International Development Conference – Pathway for progress : exploring success and opportunities

The International Development Conference (IDC) is the longest graduate student-run conference at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 
Message from Pascal Lamy at the occasion of the 22nd anniversary : 

What are the key features of successful development initiatives that in your view have paved the way to sustainable developmental results?

Let me first thank Clare AGAMANZI for her kindness as well as her persistence, so typical of the people of RW in inviting me to your conference although at distance.

My contribution will consist of 4 short remarks :

  1. I think the A4T initiative I launched when I was elected DG of the WTO has in 2005 paved the way to sustainable developmental results. It is focused, recipient driven, evaluated.
  • It is focused on trade capacity building, whether soft (technical standards) or hard ( boarder infrastructures)
  • It is recipient driven, according to priorities the responsibility of which lies with beneficiary countries
  • It is periodically assessed so that the proportion between resources and results is evaluated and if necessary reviewed.
  1. More generally, whether domestically generated and funded (which of course is the best option) or supported from outside, I believe that capacity building is the essential key to sustainable development. I would select 2 priority areas which are quality institutions and good education. Not always sufficient conditions, but always necessary conditions according to my experience.
  1. I am now working together with Don Kaberuka and a coalition of partners led by the Global Fund on an Equitable Access Initiative for reviewing the funding criteria in development health assistance. Same conclusion so far: empowerment is what institutions and education must build to ensure sustainable development.

Finally, one piece of advice, if I may: do not just focus on success, or on successful development initiatives. Also look at failures, and there are quite a number of them in development. I learnt more, during my life so far from my failures than from my successes.

Good luck to you all!

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