Originally written by J. Brian Atwood for the Center for Global Development.

In this essay, J. Brian Atwood, chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), analyzes the process and achievements of the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, held in Busan, South Korea, in 2011. He provides a firsthand account of the negotiations that ultimately overcame political opposition and created trust among diverse actors.

His essay provides a better understanding of how consensus is reached among nations, institutions, and individuals with diverse interests, orientations, and personalities. It is a story, he argues, of how a unique organizational entity, the DAC and its member states, backed by a highly competent secretariat and strong leadership at many levels, exercised effective leadership at critical moments to achieve a positive outcome.

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