III.    Supporting Technical Working Groups

To ensure Technical Working Groups effectively perform its roles and functions as identified in the Guidelines on the Roles and Functioning of the Technical Working Groups one of the critical priorities is to ensure that TWGs are resourced and facilitated so they can work more effectively in supporting Government. This challenge, and a potential response, is addressed in the next Section.

Support to TWG Secretariats

Findings from the current TWG reports to the 12th meeting of the GDCC confirmed the need to support TWG secretariats as a support unit of TWGs in its operations, findings that had previously emerged from the capacity needs assessment conducted by CRDB/CDC in consultation with TWGs in June 2007.

A wide range of support has been identified by CDC that could be provided based on request from TWGs. At the last GDCC meeting, CDC announced that it may allocate resources from its Multi-Donor Support Program to support the functioning of TWG secretariats, based on the annual work plan and budget need that is endorsed by TWG Chairs and development partner facilitators. At the time of preparing this report, proposals for financial support have been received from seven TWGs and are being processed by CRDB/CDC.

Training in Aid Management: Deepening knowledge on PBA/SWAP

The need for development cooperation to shift away from stand alone project approach to a sector/thematic program-based approaches, as clearly called for in the Strategic Framework for Development Cooperation Management has made demand for aid management capacity increase, particularly within the realm of programme based/sector wide approaches (PBA/SWAP). This was one of the areas that show the need for dedicated support following the capacity needs assessment conducted in June 2007.

Based upon discussion with TWG focal points, who had been nominated to attend a two-week training course in the Philippines in September, last year, deepening knowledge on Programme-Based/Sector-Wide Approaches has been identified as an area where CDC can support TWGs to move forward. In response to these requests, CRDB/CDC organized a training course that emphasized the application of, and experience gained from, PBA, in Sihanoukville, from 11-14 February 2008.

Harmony? Mr Im Sour of CRDB/CDC, describes the complexity of harmonisation
and alignment efforts in the agriculture sector during PBA/SWAP training, February 2008

The training was facilitated by trainers from a renowned institute, HLSP (www.hlsp.org) and provided an opportunity for interaction and exchange, not only among TWG focal points, but also between CDC staff and TWG focal points, of experience on aid management across different sectors. TWG representatives from sectors that have taken the PBA/SWAP paths brought to the training course invaluable aid coordination experiences, as well as challenges, which through interaction, peer learning, and discussion, were in itself a useful form of capacity development that is based on actual experience related to what is happening across the sectors.

TWG focal points attended PBA/SWAP training, conducted by CDC,

11-14 February 2008 in Sihanoukville

Building on existing foundations from the previous PBA/SWAP training organized by the Ministry of Planning in July-August 2007, different modules were adapted to Cambodia’s specific cases and international best practices were applied throughout the course. This knowledge is of importance for TWG focal points in their work in different sectors afterwards, especially in those sectors where works are underway to move toward PBA/SWAP (e.g. Mine Action, RSSWH).

Cambodia ODA Database

Customization of the Cambodia ODA Database was completed last year, to enable it to serve more usefully aid coordination functions across the whole government. For the first time, TWGs have access to information on development cooperation activities that are being carried out within their sector or thematic area. Although much remains to be done to ensure the validity of the information available, this has provided a useful starting point for TWGs to engage with development partners on aid coordination issues. Support from development partners in entering the data is highly appreciated.

Trainings have been provided to TWG focal points on the features of the Cambodia ODA Database during the last quarter of 2007. CDC continues to support TWGs in making use of the information that is available for sector-specific purposes. The on-going survey to monitor the implementation of the Paris Declaration is also being conducted by making use of data reported by development partners in the ODA Database.

Outreach and Technical Support

Continued outreach and technical support will be necessary during the year. Following the two-week training conducted in the Philippines last year, a network of TWG Practitioners has been established. This has enabled more interaction between CDC as government's aid coordination focal point with line ministries/agencies and TWGs. As a first step, through this network, TWGs have participated in the conduct of the 2008 Paris Declaration monitoring survey. Further support may include increased CRDB/CDC participation in TWG meetings, a re-launched website to provide enhanced access to aid management tools and documents, facilitation of meetings between Government representatives of TWGs so that experience can be exchanged and formal trainings can be provided.■■■

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