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|Naam||Simavi (B Oonk)|
|Datum||14 april 2022|
The Netherlands has been good in creating partnerships and coalitions in development cooperation. The Netherlands could use its cultural heritage of “polderen” in development cooperation. Global challenges such as the climate crisis and also the water crisis need a multi sectoral approach to find solutions. Solutions that require knowledge from local communities, governments, NGO’s and knowledge institutes to come together.
A larger role can be played by the Netherlands when it comes to strengthening the bottom-up approach and “shifting the power”. One way to work on this is by making it easier for Southern organisations to access funding, and involving them in the entire programme and policy cycle, from the drafting phase, to implementation, and evaluation. This will also help to realise a needs based agenda for development cooperation. Supporting (local) civil society will also strengthen their ability to hold their own governments accountable when human rights are not respected.
Furthermore, the Netherlands has always prioritised water as a policy priority. A devastating climate crisis will jeopardize the access to drinking water for billions of people globally. We know that this will severely affect women and girls, as they are traditionally care takers at home and responsible for food production. The Netherlands should maintain water as a broad policy priority, focusing on leaving no one behind and use the expertise and reach of civil society organisations in reaching those left behind. Furthermore it is important to increase coherence between the policy priorities because water, climate (resilience) and gender are intrinsically linked. All the financing allocated to water should therefore include a strong climate component, and include explicit gender targets.
The Netherlands could be more innovative in its subsidiary models and aim to finance southern organisations more directly. The power of voices is a very innovative financing mechanism to really strengthens civic space. The framework is innovative and very important to continue because civic space and human rights remain globally under pressure. The Power of Voices framework could be enhanced by focussing stronger on southern organisations and create space for fully southern driven alliances. We also believe that the Dutch incubation approach and knowledge broker could serve the most marginalised groups much more. How can the Netherlands contribute to knowledge exchange on successful approaches that reach those left behind? It is very important to also invest in scaling locally driven solutions and create access to those solutions and knowledge for hard to reach communities and marginalised groups. The Netherlands can play a key role in this.
Innovation can also mean the scaling up of proven concepts. The Netherlands already has some successful programmes, that have created impact and networks over the years. We can leverage this experience and knowledge towards creating sustainable and lasting impact. Instead of creating new things, it is also important to look into those learnings and use those beyond the four-year policy cycle of projects.
If we are truly focussing on systemic change, the Netherlands should address the root causes of poverty and those that have an aggravating effect on poverty, such as climate change and social inequalities. This also means acknowledging that trade and aid have the possibility to strengthen each other, but that we often also see that private sector interests create challenges for local people and sometimes even violate human rights. All Dutch trade and development cooperation efforts, therefore need to ensure that social inclusion is addressed adequately and that trade leads to more gender equality. We can do this by creating partnerships that include private sector, public sector, knowledge institutes and civil society actors. Moreover, adhering to the commitments of the Paris Agreement and Glasgow Pact are essential, as climate change is jeopardising the results we have booked over the years, especially for those most left behind. This means also creating policies that adhere to the 60% reduction of CO2 emission by 2030, as described in the coalition agreement. Only by prioritising the most vulnerable, we can reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The Netherlands should embrace SDG6 and SDG 13 and become an even stronger advocate to realise its targets. The latest IPCC reports are very clear about what is lying ahead of us. Already, 3.5 billion people are highly vulnerable to climate impacts and half the world’s population suffers severe water shortages at some point each year. The IPCC-report warns that climate losses and damages are “strongly concentrated among the poorest vulnerable populations”, who have done least to cause the problem. This requires a very string a multisectoral approach that not only focuses on technological innovations but accessible, scalable solutions driven on indigenous knowledge. According to the IPCC report adapting to the climate crisis is as much a social problem as a scientific one. Unfortunately, adaptation is heavily underfunded but investment now is far cheaper than acting later. Can the Netherlands be bold and increase its efforts and funding for climate adaptation and advocate for more local and community voices in multilateral meetings such as the COP.
As part of Partos and WO=MEN, we would like to also direct you to their submissions about the role of development aid and the focus on women which we both believe are essential in the BHOS policy note.