Human Rights – Equal Access to Justice/SDG 16
Achieving equal access to justice for all by 2030: lessons from global funds
Working and discussion papers | July 2018 | Marcus Manuel and Clare Manuel
ODI – Overseas Development Institute 2018.: 32 pages
This paper reviews the experience of global funds and explores whether lessons could usefully be applied to supporting Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.3’s commitment to equal access to justice for all by 2030. In other areas, including agriculture, health, climate change and education, global funds focused on specific problems have become a key part of international aid architecture. Global fund performance has varied, but the best ones, particularly those relating to health, have been successful in improving both the quality and
quantity of aid: building multi-stakeholder partnerships, marshalling resources, enhancing the long-term visibility of resource flows, generating innovative approaches and delivering results.
The paper begins with a brief overview in section 2 of why access to justice matters and the challenges of providing it, including funding gaps. Section 3 briefly summarises donor engagement with justice to date, and section 4 looks at current promising international
initiatives to engage with SDG 16.3. Section 5 provides an introduction to global funds and then section 6 examines their common characteristics and explores how applicable these might be to the challenges of providing access to justice. Section 7 sets out three options for donor re-engagement. Section 8 sets out three key conclusions and possible next steps, namely:
1) it is premature to try and assess whether a large-scale global justice fund would be appropriate, as much more work needs to be done including on establishing funding gaps;
2) SDG 16.3’s two indicators for the first time provide an internationally agreed framework around two specific results for donor and partner countries to improve access to justice globally and there is a case for a small scale pilot fund focused on one or both of these indicators; and
3) there is a case for exploratory consultations on how to achieve significant donor re-engagement in low-income countries
:: Access to justice is associated with economic growth and social development and its provision is a core state function. But billions of people have limited access to justice. Donor support for justice systems is low in most countries and has fallen by 40% globally in the last four years. Thinking on long-term scaled-up funding for accessible justice is in its infancy.
:: The principles and approaches underlying global funds in other areas provide useful lessons for how to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.3’s commitment to equal access to justice for all, including strengthening international commitment; stronger focus on learning and innovation; more effective collective donor effort and management of risk; deeper engagement with national government systems and strategies to scale up sustainable approaches; and creating new funding and partnerships.
:: It is too early to assess whether a large-scale global fund would be appropriate or feasible to support access to justice for all, given the challenges and political nature of the justice system. More work needs to be done first, including to establish precise funding needs.
:: In the meantime, there is a case for developing a small-scale pilot pooled donor fund focused on a specific SDG 16.3 indicator, available on a demand-driven basis to a limited number of countries. This would enable cross-country learning. It would also provide insights into the functioning of the system as a whole; global fund experience is that an initial focus on a specific ‘vertical’ issue over time turns into broader engagement.
:: There is also a case for undertaking exploratory consultations on how to achieve significant donor reengagement in low-income countries.
[p.15] Global vertical funds: a brief overview
…Vertical funds are global programmes for allocating aid that focus on a particular thematic issue across countries. They have been referred to as ‘goal-based investment partnerships’, working to deliver clearly articulated targets (Gartner and Kharas, 2013; Schmidt-Traub and Sachs, 2015). The aim is to scale up resources and impact, with donor funds crowding in other funding. By 2013 the top ten vertical funds represented approximately one seventh of all programmable aid, and in some important sectors accounted for over half of all donor commitments (ibid; ibid.). Most of these new generation vertical funds emerged in response to specific global challenges in the wake of the Millennium Development Goals.
Prominent examples include two health funds, namely the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (‘the Global Fund’) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI), the International Fund for Agricultural Development,30 and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program. There are also a range of climate funds (Nakhooda et al., 2015). Since 2013 the number of funds has continued to grow. Another health fund, the Global Financing Facility in support of Every Woman, Every Child, was launched in 2015 and the Education Cannot Wait Fund in 2016. Calls continue for further new approaches in the education sector to mobilise additional resources, reduce fragmentation and promote innovation (Schäferhoff and Burnett, 2016).
The funds have differing management, governance and implementation practices. Some have been more successful than others. In some cases, there has been criticism of vertical funds’ limited support to countries’ development of sustainable national systems and limited coordination with other donors in-country.31 A series of reviews (Isenman et al., 2010; Gartner and Kharas, 2013; Schmidt-Traub and Sachs, 2015; Sachs and Schmidt-Traub,2017; Schmidt-Traub, 2018a) suggest that performance is strongly connected to fund design. Funds with more
participatory governance structures, more independence and greater beneficiary involvement, clear performance-based metrics, and a close link between performance and
funding (including competitive allocation of funds) have demonstrated more success in resource mobilisation, impact, innovation, learning and scaling up. The Global Fund and GAVI stand out in this respect and have been credited with bringing in new private-sector actors and enabling rapid scale-up from a global goal to successful implementation on a global scale (Gartner and Kharas, 2013; Schmidt-Traub and Sachs, 2015).
30 Which dates from an earlier era (1971).
31 See for example DFID’s latest business case and annual review of the Global Fund (DFID, 2018a; 2018b).