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Financing the promise to leave no one behind

Time (GMT +01) 07:00 08:30


Barry Herman - Visiting Scholar, The New School


Charlotte Petri Gornitzka @CharlottePetriG - Chair, Development Assistance Committee (DAC), OECD

Elliott Harris - Chief Economist and Assistant Secretary-General, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) 

Eva Esselba Mends - Director of Budget, Ministry of Finance, Ghana

Kazi Shofiqul Azam - Secretary for Economic Relations Division at the Ministry of Finance of Bangladesh and alternate Co-Chair of GPEDC

Soumya Chattopadhyay @soumya218 – Senior Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute


Underpinning Agenda 2030 is the promise to leave no one behind and reach the furthest behind first. A top priority for very poor and vulnerable people, when consulted, is improving their access to quality public services (Stuart et al., 2016). There is clear evidence of the importance of expanding quality public services – including universal health coverage, universal education and social protection floors – for inclusive and sustainable growth.

This is recognised in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, in which countries committed to ‘a new social compact’ that delivers social protection and essential public services for all. Countries were encouraged to set ‘nationally appropriate spending targets for quality investments in essential public services for all’. If the social compact is critical to financing the promise to leave no one behind, what does this look like at a country level? Where has progress been made, and what are the key challenges? Beyond overall spending targets, how should financing be deployed within sectors to ensure that it reaches the poorest and most marginalised groups?

The event emphasises the link between the Sustainable Development Goals/High-Level Political Forum and the Financing for Development process by discussing financing for the leave no one behind agenda, and particularly how to progress implementation of the ‘global social compact’.

The discussion draws on new research by ODI on public service delivery in the health and education sectors in Ghana, Kenya and Nepal from its ongoing series of ‘leave no one behind stocktakes’, which offer insights and specific country examples of ‘leave no one behind’  financing challenges, including inequities in resource distribution, in these essential public service sectors.

Light breakfast will be served.

Please register your interest in attending by contacting Julia Hanne ([email protected]).


Charlotte Petri Gornitzka was elected as Chair of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in 2016. Prior to this, she served as Director-General of the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA) where she emphasised Sweden’s role as leader in development co-operation and led efforts to implement innovative models to stimulate private sector engagement in development activities. Charlotte serves as Co-chair of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on International Governance, Public-Private Cooperation and Sustainable Development. She is also a Member of the Stewardship Board for Economic Growth and Social Inclusion as well as a Member of the 2030 Water Resources Group Governing Council.

Elliot Harris was appointed Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and Chief Economist effective 2 April 2018. Mr Harris served as Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the New York Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) from 2015. He joined UNEP’s Senior Management Team in 2013 as Director of the New York Office and Secretary to the Environment Management Group. Prior to joining UNEP, Mr. Harris began his career in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1988, where he worked in the African Department and the Fiscal Affairs Department. 

Eva Esselba Mends joined the Ghanaian Ministry of Finance as a National Service Person in 1991. Positions she has held include, Head of The Americas Desk in 1998, Head of Budget Development in 2006 and Group Head of Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms in 2013. As Group Head, she was instrumental in leading major reforms that include gender responsive budgeting, Programme Based Budgeting and lately the development of the new Public Financial Management Act.

Soumya Chattopadhyay is a Senior Research Fellow in the Growth, Poverty and Inequality Programme. His expertise is in quantitative approaches to identifying groups that remain persistently marginalised from development processes. Areas of his current research include assessing policies, programs and their impact on such groups through SDGs and other development initiatives. Previously, he was in the Poverty and Equity Global Practice at the World Bank and contributed to the Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report, 2016. He was also a Senior Research Associate in the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, and taught at the University of Maryland. 

Barry Herman (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Program in International Affairs of The New School in New York, following 10 years as a member of the teaching faculty. He has been a member since its founding in 2010 of the Advisory Board of Social Justice in Global Development e.V., an international NGO registered in Germany. He completed almost 30 years in the United Nations Secretariat in 2005, the last two years of which were as Senior Advisor in the Financing for Development Office in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). He consults with various offices of the United Nations and other official bodies and non-governmental networks on international economic and financial policies, including the Commonwealth Secretariat, the World Council of Churches and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Conference Room A