The intergovernmental Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) is a joint ministerial statement developed with support from the OECD’s Working Party on Aid Effectiveness. The AAA identifies three main areas where progress towards reform is still too slow.
1. Country ownership. The Accra Agenda for Action says developing-country governments still need to take stronger leadership of their own development policies and engage further with their parliaments and citizens in shaping them. Donors must commit to supporting them by respecting countries’ priorities, investing in their human resources and institutions, making greater use of their systems to deliver aid, and further increasing the predictability of aid flows.
2. Building more effective and inclusive partnerships. The Accra Agenda for Action aims to incorporate the contributions of all development players—middle-income countries, global funds, the private sector, civil society organizations—into more inclusive partnerships. The aim is for all the providers of aid to use the same principles and procedures, so that all their efforts are coherent and have greater impact on reducing poverty.
3. Achieving development results—and openly accounting for them. The Accra Agenda for Action says the demonstration of impact must be placed more squarely at the heart of efforts to make aid more effective. There is a strong focus on helping developing countries to produce stronger national statistical and information systems to help them better monitor and evaluate impact. More than ever, citizens and taxpayers of all countries expect to see the tangible results of development efforts. In the AAA, developing countries commit to making their revenues, expenditures, budgets, procurements and audits public. Donors commit to disclosing regular and timely information on their aid flows.
The Accra Agenda for Action sets out a list of commitments for its signatories, building on those already agreed in the Paris Declaration. It asks the OECD’s Working Party on Aid Effectiveness to continue monitoring progress on implementing the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action and to report back to the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in December 2011. Many donor and recipient governments will have to make serious changes if the AAA’s aims are to be fulfilled. The fact that ministers have signed up to these changes in Accra makes the AAA a political document—rather than a technocratic prescription— to move from business as usual to a new way of working together.