A decade ago, governments and major donors signed on to the Paris Declaration (PD), promising a new era of development cooperation and aid effectiveness. Paris, however, came without clear provisions for civil society engagement in the agenda.
In 2008, the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) at last acknowledged civil society organisations (CSOs) as development actors in their own right, committing governments and donors to work with CSOs to provide an enabling environment that maximises their contributions to development (AAA, Art 20c).
Busan recognised the need for all actors to play a complementary role in the achievement of development goals. One of the major features of the Busan Partnership agreement was the broadening of the development cooperation agenda to include other development actors such
as CSOs, private sector and emerging donors. The Busan High Level Forum (HLF) on development effectiveness encouraged the participation of non-state actors as full and equal participants in shaping the agenda and developing the Busan Partnership agreement. Inclusive development partnerships form one of the principles of the agreement, underpinning their common goals and differentiated commitments. Therefore, while AAA acknowledged the important role of non-executive actors, particularly CSOs, business, parliaments and local governments, the Busan Partnership agreement elevates these stakeholders to full development partners with an equal say in how to foster sustainable growth, reduce poverty and share prosperity. The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) emphasised multi-stakeholder cooperation to facilitate efforts to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development.
Debates over a post-2015 Development Agenda have seen a notable shift in the development discourse since its formation in 2011.