Minute of the 14th Meeting
Partnership and Harmonization TWG
27 February 2009, 2:30 pm at CDC

1.          H.E. Chhieng Yanara, chairman of the Partnership & Harmonization TWG and Secretary General of CRDB/CDC, welcomed all participants to the meeting including all new members from RGC, Development Partners and Representations from Civil Society. In his opening remarks, he raised the agreed need at CDCF, on December last year, to intensify the effort to promote the impact of development cooperation and to work closely with RGC ministries and agencies to ensure that our work is relevant, effective and efficient; and with Development Partners to ensure development results.

2.          Therefore, the agendas of the meeting were as follows, which focused mainly on the 2nd agenda_ JMI on aid effectiveness.

Organization of P&H TWG in 2009

3.          In this agenda, there were three issues to discuss. The first was new members from RGC ministries, agencies and DPs. H.E. Chair mentioned that each TWG has been asked to (re)nominate its focal point to participate in the P&H TWG and to lead the process of identifying Ministry-level aid effectiveness priorities that will inform the aid effectiveness JMI. He suggested that all members fully participate and P&H TWG can be established as the forum for exchanging view and learn from one another as we implement our priorities.

4.          Regarding annual work plan and ToR of P&H TWG, he stated that the objective of the work plan is somehow ambitious, so we need to jointly work and try hard together in order to achieve it. In addition, the paragraph # 3 and #8 of ToR must be up-dated to reflect current national and global context including the approaches to aid effectiveness work set out in the 2008 AER and Accra Agenda for Action. Also, paragraph # 11, concerning responsibilities and functions, needs to be looked at and revised.

5.          Thus, it was agreed that comments on annual work plan and ToR 2009 from DPs should be done through lead facilitators, Dylan from UNDP or Marjorlaine from DFID; and from RGC should be done through H. E. Chhieng Yanara, Secretary General of CRDB/CDC, or Mr. Chann Thhon, Director of P&H Department. The deadline for comments will be Friday 6 February 2009 so that the final draft will be sent out to all TWGs for final comments and endorsement.

JMI on Aid Effectiveness

6.          H. E. Chair raised that each TWG had to identify limited number of priorities on aid effectiveness activities base on H-A-R Action Plan and AAA to make sure that development cooperation has maximum impact on our CMDG. During January and February RGC members of TWG s have worked with CDC counterparts to clarify and provide further detail to their identified priorities, which were set since the previous meeting held in Siem Reap (30-31 December). The table of priorities was drafted; however, there are some more important steps to go through before the final draft can be submitted for endorsement at the next GDCC on 28 April 2009. TWGs need to engage discussion with DPs  to finalize the proposed priorities based on three key questions:

  1. Are the proposed actions the most urgent priorities for each TWG?

  2. Will they lead to increase more aid effectiveness?

  3. Have they been fully discussed within RGC or between RGC and DPs?

7.          After a very comprehensive discussion, it was noted that now we are in early stage, so the process of identifying and finalizing the most important priorities on aid effectiveness need to be done through detail discussion between all relevant TWGs and DPs and sent to CDC the end of March for endorsement at GDCC.

Linking Central Planning and Budgeting Processes

8.          The Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Council for Development of Cambodia will work closely and collaboratively to integrate linkage, budgeting and ODA Database. Representative from Ministry of Planning mentioned that RGC has articulated the linkage between budgeting, PIP and ODA Database into National Plan Chapter 5 and NSDP MTR Chapter 1, 2 and 4. Moreover, the policy direction concluded that the process of integration needs to be done clearly in stages; and institutional mechanism need to be established. He further stated that MoP has set the ToRs for three agencies involved: CDC/CRDB for Aid Coordination, MEF for Budgeting and MoP for Strategic Planning. MoP will finalize the process by itself. This is to show the ownership and leadership of RGC.

Division of Labor

9.          H. E. Yanara indicated that during the exercise to identify aid effectiveness priorities, RGC Ministries and agencies have been briefed on issue related to aid fragmentation and possible approaches to resolving this problem. CDC has also begun a mapping exercise to identify sectors and Ministries that may be adversely affected by excessive fragmentation and to identify possible solutions (including use of PBAs, delegated cooperation, pooled funding and more efficient program management as alternative approaches to undertaking a division of labor exercise). RGC will work more closely with Germany, which has been appointed to lead DPs in this process.

10.      After a brief presentation to share information on Division of Labor by Germany, H. E. Chair concluded two main pointed:

  1. Division of Labor should be taken base on voluntary action and willingness.

  2. The issues related to aid fragmentation and Division of Labor should be only addressed mainly to the sectors which have excessive aid fragmentation; and the process of identifying and implementing steps forward must be led by government agencies and ministries.

