In their welcome address, both Co-Chairs, David Hegwood (USAID) and Patrick Herlant (EC) highlighted the immediate challenges as well as the range of decisions to be taken to sustain the activities and partnerships both in the short and the long run. The challenges are manifold, in particular the new paradigm under the Agenda 2030 that changes the roles of donor agencies and international financing institutions and impacts the shape of programmes and policy priorities.
In the subsequent exercises and discussions, Nany White led the participants on a journey of introspection and reflection, visually supported by the concept of an eco-cycle. Six key aspects were central: Purpose („What is the fundamental justification of the Platform?“), context („What is happening around us that demands change?“), challenges („What are the challenges we face in order to make progress?“), baseline („What are the Platform‘s current strengths that are valued by its members?“), ambition and action & evaluation.
In detail, this included introspection on past achievements and core functions as well as characterisation of internal and external challenges (e.g. preserve, overcome fears, seize opportunities). It included furthermore the assessment of the context and analysis of critical uncertainties, which included gaining insights from a background paper on thematic multi-stakeholder networks, prepared especially for the members’ retreat.