The Bali High Level Planning meeting: post-2015


The Bali meetings of the High Level Panel (HLP) on the post-2015 development agenda concluded its three-day meeting issuing a communiqué on their discussions. The meeting, which focused on “global partnerships and means of implementation” introduced topics that have hitherto been missing, namely: how the post-2015 goals will be realised and who will be responsible for what.

Ahead of the meetings, DI argued three key points on the discussions:

  • a clear plan for sharing responsibilities and financing must be agreed
  • the post-2015 financing framework should meet the opportunities to harness wider resource flows, and act to curb the damaging outflows of resources from developing countries
  • the central importance of access to information.

What was the outcome?

The panel’s communiqué on their discussions highlighted five key areas that need progress for realising its post-2015 vision. These are:

  1. reshaped and revitalised global governance and partnerships
  2. protection of the global environment
  3. sustainable production and consumption
  4. strengthened means of implementation
  5. data availability and better accounting in measuring progress.

These are all important issues, with points 1, 4 and 5 being particularly close to DI’s work and thinking.

What does vision mean?

“We agreed that a post-2015 agenda should clearly specify the means of implementation.” (Bali HLP Communiqué, p.2)

This is a major step forwards. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were silent on implementation and, given rapid growth in the number of actors involved in international development (and the resources they control), the need for agreement on responsibilities and funding is greater now than ever. A framework that specifies the means of implementation should address how responsibilities can be shared among actors – public and private, national and international – and should look to increase the contributions that wider resources, such as remittances and foreign direct investment, make to the post-2015 goals. It is important that this imperative is not lost as the HLP process gives way to intergovernmental processes later in 2013 and beyond.

“We need a data revolution.” (Bali HLP Communiqué, p.3)

Good decision making relies on good data, and an inclusive and transformative agenda must be built on a detailed understanding of the circumstances faced by diverse groups across society. Without an accurate, disaggregated picture, policy making will naturally centre on the average, and this risks ignoring the circumstances of minorities or groups with distinct needs.

Sustaining momentum

The HLP have made a clear statement on the importance of high quality disaggregated data and it is important that this momentum is sustained. There is a long way to go before the statistical systems that we have today are able to produce the kind of information that can drive detailed and disaggregated evidence-based policy making. For example, we are not yet even able to reliably estimate $1.25 a day poverty measures at the national level annually or within a reasonable timeframe.

Clearly, significant investment is required if we are to reach a state where diverse social and economic indicators can be examined according to gender, age, race, health, sub-national location or other factors. Nevertheless, the panel have made an important statement and it is imperative that momentum around improving statistical systems is sustained – through investment in country systems, technical capacity, political prioritisation and funding.

For more information, please see Harnessing all resources to end poverty and An Open Goal: How to empower the post-2015 framework, or contact Tim Strawson (tim.strawson@devinit.org) on harnessing all resources for poverty eradication and Andrew Palmer (andrew.palmer@devinit.org) on access to information.