Up-dates on Other 2009 Activities

11.      There were five issues P&H TWG shared to the meeting:

  1. Technical Cooperation Guidelines: TC guideline was finalized in 2008 and was presented to CAR so that it might be incorporated into the development of the RGC’s human resource development strategy. This work is on-going and RGC ministries and development partners are encouraged to apply the TC Guideline as an example of good practice on managing TC.

  2. Civil Society Engagement: CDC is now finalizing the establishment of the on-line NGO Database to record information on NGO-implemented activity in Cambodia. In partnership with CCC, CDC also hopes to engage at the national and sub-levels with civil society organizations to gather information and to begin a dialogue on applying aid effectiveness principles to NGO work. CDC is now integrating the two (NGO and ODA Database) into 1 system in order to minimize the double counting and to save time for readers to get overall image of the ODA in Cambodia. The integration will be launched very soon after a short test finished.

  3. Induction Training—on-line resource: CDC will lead the exercise in developing an on-line resource that can be used by newly-arrived development partners (and other interested parties) to enable them to access key documents and other information on partnership-related work in Cambodia. Two or three development partners are requested to volunteer to help develop the webpage and to identify the resources and structure that will be most beneficial.

  4. Training on results-based M&E: a 2-page discussion paper has been prepared and circulated by CDC for discussion in P&H TWG meeting. Training will be organized for the fourth quarter of 2009.

  5. Training on partnerships and managing multi-stakeholder processes: This training will be organized in the second quarter by CDC and offered to TWG Chairs and development partner facilitators. A concept note will be prepared by CDC for the consolidation of P&H TWG members.

Any Other Business

12.      The meeting also further shared some more information on the following issues:

  1. Nomination of RGC gender focal points in all TWGs (MoWA): Representation from MoWA requested to DPs and Chairs of TWGs to appoint Gender focal points in all TWGs. They should know about gender issues, cross-cutting issues, in order to serve as middleman who will bring information from TWG Gender to Chairs of other TWGs and vice versa.

  2. TWG Block Grants: Last year, there were around 10 TWGs requested for Block Grant Support form CDC. H. E. Yanara encouraged the lead facilitators of all TWGs to involve more actively in supporting the TWG secretariats. For 2009, he requested all of the TWGs who seek for support from CDC to submit the forms to CDC and for those who submitted to CDC already, we hope to finalize within 2-week time.

  3. Review of Multi-Donor Support to CRDB/CDC: The conclusion from the internal review of MDSP in December 2008 were (a) CDC/CRDB is now able to perform most of routine functions but policy functions and capacity to support other ministries need further consolidation; (b) MDSP will provide stronger support to line ministries and mainly focus on development of CRDB capacity; (c) TWG Block Grant is an innovative form of support to other agencies of the government but it also has high risk; thus, we must ensure that this resource is used to improve TWG performances and partnership with DPs.

  4. Global Evaluation of the Paris Declaration Phase II: Cambodia will participate in Global Evaluation Phase II and 3rd round Survey which will be conducted in early 2010; we seek for support from some DPs so that we can do this important exercise. The findings will be expected to fit the 3rd CDCF in mid 2010.

  5. Co-facilitator of P&H TWG: H. E. Chair showed great regret that Ms. Marjolaine Nicod from DFID will step down after 1 month after this meeting. He suggested that all lead facilitators discuss together to select one among them to take hold of this position. He further provided three criteria for selection as (a) willingness and effort to support and move forward aid effectiveness agenda; (b) high capacity in aid effectiveness policy; (c) willingness to relate and share information with among DPs.

13.      In his closing remarks, H.E Chair thanked the P&H TWG members and the participants who contributed fruitful inputs to the meeting. He further summarized the discussion into three points as:

  1. The deadline for comments from RGC and DPs to CDC/CRDB on the work plan and ToR of P&H TWG will be Friday 6 February 2009.

  2. Aid effectiveness JMIs need to be finalized and submit for endorsement on the next GDCC in 28 April 2009.  Therefore, all TWGs and DPs need to have a comprehensive discussion together to identify, revise and finalize the priorities and send to CDC by the end of March.

  3. H. E. Chair urged all the TWGs who haven’t identified the most urgent priorities to make them and finalize by the deadline above.

  4. Other agendas were about information sharing such as integration of budgeting and planning, ODA Database collection and Division of Labor. Regarding Division of Labor, we will make it more complete; and explore more options and possibilities in order to reduce fragmentation at sector level.

14.      The meeting was adjourned around 5:00pm in a very cooperative and productive environment.


Report by Ly Sokleap
Aid Coordination Policy Officer


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