Past Event


The Global Governance of SDG Financing

23 February 2017 13:00–14:30

Room 221,
Institute of Development Studies,
Library Road,

In this seminar, Thomas Fues will address the global governance of external support for sustainable development in three steps. The first part will interpret the 2030 Agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals (DGs) and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda as a universal consensus on key Global Public Goods (GPGs).

Implementing the SDGs requires steps on three levels:

  1. domestic action,
  2. transformative global regimes, and
  3. external support to low-income and  developing countries which cannot mobilize sufficient resources internally.

The second part will concentrate on the need for external transfers in support of SDG implementation. This poses the practical difficulties of international burden sharing in development cooperation. So far, traditional donors and Southern providers, such as Brazil, China, India and South Africa, have not been able to agree on principles, concepts and metrics. While the OECD Development Assistance Committee has set up a rigorous framework of reporting and impact measuerment for development cooperation, the “new” donors are still struggling to move beyond the general principles of South-South cooperation based on the 1955 Bandung declaration. A universal assessment framework for SDG 17 (global partnership) seems far off.

The concluding section will explore the possibilities for sharing experiences, mutual learning and joint action between Northern and Southern providers. The two existing platforms, the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) and the UN Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), are both flawed, albeit in different ways. The GPEDC lacks universal acceptance; Brazil, China, India and South Africa are not part. In contrast, the DCF enjoys full legitimacy but misses out in effectiveness and genuine political support. The German government intends to use its simultaneous G20 presidency and GPEDC co-chair to enhance SDG financing by forging a consensus between traditional and “new” donors. The chances of getting there do not look so good at the moment.

Thomas Fues trained as an economist and has been with German Development Institute as Senior Researcher since 2004. His main research interests include global governance, rising powers, United Nations and international development cooperation. In addition to his research tasks, Dr. Fues heads the training department at the German Development Institute.

He is Director of the Managing Global Governance Program which facilitates capacity building, research, dialogue and policy advice with a network of partners from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa. In previous stages of his career he worked for the German parliament, the Institute of Peace and Development (University Duisburg-Essen), the Government of Northrhein Westphalia, the German Advisory Council on Global Change and as a freelance consultant.

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Alice Webb

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+44 (0)1273 915803


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