Background & Rationale

Background

Trade enhancement and diversification has been recognized by the Government of Pakistan as a key driving force for pro-poor growth and poverty alleviation through job creation and income generation. As a result, numerous bilateral and multilateral donor agencies have started to provide technical and financial assistance to the Government of Pakistan (GoP) for improving its trade and economic development, with varied degrees of success.

During the first Programme Steering Committee meeting of TRTA II Programme, the Secretary Ministry of Commerce suggested to devise a mechanism, whereby a group of donors active in the area of trade related interventions in Pakistan, could interact together on a regular basis, for a more coordinated, synergetic and effective impact of the interventions. At that meeting, the Secretary underlined the need for a donor coordination forum to build upon each other’s strengths, avoid overlaps, both, thematically and geographically, enabling the GOP to move in a unilateral direction towards development of trade.

Rationale for Donor Coordination

The rationale for donor coordination draws its strength from the Paris Declaration (2005) on Aid Effectiveness wherein, among other decisions, it was agreed that:

  • Donor countries will work so that their actions are more harmonized, transparent, and
    collectively effective;
  • Developing countries will exercise effective leadership over their development policies, strategies, and to coordinate development actions;
  • Donor countries will base their overall support on receiving countries’ national
    development strategies, institutions, and procedures;

There is already a certain level of realization for a coordinated support to GOP; all new country strategies and programme documents by EU, World Bank, ADB, and USAID) contain a short analysis of relevant donor activities in the country. This is definitely an encouraging indicator and a good start for improving donor coordination in practice. Sharing knowledge among the development partners, about their activities, helps to avoid overlaps, and promotes coordination and collaboration.