Measuring development cooperation effectiveness at the local level
In Ecuador, international cooperation offers an important contribution to the country’s policies with regard to the role of local governments in the management of international cooperation, development planning and stakeholder participation. The Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador grants sub-national governments the authority “to manage international cooperation in order to comply with its competences.” This stipulation has also been taken up into a specific law. The explicit recognition of this competence grants all sub-national governments “access to international cooperation resources, enabling a fair and equitable distribution throughout the country”.
With the support of the UNDP ART Ecuador Programme and UN Women, the main national counterpart, the Technical Secretariat of International Cooperation (SETECI) and three national-level associations of sub-national governments (CONGOPE, AME and CONAGOPARE) have developed a tool to measure the effectiveness of development cooperation at the local level and they have applied it to the whole country: all provinces, 98% of all municipalities and all provincial associations of rural parish governments, as well as 35 actors of international cooperation and civil society respectively.
The tool was developed after a consultation process on aid effectiveness at the local level carried out in 2010 and 2011 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through the International Initiative for the Articulation of Territorial Networks (ART), and in collaboration with several international networks of decentralized partners. This consultation originated from the acknowledgement of “the importance of the active role of local and regional governments and social and economic partners in order to deepen and democratize the agenda for aid effectiveness”. The reflections stemming from this consultation identified local experiences for the “articulation of local processes with national policies and strategies” as an appropriate mechanism for achieving a “comprehensive development impact”.
This innovative tool takes into consideration some key factors for managing development at the local level as: the involvement of different stakeholders - central and local governments, social organizations, the private sector, among others - and the articulation of national and local policies and plans.
In the view of future measurements, a computer program is currently being developed that would allow the auto-measurement by sub-national governments (basic mode) and the assisted measurement of sub-national governments, international cooperation and civil society (advanced mode) as well as the processing of the information at the level of municipalities and provinces.