secretariat; To approve and amend the general terms of agreement with the institution (currently GTZ) that provides the Secretariat of the Platform.

The Platform Chair and Vice-Chair and members of the Steering Committee are elected ad personam. The Board shall meet at least once a year in a Business Meeting (preferably back-to-back with the Annual General Assembly) and, unless otherwise specified, takes its decisions by a two-thirds majority vote. If agreed by consensus of all its members and on a case-to-case basis, the Board may take a decision in writing.



Platform Chair and Vice Chair


The Platform Chair and the Platform Vice-Chair are elected during a Business Meeting of the Board for a mandate of two years. One individual cannot be elected for more than two consecutive mandates in one position. The Platform Chair is also the Board Chair. The Platform Vice-Chair is also the Board Vice-Chair and the Chair of the Steering Committee.


The Steering Committee


The Steering Committee (SC) consists of the Vice-Chair of the Platform plus five Board members. The Steering Committee members are designated ad personam by the Board, for a three-year period. Two SC members are to be replaced every year. Membership of the SC will rotate among all Platform Board members. Upon request from the Platform Chair and with the support of the Secretariat, Steering Committee members may also represent the Platform in the performance of its official business. The members of the SC will conduct videoconferences (or telephoneconferences) with each other on a regular basis. Decisions of the SC are made by consensus. The responsibilities of the Steering Committee include the following: To provide day-to-day supervision of, and guidance to, the Secretariat; To review the performance of the Platform Secretariat and evaluate its impact; To help raise additional resources; To report to the Board Chair on a regular basis, and annually to the Board.







The Secretariat is the central management unit of the Platform, and serves as the hub for relations with its Full Members, Associate Members and Partners. The Secretariats work is focused mainly on serving, assisting and supporting member organisations and on ensuring financial and institutional stability. It also actively explores strategic partnerships to complement the work of the Platform. The Secretariat works under the direct supervision of the Steering Committee and reports to the Board. At present, the Secretariat is managed by the GTZ. The Secretariat operates within the annual activity and budget lines agreed by the Board each calendar year and takes all relevant decisions to move activities forward within the agreed budget, including the hiring of consultants, establishing networks and travels on Platform business. In the case of new activities that involve a financial commitment by the Platform, the Secretariat advises the SC on the purpose and scope of the activity and carries out the decision of the SC on further action. The Secretariat's key responsibilities include:


a) Governance and management Support to the main Governance bodies of the Platform - the Board, and the Steering Committee - and implementation of their decisions, bearing the primary responsibility for ensuring that Board and SC decisions are carried out; Proposing activities to implement Board decisions and preparing the terms of reference for contracted consultants who carry out work on behalf of the Platform; Providing advisory services to the Board, member organisations and partners in the area of rural development and agricultural policies, aid effectiveness and specific external initiatives, for example the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). b) Implementation and supervision of activities Guiding and supporting Platform activities, including thorough analysis and policy advice in the area of aid effectiveness, knowledge management and innovation, CAADP and rural development and agricultural policies; Screening and evaluating programme proposals as a basis for informed decision-making by the Board; Identifying international consultants, preparing their ToRs, and providing supervision and quality control of their work and its products. c) Communication and network management Establishing and maintaining an effective stream of communication with Full Members, Associate Members, Partners and the general public; Organising and managing all aspects, both substance and logistics, of Platform meetings (Annual General Assembly, Board meetings, Steering Committee meetings, Technical Working Groups);


Providing the necessary support for Platform Focal Points so that they may adequately fulfil their mandate as advocates of the Platform both inside and outside their organisations and as specified under the Platform's advocacy and outreach activities. d) Financial management Ensuring the proper financial management of the Platform Trust Fund, including the drafting of the annual work plan and budget, and the administration and disbursement of funds; Managing all eligible expenditures that are directly related to the fulfillment of the Platform's mission and activities. e) Reporting and auditing arrangements Complying with specific reporting and auditing requirements within the framework of co-financing agreements that are concluded between participating donors and the Secretariat; Preparing an annual report on all Platform activities and a summary of financial statements for all Platform members, no later than six months following the end of the calendar year; As fund administrator, providing Full Members with a management statement on an annual basis, together with a certification from the Platform's internal auditors of satisfactory performance in compliance with agreed procedures and controls for the administration of Platform funds; Arranging for external financial audits of Platform activities at the request of the Board, and/or individual Members with respect to their contributions; Fulfilling other reporting duties to the Focal Points of the Platform, and especially to the SC, including: Regular official email correspondence by the Secretariat related to the work programme and funding requests; The sharing and storing of Platform documents such as the minutes of meetings, work plans and the budget on a password-protected web-page at



The Platform Trust Fund includes core-funding and financial contributions with donor restrictions that relate to themes, activities or regional programmes of the Platform. All funding allocations for Platform activities and programmes are managed by the Secretariat in accordance with the work plan endorsed by the Board. Contributions to the Platform shall be in cash and/or in-kind. In-kind contributions (e.g. in the form of provision of in-house consultancy services to fulfil activities of the annual work plan) are recognised by the Board but are not necessarily accepted as creating eligibility for full Platform membership If funds are transferred, the contributor shall enter into a financing agreement over the nature and purpose of its contribution to the Platform with the institution providing the Secretariat of the Platform (currently GTZ).




