Talking points on the JMI on Aid Effectiveness
Delivered by

Ricarda Rieger, Deputy Country Director, UNDP

for the
14TH Meeting of
the Government-Development Partner Coordination Committee (GDCC)

Phnom Penh, April 28, 2009

Excellency Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. First of all, we believe that the consultation process to identify aid effectiveness priorities for each Line Ministries and agencies has been very useful. It has simplified efforts for greater aid effectiveness and increased their relevance, by moving discussions from central high-level commitments, such as at the GDCC and the CDCF, to the reality of the sectors.

  2. H.E. Yanara has already mentioned the three areas of the aid effectiveness priorities: first, developing sector strategies to lay the ground for more solid Programme-Based Approaches; second, implementing annual operational plans, which are essential to better prioritize and align resources to national priorities; and third, improving the coordination of capacity development efforts to strengthen country systems. Achieving these results will be the focus of our joint efforts in the coming months.

  3. In order to achieve results, we see three preconditions to swift and full implementation and monitoring of these priorities:

  • First, it is essential that political commitment and leadership on these priorities be secured. During our dialogue at the CDCF meeting last December, the Royal Government made a strong point that political leadership and political solutions were required to accelerate progress on aid effectiveness. This JMI aid effectiveness exercise has attempted to promote such political leadership in line ministries and agencies on the management of aid resources. These priorities reflect the needs of each line ministries and agencies, we hope that they have been, or will be, endorsed by the highest levels of these institutions. This political leadership should then be used to guide discussions at the Technical Working Group level to ensure timely and effective implementation.

  • Second, we agree with the Royal Government that more joint efforts are needed to improve the quality of partnerships at the level of Technical Working Groups. This JMI on aid effectiveness exercise showed that while there often was consensus on what these priorities should be, the process to reach them was not always consultative. To make our partnerships more effective, it is essential that such consultations be conducted in the future in a timely manner and in a spirit of dialogue. We would like to encourage all relevant stakeholders to engage actively in the Government-led consultation and training initiative on improving partnerships that will be conducted later this year.

  • Third, mutual accountability should be practiced when implementing and monitoring these aid effectiveness priorities. Having agreed on these mutual commitments, both Government and development partners should take steps to define and agree how to implement them, with defined responsibilities and timelines, but also be clear about what changes this entails for both sides. The fact that these priorities will be monitored at the GDCC alongside the JMIs will elevate their profile and support their full implementation. However, it is important to remember that mutual accountability requires more than sharing information and monitoring progress, it requires political solutions and having adequate incentives for compliance in place. The experience in other countries shows that independent evaluations can often contribute to strengthen mutual accountability. Cambodia will participate to the second phase of the Global Evaluation of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness in early 2010. To encourage progress and hold all stakeholders to account, we suggest that this evaluation includes an independent review of development partner harmonization and the use of country systems.

  1. We wish to conclude by reassuring the Royal Government that development partners are committed to support their Government counterparts in each line ministry and agency in implementing these joint aid effectiveness priorities. Development partners would also like to propose organizing, in close collaboration with CDC/CRDB, an experience-sharing workshop for development partners engaged in aid coordination in the various sectors. The objective of such a workshop would be to promote aid effectiveness cross-fertilization within the development partner community and to feed into the Government-led consultation process on improving partnerships.

Development partners would be interested to seek clarification from the Government on the following issues:


  1. With reference to these priorities being associated with the JMIs, how does the Government envisage monitoring the implementation of the aid effectiveness priorities and to promote stronger mutual accountability?

  2. What kind of support for implementation and monitoring would be expected by the Government from development partners?

  3. How will the Government ensure inter-ministerial coordination necessary for the implementation of aid effectiveness priorities in key sectors which involve a number of Ministries (such as the Land and Agriculture & Water TWG)?

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