Historic gathering puts spotlight on innovative financing for development

A stunt by Save the Children at the venue of the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea. Photob by: Ben Phillips / Save the Children

Last week’s Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan was overshadowed by two related facts: The fiscal pressure in the rich world and the rise of China and other new powers. Huge efforts were made to include emerging economies, Arab states and the private sector.

At the end, even the Chinese associated themselves with the outcome document, albeit only after commitments had been watered down. This was done not just for China – there are still traditional donors resisting the move to country systems, for example.

In this context, innovative financing for development is becoming more important than ever. It is seen as a way to generate more value for money at a time of limited ODA budgets, and as a way to involve more stakeholders, including the private sector and developing countries themselves. It takes ODA away from the traditional donor-recipient model to a more dynamic model that allows developing countries to “own” their development, considers sustainability and the role of the private sector, and increases the focus on results.

The importance of innovative financing at Busan can be seen by its prominent position in the outcome document. In it, world leaders agreed, among other things, to “further develop innovative financial mechanisms to mobilise private finance for shared development goals.”

In the run-up to Busan, the United Nations Foundation and Devex launched a campaign to highlight innovative financing for development. We called the campaign “Busannovate: Making the Money go Further” because that’s, really, what innovative financing for development is all about.

Busannovate presents ideas from some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers on innovative financing for development – including Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus and Brian Atwood, who as OECD Development Assistance Committee chair was one of the hosts in Busan. A special focus has been on ways to improve global health by initiatives such as the U.N. Foundation’s Pledge Guarantee on Health. But topics ranged from microfinance to impact investing, from the role of traditional donors to the role others may play to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

In the name of Devex and the U.N. Foundation, I’d like to thank all contributors and everyone who shared, liked and commented on these thought-provoking guest opinions. And I’d like to invite you to revisit them in our blog, Busannovate: Making the Money go Further.

About the author

  • Rolf Rosenkranz

    Rolf Rosenkranz oversees a talented team of in-house journalists, correspondents and guest contributors located around the globe. Since joining Devex in early 2008, Rolf has been instrumental in growing its fledgling news operation into the leading online source for global development news and analysis. Previously, Rolf was managing editor at Inside Health Policy, a subscription-based news service in Washington. He has reported from Africa for the Johannesburg-based Star and its publisher, Independent News & Media, as well as the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, a German daily.