The Platform was established in 2003, following a considerable decrease in ODA expenditure for agriculture and rural development in the 90’s. The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness of 2005 was the central agreement for the Platform to advocate for increased public spending by developing countries, donor and private sector investments in agriculture and rural development (ARD) under the leadership of developing countries, both governments and civil society. The Accra Action Agenda followed and in Busan, the agreement was reached that a global partnership for effective development cooperation was to be established, which held its first high-level meeting in 2014.
Encouraging initiatives like the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) by NEPAD were launched, and the Maputo Declaration of Heads of African States confirmed that African governments would spend at least 10% of the public budget in ARD which was reaffirmed by the recent Malabo Declaration in 2014, however, with limited success up to now. The donor communities fully supported such initiatives, but the year 2015 showed that a new downward trend in ARD finance is noticeable. At the same time, private sector investments are increasing, but not at the scale needed.
In parallel, the new architecture of development cooperation following the SDGs and FfD calls for a debate on the role of ODA and donor agencies. For ARD, this is particularly important as the international community is turning towards development effectiveness rather than aid effectiveness, because donor engagement is increasingly part of the overall development engagement rather than a ‘separate’ undertaking. OECD has agreed on a ‘modernisation of ODA’ in late 2014 against the background of the rapidly increasing number of lower middle income and middle income countries which are no longer eligible to receive concessional ODA.