ANNEX 1: Principles for working together in the Platform membership Platform Full Members and Associate Members commit to certain minimum standards as best practices for working with each other, thereby fostering mutual accountability among them. Full Members and Associate Members of the Platform agree to the following: To commit to the Platform mission and objectives; To endorse and apply the Joint principles for effective agriculture and rural development programmes as last updated and to endeavour to encourage field offices to continuously refine the content and applicability thereof; To shape the Platform image as a donor initiative that is devoted to practicing and promoting aid effectiveness principles in agriculture and rural development; To endeavour to foster a shift in the governance agenda from conditionality to positive incentives for change; To commit to coordination and consultation with the local donor coordination group in the case of country activities and to act in accordance with the group recommendations; To endeavour to support members in their efforts to promote transparency and information-sharing. To avoid financing activities in countries that could otherwise be covered either by partner governments or local donors. To make sure that each Platform Focal Point has the appropriate time to fulfill his or her obligations to the Platform as outlined in Annex 2 of this Charter.


ANNEX 2: Terms of References for Focal Points The Platform member organisations agree to designate one staff member, or Focal Point, and one alternate from their respective organisations who are authorised to represent them in all matters relating to the activities of the Platform, and to commit these Focal Points, from time to time, to perform functions on behalf of Platform. It is recommended that each Platform member organisation budgets 4-5 staff weeks for the duties of the Focal Point. The duties and responsibilities of the Focal Points include: Serving as contact point between the Platform Sectretariat or all other Platform working bodies and their relevant member organisation; Reviewing work undertaken by other organisations on behalf of the Platform in accordance with communications procedure as laid down in Annex 3; Exchanging data and information with other member organisations, including providing the Secretariat with relevant data and other information materials for the Platform website and relevant publications; Attending meetings of the Platform (currently, some 1-2 meetings per year); Ensuring that his/her organisation meets its financial and/or human resources obligations to the Platform; and Standing prepared to represent the Platform at international meetings and other fora, in agreement with the Platform Chair, with support from and coordination by the Secretariat.


ANNEX 3: Selection criteria and approval processes for Platform products and activities 1. Process for identifying and endorsing Platform activities: The Secretariat and/or member organisation drafts an outline scoping-document and terms of reference for the proposed activity or publication; The Secretariat solicits members for an expression of interest; A lead member and/or a member of the Secretariat is selected who is responsible for overseeing the particular activity, alone or in partnership with other Platform members; A detailed proposal is submitted, followed by endorsement of the Steering Committee based on agreed criteria (see below); Funds are allocated (unless the lead member proposes to fully fund the activity); The Secretariat coordinates reporting to the Steering Committee and Platform membership; Members are solicited for comments on the final ToRs and the final document, coordinated by the Secretariat and lead member, based on a 10-day communication rule (see point 3 below); After conclusion of the 10-day period for comments, and if no further objections are made within that period, the activity or Platform document is approved and its launch or publication is started. 2.The selection criteria for Platform activities are: Consistency with the three outputs of the Platform; The potential to result in a global public good; Non-duplication of any operational work of any member organisation; The provision of benefits to the majority of Platform members; Operational value, easy replicability and measurability; Being demand-driven (by government or field staff of Platform member organisations) and/or need-driven (by Platform Focal Points or headquarters of Platform member organisations); Approval by the majority of Steering Committee members; Conformity with set benchmarks which are agreed prior to engaging in the said activity; Making contributions to the rural discussion as such and supporting the comprehensive approach of rural development. 3. Communication procedures: To assure a smooth processing of activities, communication within the Platform membership network is based on a 10-working day rule. All members are asked to reply to specific requests for information and/or to comment on joint activities or publications within this time limit. After these 10 days, activities and publications are considered as approved. It is possible to obtain an extension of the 10-day rule if special consultations that need to be undertaken make the rule impractical.

Prepared by Platform Secretariat Published by Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, c/o Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Adenauerallee 139-141, 53113 Bonn, Germany Layout Iris Christmann, Wiesbaden, Germany Photos Platform Secretariat Paper Printed on special 9Lives photo paper (PaperLinx), certified according to FSC May 2008

Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

Contact: Secretariat of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, c/o Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Adenauerallee 139-141, 53113 Bonn, Germany Phone: +49 (0) 228 535 3276 and 3699 Fax: +49 (0) 228 9910 535 3276 Email: Website: Publication date: May 2008