4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4)

The Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4) took place in Busan, South Korea, from 29 November to 1 December 2011.

Busan has been a crucial point in multilateral negotiations on international aid and development cooperation which started at the first High Level Forum in Rome back in 2003. It was a monumental event to take stock of the progress made in delivering aid and furthering development activities across the globe, and to make collective plans for the future of aid and development for all stakeholders.

For civil society organizations, HLF4 was a particularly significant milestone as it marked the first time that civil society participated as a full and equal stakeholder in aid effectiveness negotiations alongside governments and donors. It was thus a unique opportunity to influence development cooperation from the point of view of people’s organizations and further the shift from a technical aid effectiveness approach to development effectiveness based on long term sustainability, addressing the root causes of poverty and the realization of human rights.


HLF4: An Overview (here below)HLF4 History - Objectives - Agenda & Format - Stakeholder and Democratic Ownership
CSO Mobilization for HLF4including:
- CSO Messages and Asks for HLF4Global consolidated civil society position for the HLF4
- Regional and Thematic CSO PositionsCSO statements across regions and sectors complementing the global civil society position
- Selection process for CSO participationHow the 300 CSO representatives at the HLF4 were selected
- Civil Society negotiatonsCivil society responses to the draft versions of the Busan outcome agreement
Civil Society events at HLF4Busan Global Civil Society Forum - Civil society side events at the HLF4 - CSO communication activities and material

For information on the final outcome Busan Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, please refer to the Busan Partnership page

HLF4 - An Overview

Around 2000 international delegates - ministers, parliamentarians, heads of state agencies, as well as representatives of the UN and other multilateral institutions, civil society organizations, and the private sector - convened to review the global progress in improving the impact and value for money of development aid and envisage new commitments to ensure that aid reduces poverty and make lives better.

HLF4 preparations were led by the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness of the OECD-DAC.

Very importantly for CSOs, HLF4 was the first time that civil society was present as a full and equal stakeholder in negotiations. CSO representatives put forward the conclusions of the BetterAid and Open Forum processes for endorsement.

HLF4 - History

Before the HLF4, three High Level Forums on Aid Effectiveness led by the OECD took place in Rome (HLF1 in 2003), Paris (HLF2 in 2005), and Accra (HLF3 in 2008).

Until HLF3 in Accra, the international aid effectiveness discourse at these events was essentially dominated by donor and partner governments.

But the HLF3 outcome Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) recognized CSOs as development actors in their own right to whom distinct effectiveness standards and enabling environment should apply.

Specifically AAA paragraph 20 states:
- "We will deepen our engagement with civil society organisations", including provision of "an enabling environment that maximizes their contributions to development."

HLF4 - General Objectives

HLF4 aimed to:
- Assess global progress in improving the quality of aid against the agreed commitments of Paris and Accra
- Share global experiences in delivering the best results and
- Agree on a Busan Outcome Document to further enhance efforts globally and within countries to make aid more effective in reducing poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

HLF4 Agenda & Format

- HLF4 website

- HLF4 blog

- HLF4 Proposed Format

- Guidelines for HLF4 Structure and Agenda

- List and description of Side Events

- Knowledge and Innovation Space Workshops and Mini-debates Program

- Knowledge and Innovation Space E-posters List

- Building Blocks for post-Busan implementation

- HLF4 Online Library, where you can access the International Framework as well as the Advocacy and Implementation Toolkits from the Open Forum!

HLF4 Stakeholders and Democratic Ownership

Other HLF4 relevant documents and links

Survey on Inclusive Ownership - OECD Issue BriefNovember 2011
Ownership and Accountability - A Synthesis of Key Findings and Messages produced for the Busan High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4), Cluster A, WP-EFF, OECDNovember 2011
Strengthening Ownership and Accountability - Summary of Recommendations and Terrain for Debate, OECDNovember 2011
Orchestration Note: Pushing the Boundaries on Transparency for Better Predictability, Engagement and Accountability prepared for the HLF4 Day 2 Plenary Day 2November 2011
Working Party on Aid Effectiveness - Letter from the Chair on the process for the finalisation of the BOD28 October 2011
Working Party on Aid Effectiveness - Draft Summary Record of Discussion on 27 October 201127 October 2011
Working Party on Aid Effectiveness - Draft Summary of the 18th meeting6 - 7 October 2011
Towards More Effective Aid - briefing from WP-EFF co-chairsOctober 2011
How DAC members work with CSOs: An overview - final version of the OECD studyJune 2011
Letter from the OECD Working Party on Aid Effectiveness co-chairsApril 2011
Achieving Progress for Development Effectivenss in Busan:
An Overview of CSO Evidence
- Reality of Aid Report
Country Ownership of development: Political Correctness or a practical key to better aid?
Policy Brief from Danish Institute for International Studies (order free copies of the evaluation report here videos on the evaluation on the OECD YouTube channel)