Along with the evolving global order, the international development system has been changing in past years. Multilateral organisations (MOs) constitute one of its key pillars, fulfilling essential roles and functions to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. At the same time, there has been a proliferation of organisations creating overlap in terms of mandate and areas of work and leading to a fragmentation of the multilateral aid system.
In order to provide a clear strategic direction to German multilateral development cooperation, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has adopted "Guiding Principles for Multilateral Development Policy" in February 2013. As a step towards the implementation of this new strategy, adelphi has been commissioned to improve the understanding of the multilateral aid system as a whole as well as the relevance and performance of different multilateral organisations (MO) by developing a user-friendly methodology and conducting the first German mapping of 31 MOs.
The BMZ Mapping of Multilateral Organisations (BMAP) allows Germany to identify appropriate channels for agenda-setting, thematic cooperation, and reforms and thus work through MOs in a more strategic and effective manner. To fulfil these objectives, the German mapping exercise was based on the assessment of three criteria:
- The relevance/mandate of the MO, in particular as regards the multilateral aid system as a whole.
- The performance of the MO in terms of effectiveness and results.
- The possibility for German strategic engagement.
In addition, BMAP paid particular attention to reform processes in the MOs and what their potential for and attitude towards reform is.
There have been a number of multilateral aid assessments conducted in recent years. They mainly focus on the strengths and weaknesses of individual organisations. BMAP, however, to provide a system-wide view of MOs, assessed the role specific organisations play within certain sectors and the larger multilateral aid architecture. Also, while other bilateral assessments were mainly linked to funding decisions, this mapping exercise was meant to inform a broader strategic process that goes well beyond funding.