Game changers: global policy priorities for the post-2015 agenda

Research reports and studies
November 2013
Pedro Martins, Jonathan Glennie, Shakira Mustapha

There is a lot of debate but little agreement on the ‘global partnership’ that could underpin new goals on sustainable development after 2015. As well as development finance, other issues like trade, migration and tax are potentially on the agenda. This paper focuses on the empirical rather than the political questions, and pulls together estimates of the scale and distribution of the benefits from different possible areas of reform. It compiles and analyse several studies that provide quantitative estimates of the potential impact of specific global reforms – many of which could be included in a revamped ‘global partnership for development’.

The numbers suggest that as well as agreeing an effective deal on dedicated development finance, the priorities for negotiators in agreeing the global partnership deal that underpins a post-2015 agreement should be twofold.  Firstly, to find some wording that opens the door on migration, in hopes of a more favourable political climate at some future point, and, secondly, to capture and embed the recent progress on tax evasion and illicit flows in the G8 and G20.

Even small increases in migration flows can generate very large welfare gains: for the migrants themselves as well as for host and sending countries. Concluding the Doha round of trade negotiations (or at least some aspects of it) could also bring significant benefits, while tackling trade mispricing and curbing illicit flows can bring in financing equivalent to or more than the current volume of official development assistance (ODA).

While ODA will remain important for many countries (especially for the poorest nations in the world), the economic, social and environmental challenges facing the world will require strong global collective action that goes well beyond aid flows.

The key challenge will be to create a conducive political environment to help advance these policy agendas for post-2015.