1     Since the launch of the Rome Declaration in February 2003, significant progress has been made by the Royal Government and the development partners in Cambodia to begin the work on the implementation of Rome Declaration's commitments. The efforts over the last two years have focused on:

  1. Commissioning studies to provide to both the Government and the development partners factual information and analysis on donors practices to tackle the harmonization and alignment issues based on facts rather than perceptions.

  2. Promoting harmonization through sector and/or thematic programs.

  3. Strengthening partnership with the private sector.

  4. Restructuring the Working Groups under the CG mechanism to create an institutional set up that will enable the Royal Government to take ownership of ODA supported activities, enhance Government-Donor coordination to achieve a greater harmonization and alignment of ODA supported activities with national priorities, and strengthen the process of monitoring progress in the implementation of the Royal Government's reform programs.

  5. Developing an Action Plan on Harmonization and Alignment to implement the Rome Declaration's commitments.

  6. Signing of a Declaration by the Royal Government of Cambodia with 12 development partners who have shown a willingness to support the implementation of the Action Plan on Harmonization and Alignment.

2.     Since the launch of Cambodia’s New Development Cooperation Paradigm in 2000 , the Royal Government has put in place institutional mechanisms and management systems to support aid coordination and management through the Council for the Development of Cambodia. However, in spite of major improvements the current situation, as reflected in the findings of the just completed OECD/DAC survey for Cambodia, continues to present challenges to which solutions must be found to improve aid effectives. The current situation is a good illustration of inadequate Government ownership of many projects; “piece-meal” efforts, and insufficient coordination and support by donor agencies for Royal Government’s sectoral/thematic programs; the uncoordinated approaches for capacity development; proliferation of different procurement, disbursements, auditing, and progress monitoring and reporting procedures among agencies; and the use of donor-supported project management units staffed either by expatriates or by nationals who are paid significantly higher salaries than those with comparable qualifications employed in the public sector.

3.     The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) considers the "Good Practices Papers" prepared by the OECD/DAC Task Force on Donor Practices as an important contribution in a move forward on harmonizing donor practices and aligning donor supported activities to recipient country development priorities to improve aid effectiveness. The progress made over the last two years in each of the six areas that have been the focus of RGC’s efforts are summarized below.

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