An expert seminar on the Polish development cooperation was held on May 30th, at the Casimir Pulaski Foundation.
Representatives of the government administration – The Department of the Development Cooperation of the MFA, UNICEF, analytical centers (PISM), advocacy groups (Instytut Globalnej Odpowiedzialności), academic centers (Centre for Europe at the University of Warsaw, Polish Academy of Sciences, UKSW) , business and practitioners (Solidarity Fund, Polish Humanitarian Organization) were all in attendance.
The meeting aimed at conducting critical analysis of, the shape of the Polish development policies, conditions for increase of the role as a donor and relations and coherence between geographic priorities of the Polish development aid and other forms of external presence (military missions, investments, scientific cooperation). It also focused on reflection of transmitting experience gained on the ground into creating development policies, and on relations between development programs and businesses.
The seminar opened with Marcin Bużański, Director of the Peace and Stabilisation Strategies Programme at the Casimir Pulaski Foundation, who introduced current global trends in programming development cooperation. Jędrzej Czerep, Coordinator of the Programme proposed questions regarding consequences of recent changes in Polish geographic priorities specifically, states on which Poland would concentrate its development efforts. Than, Marek Kuberski, Deputy Director of the MFA’s Department of the Development Cooperation, opened the discussion of the development cooperation within the framework of the Polish soft power. Further on, participants discussed relations between security and development, benefits and threats deriving from linking business to development (Kamil Zajączkowski, University of Warsaw), and the need for state regulations regarding frameworks for investing in developing states (Marcin Wojtalik, IGO).
The discussion led to a number of interesting conclusions, participants stressed the need for working out a wider, comprehensive vision for Polish development policies, defining its goals, the need for building the trust of Poland as a partner, rethinking what are the Polish assets and what can they offer to the aid beneficiaries. Evidently the meeting proved there are shortcomings in contacts and mutual understanding between different sectors: e.g. humanitarian and security.
Conclusions from the seminar, being second of the review cycle of the Polish external engagement, conducted by the Peace and Stabilisation Strategies Programme, will be included into the report summarizing the entire project.