In the small number of partnerships (between countries with development partners) for which data from past monitoring rounds were available, there was a high level of participation in accountability processes, as noted in 2010/11 (but increased compared to the 2007 monitoring round). Participation was, however, lower for those who joined for the first time. This is some indication of a positive trend towards greater and continued participation in accountability processes, the longer the partnership lasts.

Drawing conclusions about the overall performance of development partner institutions on accountability is problematic because of the selected reporting of each partner in a limited number of countries and the criteria for meeting the targets on the three accountability indicators which were set low. Among the 16 development partners who submitted data in at least four countries, the average score was 2.67/3. Two partners achieved a full score of 3/3, while six scored below average (Figure 17).

Overall, the performance of development partners in meeting the commitments on financial cooperation has been at best static and less convincing than the performance on the commitments to accountability processes. Out of a total possible score of four, only Canada came close to the target of 3.43. The average score of the 16 partners who participated in at least four countries was 2.1, and seven development partners scored below the average. Among these USAID which is a more recent member of IHP+, but it also includes the WHO, Germany, France, Spain and GAVI who are among the original signatories of the Global Compact (Figure 26). 

The overall performance

As in previous rounds, most development partners did not submit data in all their programme countries. For some this was because they did not have a health sector programme in all countries. The exceptions were the Global Fund, GAVI and the WHO which reported in almost all participating countries.

The 16 development partners who participated in at least four countries achieved a mean score of 4.8 out of seven (Figure 27). This was lower than the mean score of 5.1 achieved by the partner countries, although for some indicators development partners faced considerably lower barriers to achieving the targets than countries (for instance, for the engagement of civil society and for participation in processes for mutual accountability). None of the development partners reached the target of 6.34. Canada came closest albeit with data reported for only four countries.

There are many reasons why development partners may fail to reach targets on meeting commitments for development cooperation. They may operate primarily in countries where it is more difficult to meet commitments, or where the conditions for improved mutual accountability and financial effectiveness do not exist. They may have governance bodies that do not prioritise or incentivise development effectiveness. There was no pattern according to whether the partners were bilateral or multilateral agencies: UNICEF performed well, UNFPA less so; Canada and the UK outperformed Spain and France.

One of the findings of the performance review, however, is worth keeping in mind. At the country level the scores obtained by partner countries and development partners are correlated (Figure 28). The message is plausible: development partners are more likely to perform better in countries with a conducive policy environment. Likewise, countries working with effective development partners have more incentives to improve their policies and systems. As in any partnership, it the outcome is largely determined by the interaction between both.