The largest annual gathering of movers and shakers in European development cooperation returned to the Belgian capital — and, as official media partner, Devex was there to give you the latest from the 2012 European Development Days.
Check back often as we update this page with our exclusive interviews with more than 50 international leaders about hot-button issues in global development, from the future of EU development funding to promoting resilience and inclusive business.
In his column, Devex Editor Rolf Rosenkranz, who oversaw the coverage from Brussels, noticed that while many discussions remained at the high level, there was a renewed “focus on new partnerships and innovative financing of anti-poverty solutions.”
Opening on World Food Day, the European Development Days took place as European Union member states weigh the future of EU external funding. That’s in fact one of the topics of must-watch panel discussions at the two-day conference, which this year centered on three themes: food security, inclusive growth and private sector engagement in development.
On the sidelines of the Oct. 16-17 discussions, we video-taped conversations with global development luminaries, including:
Christian Friis Bach, minister for development cooperation of Denmark, on urging the European Union to preserve foreign aid: Danish aid minister tells EU to prevent aid cuts
Božo Cerar, state secretary and acting minister for development cooperation and humanitarian aid of Slovenia, on the struggle to meet the country’s aid target: Slovenia on meeting aid target: ‘It’s tough’
Peter Burian, state secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic, on why preserving the proposed EU aid budget is essential to Europe: Why Slovakia backs EU aid increase
Marc van Ameringen, executive director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, on how to effectively engage the private sector in international development: Corporations need to ‘see a business model’ to serve the poor
Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern Worldwide, on food security, how international nongovernmental organizations are evolving and the future direction of his organization: The ‘precarious’ state of global food security
Olivier Consolo, director of CONCORD, on urging EU delegations engage local civil society groups: CONCORD chief: EU policy on CSOs must go local
Imoni Akpofure, director for Western Europe at the International Finance corp., on the different avenues for NGOs and development consultancies to work with IFC: How traditional aid groups can do business with IFC
Klaus Rudischhauser, deputy director-general of EuropeAid, on how a more results-oriented approach to the project cycle will affect the procurement process: EuropeAid plans project approach overhaul
Marc Engelhardt, director for development and climate at KfW, on how blending works: KfW official stands up for ‘blending’
Jose Maria Vera, executive director of Intermon Oxfam, on why his group has reservations about private sector involvement in international development: Jose Maria Vera: The private sector has no role in social programs
Joost Oorthuizen, executive director of Sustainable Trade Initiative, on the need for the EU to harmonize financing for sustainable production and market demand for commodities: Joost Oorthuizen: EU needs to align investments in sustainable production
Eloise Todd, director of ONE Brussels, on what the advocacy group is doing to convince EU leaders to not reduce development spending: Biggest-ever aid cut looms for EU
Matthias Schmale, undersecretary-general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, on the impact of climate change on forced migration: In the future, more forced migration due to climate change
Ute Hausmann, executive director of FIAN Germany, on how the Germany government is implementing its human rights approach for development: Ute Hausmann: Germany’s implementation of human rights policy disappoints
Isabella Lovin, member of the European Parliament representing Sweden, on the impediments to producing a comprehensive EU aid strategy: A coherent EU development policy: Is it really possible?
Brian Bieron, senior director for global public policy at eBay, on what the firm is doing to help overcome barriers for local, small businesses to participate in global commerce: Microentrepreneurs can be global entrepreneurs, too
Christine van Nieuwenhuyse, director of the World Food Program’s Brussels office, on the aid community’s capability to avert crises: WFP official dispels doubts on aid community’s early response capacity
Phil Bloomer, the director of campaigns and policy at Oxfam GB, on the role of the private sector in building the resilience of small farmers: Phil Bloomer on the private sector’s duty to help farmers
Bruce Byiers, policy officer at the European Center for Development Policy Management, on what the aid community can learn from the private sector: PPPs draw questions on trade-offs, development impact
Belinda Calaguas, head of campaigns and advocacy at ActionAid International, on why the European Commission should purse a zero biofuels policy: Belinda Calaguas tells EU: ‘Bite the bullet’ on biofuels
Gerardo Patacconi, chief of the Cluster and Business Linkages Unit at the U.N. Industrial Development Organization, on factors preventing some companies from having more inclusive business practices: Gerardo Patacconi on inclusive growth: Local sourcing is sometimes the problem
Elsa Scholte, head of corporate communication at SNV, on what aid groups can do to help bring small farmers to formal markets: Aid groups can help plug value chain holes — Elsa Scholte
Valerie D’Costa, infoDev program manager at the World Bank, on the plight of women technology entrepreneurs in the developing world: World Bank official urges more attention to women innovators
John Hendra, deputy executive director at U.N. Women, on progress toward achieving gender equality: John Hendra: In post-MDG debate, gender equality must go mainstream
Amina Mohamed, deputy executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, on the types of assistance developing countries need to grow a green economy: No business as usual: Amina Mohamed on the green economy
Marco Rotelli, secretary-general of Intersos, on how his organization keeps its workers safe and provide aid on the ground despite insecurity: How to deliver aid even when it’s dangerous
Catherine Feeney, senior program advisor for P4P at the World Food Program, on lessons learned from the Purchase for Progress pilot initiative: Catherine Feeney: Business unusual at WFP
Christel Bultman, program director at CARE Nederland, on what the aid community needs to work on more to build resilience in fragile states like Somalia: CARE Nederland’s Christel Bultman: Lessons on building resilience in fragile states
In the lead-up to the two-day event, we published interviews with top EU development officials, including:
Andris Piebalgs, European commissioner for development: ‘Look forward, share best practice, debate new ideas’
Kristalina Georgieva, European commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response: Building bridges between relief, rehabilitation and development
We also had conversations with and op-eds from global development figures who gave a preview of discussions surrounding EDD’s three themes, including:
Gordon Conway, agricultural ecologist, professor of international development at the Center for Environmental Policy, and director of Agriculture for Impact in Imperial College, London, on boosting food security in developing countries: Building resilience
Bernardo Guillamon, manager of the Inter-American Development Bank’s Office of Outreach and Partnerships, on private sector engagement in development: The private sector and development – working together as partners
Meanwhile, check out our news coverage of European Development Days 2012:
Check back in the coming days to see our exclusive video interviews from Brussels. Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.